Thursday, February 24, 2011

Experiments with Dyeing

The dyeing and drying happened yesterday. I started with Rit powder dye, one scarlet and one wine together.  The reason for this (vs Koolaid) was that the woman in the store where I bought it recommended Rit for darker richer color and saturation and  Koolaid for a watered down heathered effect.

The color of the Rit dyebath was exactly what I wanted but I ended up with a watered down maroon/pink/wine colored skein.  NOT what I wanted. So after some urgent googling about dyes, which in retrospect I should have done before starting the whole process, and reading up on Koolaid dyes and checking out pictures of actual results, I rushed out to get Tropical Punch and Black Cherry Koolaid. And I re-dyed the damp pale wine/ dark dull pink colored  skein with 2 packets of Tropical Punch and one of  Orange (forget the exact name) to get this.....

The pictures show more orange-ish red/brick but really it looked like the dark red that I wanted when it was wet and I had read that it dries out lighter so I was prepared for that. It did dry out to a bright rich red. But I want it a tad bit darker - so today I put the skein in the Black Cherry Koolaid and see what I get. I know the theory behind it, but the process is so much fun - almost like magic....

Stay tuned for final results on this experiment.... 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pictures of the Paisley Shawl

Main Body
I like the way the paisleys turned out in this part....just as I imagined....The two paisleys mirror-imaged on the center stitch and radiating away from it.

Here's a picture showing the detail of the right side of the shawl.......
Main Body - Right Side closeup

And here's the left side ......up close...........
Main Body - Left side closeup

Finished and Blocking!
And here's a picture of it blocking.... I hate how the large paisleys in the border look like lopsided diamonds. The two swirls in the extreme tips below the border paisleys don't show up right either.
 Next I'll try and get some pictures of it in use ..... with better lighting .....maybe it'll be fine and I won't need to undo and rework the border and edge.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paisley Shawl

The light blue paisley lace shawl done with sock yarn is done! It is blocking right now so pictures will be up in the next few days.
As some of you may know (or not) I love paisleys - in anything and everything. And as knitting lace shawls/wraps is my current favorite thing to do, I had to do a paisley lace shawl. So, after several wasted hours searching for something that would work, including pouring over the Walker treasuries, I found nothing that looked like what I had in mind. So I designed my own.

The results of the design are mixed.....the main smaller motif that is the body of the shawl/wrap is a distinct paisley shape but the larger border motif loses that swirly curve of the paisley. Maybe because it's a lot more open and lacy and the columns of plain stockinette which pull the yarn overs to define the paisley's edges are no longer there. The border pattern looks like a badly done large diamond. Maybe it just needs to be re-blocked.

I am thinking now that I probably should frog this effort back to the point where I started the border paisleys and instead of making a bigger design in the border, make it a smaller paisley with scallops maybe, to echo the swirls of the paisley.
I don't know - the long hours spent knitting the large border - seems like a waste to undo so much work. But then again, I want this to look like what I thought it should, in my mind, not what it turned out to be.

I think I'll leave the question of undoing the border for now. In any case I would have to spend some time designing the alternate border that would work before I frog anything.

Meanwhile, I have some ivory-ecru Alpaca Lace yarn calling my name, to be dyed a dark red/wine color. This was the result of the search for dark rich red lace weight yarn which was semi-successful - I found the yarn I liked but not in the color I wanted. Apparently no lace weight yarn, which is easily available in any LYS here, is made in that color. So now I get to try my hand at dyeing some yarn. Maybe even today!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Noro Silk Garden striped scarf...and more lace

After reading about and seeing several pictures, I tried the Noro Silk Garden scarf alternating stripes from two different colorways. But it was quite a let down. The yarn, for all it's hype was just so ... disappointingly fact, bad. Scratchy, no real sheen, yet expensive. All these I could put up with if the things about it that people raved about - the colors and their transitions - were as expected.
That was the ultimate disappointment. The colors did transition really well for about 4 inches of the scarf and then there was an abrupt knot! And a completely different color joined at the knot! So I went from charcoal grey to a muddy ivory at the join. That was a jarring color change and it would have still been all right if that happened once or twice in the scarf. It happened 6 times until I gave up on the scarf and went off to design and knit some more lace in some pale blue sock yarn.

There are no pictures of the lace shawl yet but I am at a part where each row takes about 20 minutes to knit in pattern....and I ran out of yarn. Luckily the yarn I am using (part of the stash reduction resolution for this year) is easily available at Joanns. Looks like a trip to that store is needed tomorrow....

Then, when this lace project is done, a trip to a real yarn store to buy some burgundy/dark rich red/maroon lace weight yarn for another lace project that I have in mind.

Somehow I don't think the stash reduction resolution is working....