Friday, 29 February 2008

Hand dyed yarn

squid square2
Originally uploaded by cob_web

This is a mitred square knitting up with my hand-dyed yarn. Its not as crazy as I'd thought it would be! Its also less blue. I've never knit a mitred square before. Its erm, not very square without being pinned to within an inch of its life.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


Originally uploaded by cob_web

Finally finished. If I were to knit this pattern again I'd probably make the next size up as they are very snug. Great pattern. I make no appologies for them clearly not matching, I didn't even TRY.

I think this pattern would be better on a more variagated yarn. The thick stripes in this one don't work that well. I'm not a huge fan of this colourway at all to be honest.

My first attempt at dying

Originally uploaded by cob_web

I went a bit mad, I admit! The lovely forchette (on Ravelry and the CowShed) sent me some white sock yarn and some "easter egg dyes". These I presume are a bit like food colouring, but they come in tablets.

So I made the balls into skeins (not realising that 50g aint enough for a pair of socks and I'd have to dye the two the same, so they are different sizes). This bit is boring and tediuos and results in a painful arm.

Then you soak the yarn in luke-warm water for half an hour to open up the fibres. Meanwhile I prepared the dyes. I used 2 tablets of each colour and dissoved them in 250ml boiling water with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Obviosuly you let them cool before sticking your yarn in.

I laid out a bin liner and sqeezed most of the water out of the yarn and laid the skeins out. I put the smaller one inside the bigger one so they are vaguely similar. I had in mind a lovely subtle blue and purple colour scheme, but the colours you get are red, blue, green, orange and yellow. I wasn't quite sure if mixing the red and blue would create purple or not. So erm, I couldn't resist using ALL the colours.

I had bought a turkey baster for 90p in Sainsbury's, but it was rubbish and I had to stick my finger over the end or the dye came striaght out again.

Still, it was pretty easy and less messy than I expected as the yarn sucked up most of the liquid like a sponge.

Once I was happy I squeezed out most of the water (the dye sticks to the yarn and leaves a mostly clear water) and put the yarn in a deep baking tray, covered this in foil and baked in the oven for an hour at 80 degrees C. That bit would be much easier if you have a microwave.

After the heating, I squeezed out more water and hung them to dry overnight in the airing cupboard. The next day I rinsed them out, using a small amount of baby shampoo. Then they were left to dry again for 2 days.

Easy really! I think I am addicted though....

Saturday, 23 February 2008

My Fashionable Life?

I'm thinking of asking Matt for the yarn to knit Flicca:

My Fashionable Life: Flicca pattern

For my birthday. Sirdar Click Chunky is pretty cheap (~£2 a ball) but this takes around 20 balls!

Has anyone else knit this? I'd want to add some buttons, like this (ravelry link) I think, but I've never done buttons before. Anyone know of any tutorials?

Anyone else knit this? Its rather big given my slow knitting speed! I think its nice, but I'm not well known for my fashion sense...

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


socks to dye
Originally uploaded by cob_web

Look what I got!

I sent a lovely lady from the Cowshed forum a handbag clasp I got free with Simply Knitting as I knew I would never use it. In return she sent me some white sock wool and some easter egg dyes so I can have a go at some hand dying! How lovely is that? The easter egg dyes are similar to koolaid I think, and her results have been stunning. I don't have a microwave so setting the dye is going to be interesting. I have instructions on how to do it in the oven, but I don't want to dye my dishes! LOL I might see if I can get some of those large disposable tin foil trays.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

more woes

Last night was one step forward two steps back in knitting terms. I picked up all the stitches I'd ripped out and started knitting the rib border again. I had the exact same problem (big holes at the point of the V) and was ready to rip it out again when I realised the problem and was able to fix it. Where the V splits you have to start a new ball of yarn for one side. I hadn't secured the end of this yarn as I wanted to make the whole thing as easy to frog as possible in case it doesn't fit its recipient. Once I had tightened this up the hole mostly went.

Then came the next problem. The ribbing is k1p1 with a decrease either side of the central stitch on each row. So on one side the decreases are knit decreases, on the next purl decreases.

Somehow (goodness knows how, I counted many times) I had ended up with an odd number of stitches on one side. So when I got the the decrease section the ribbing was out of sync. At this point I had managed 2 rows.




I managed to pick up the stiches without having to go back to the crochet hook (which is the only way I can actually pick up new stitches) but then the first row took me ages because I managed to pick up all the stitches backwards so had to untwist each one as I went.

So there is one row of ribbing done. 2 more to go, the ribbing for both sleeves and the sewing up to do. Ideally by the end of today. I'm pretty sure thats not possible. Its certainly making it very hard to concentrate at work today.

Monday, 11 February 2008


Last night I did the dreaded picking up of stitches along the V-neck. Today I sat here and started the ribbing. Which looked awful to begin with last time. This time however it was a disaster. I had to rip out the whole thing :-( I want to get it finished by Thursday, but I just can' tface it at the moment. *sigh*

I hate picking up stitches.

Sunday, 10 February 2008


So, I'm knitting Forever Green (Ravelry link) again for my sister, and thought I'd post about somthing that bugged me the last I did it, and is bugging me even more now I'm knitting it for someone else.

Its the decreases. The first photo -->

shows the GOOD side, where I have used K2tog along the V-neck line. This looks fine.

The problem is shown in the 2nd picture below. I followed the advice in SnB and mirrored the decreases, so on the other side I used SSK.

As you can see it looks crap. Not a nice neat change in direction as in picture one.

What am I doing wrong?

Friday, 8 February 2008

Zak & Sara

Originally uploaded by cob_web

told you I'd be sad enough to bring it in to work today :-)

I am in love.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

What a wonderful surprise!

Isn't Ravelry great? Just before christmas I got a message from someone in the US who had seen yarn in my stash and wondered if it matched her dylot so she could finish knitting a cardigan. Well, by some fluke it DID, BUT I had mostly used it up on some christmas knitting and had forgotten to update the fact. I found 2 small left-overs. I think it came to just over 30g in total, which I was more than happy to send to a knitter in need!

Well today, guess what was waiting for me when I got home? Some of the gorgeous hand-dyed sock yarn I was eyeing up before christmas!! How lovely was that? I felt a bit overwhelmed by the generosity of a complete stranger, not only that but I can only assume she did a bit of Rav/Blog stalking to discover that I was coveting it :-) What a lovely, lovely thing to do. Kind of restores your faith in humanity!

Its dark now so I can't take a photo (I may take it to work tomorrow to do so as I can't wait to get it on Ravelry and show you lot). I can't seem to see any yarn on the shop's webpage any more, but I posted about it here

*big cheesy grin*

Thank you rincaro.

Oh, and apparently it was dyed up especially for me! How cool is that?!

Ravelry Friends

I have my "friends activity" as an RSS-feed into Google Reader.

I think I'm going to have to take it off, my queue is growing exponentially as a result.

If people could just start finding fugly knits instead of fantastic ones that would be lovely, thanks! :p

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Long time no post

Sorry I haven't posted recently. Things are a bit dull on teh knitting front. I've had a bit of a nightmare witha Get Knitted order. I'm not really sure if things are fixed or not, but I have yarn at any rate. The jaywalkers progressed a bit on my train journey to Derby and back last week, and I've cast on another chunky V-neck just like the last one. This time its an order from my sister. She wants it longer, but its even in the same colour, so there isn't much need for photos.

So, dull.

Does anyone have any digital camera recommendations? We don't want to spend more than £200 if possible. We've never owned one before. We want something that I can take knitting photos with, but mainly to take to Japan.