Monday, 31 March 2008


So here is the big photo shoot of the results of my yarn dyeing adventure! Photo heavy as I couldn't choose which ones to post :-)

I haven't re-skeined as I don't have a swift. I've called the green/blue one Ubik and the black/purple/pink one Martian Timeslip as I've been reading a lot of Philip K Dick recently.

Lots of photos:






Sunday, 30 March 2008

Yarn Dying

So this afternoon I tried out the Procion Dyes (fibre-reactive) I bought with my birthday money. I had two skeins of sock yarn (75% blue-faced Leicester, 25% nylon) and 8 colours to play with.

I'd heard that black was hard to do but had an idea of doing a black/purple/pink yarn in my head, so decided to go for it.

So first you soak the yarn in water with the appropriate amounts of salt and fixer. I used citric acid as it smells much less than vinegar.


After 45 minutes you take the yarn out and squeeze out the excess water. The damper you leave it the more the dyes will bleed.

While it was soaking I made up my dye solutions. I worked out I needed about 500ml of dye in total for each skein, but had lots left over. I made up 200ml of each colour, slightly stronger than suggested as my measuring spoons didn't go small enough. So my black was a bit stronger than 2% and the others were a bit stronger than 1%. For the black/purple/pink yarn I laid it out on a bin-liner to give myself enough space to get the colours right and applied the dye there.


Then I put the skein into an oven-dish and cooked at 140 degrees C for 30 minutes.


I seem to have forgotten to take a photo of my second attempt, which is blue and green. I used the pure blue and green, and then darkened 2nd batches with the black and made it much more random and variegated. It should come out almost semi-solid. We'll see! The skeins are drying in the airing cupboard over night.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Originally uploaded by cob_web

Hooray! I have dying stuff! Very exciting. I have 8 colours. Red, yellow and blue (obviosuly). Purple, as its my favourite colour and apparently hard to create without the dye splitting. Black, becuase I like black. Green because nice greens are hard to mix, brown because its useful for toning down colours, and pink just becuase.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


Oooh, we might be going to London on saturday. We get into Waterloo. which is where iKnit has just moved to. I might have to go and see... not that I need anything knitting-wise at the moment. But I have to go and LOOK don't I?!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Sirdar click fault

Sirdar click fault
Originally uploaded by cob_web

Argh! I'm knitting the back of Flicca - thats 125 stitches. Half way through a row I find THIS in the yarn. A huge slub of untwisted yarn.

I tried knitting with it and knit back across to see what it would look like, but its totally noticeable.

Not cool, Sirdar, not cool at all.

I just have to hope there aren't too many of these or I won't have enough yarn! I bought an extra ball.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

New blogs

I love knitting blogs. I have loads of them in GoogleReader, and it is a constant source of amusement to my boss that I often spend my lunch time reading them (I think he secretly likes it as it proves I am nearly as much of a geek as him).

Anyway, I have just discovered a new one that has amused me so much I had to share. Welcome, friends, to the half-assed knit blog. Which is just made of win, and has majorly distracted me from my own knitting this evening.

Despite getting the internet back after a few days sans router (hooray! *pats the internets*) I have not spent my whole evening online and made some decent progress on the Flicca sleeve and have made the first lot of decreases.

My So-called Flicca

Originally uploaded by cob_web

This is the start of a sleeve for Flicca. For the first time ever I've ha da problem with Guage. I know, had to happen at some point, right?

I started knitting the sleeve on the recommended needles (7mm), thinking that it would do as a swatch, since I never have problem with guage anyway...

Now, I'm making the sleeves a bit narrower than the pattern as they are HUGE, but I had worked out how wide my mods should make them. They were coming out significantly smaller than they should have been... so I got nervous.

And frogged :-(

So I decided to knit a swatch on 8mm needles. but then ignored what it told me and cast on with them. Which was risky. meanwhile I realised I should probably wash and block said swatch as rib is a funny old thing.

The next day I measured the newly dried swatch and discovered its still a bit off. I'm getting 14 st to 10cm rather than 12.

Oh well. I come up between two sizes anyway so I'm going to knit the bigger one and hopefully it will be OK.


Why yes, I probably am completely insane.

The advantage is that the yarn (Sirdar Click Chunky) is 70% acrylic and 30% wool, so it stands up to frogging and reknitting very well.

Of course, the irony is that by the time I finish this it will be summer! I'm also now glad that Matt's socks are plain stst, as rib sends me slightly loopy and the whole thing is ribbed.

I seem to be having a red phase, as M's socks are red too. They clash horribly together though.

ION I'm thinking of buying some procion dyes and sock yarn to have a go at more dying. The place I'm looking at buying from recommends a book, which I'm tempted to get.. but I'm wondering if there are any detailed blogs or websites out there that might be useful without paying for a book? Any ideas?

Shop I'm looking at is here:
Book they recommend is here:

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Birthday Stuff

Finally had sort-of enough light to take a photo of knitting-related birthday goodies!


I got a years sub to Interweave Knits (the other mag is one my mum bought by mistake!), a set of harmony dpns (which are lovely) and some fun plastic needles.

Close up of the lovely harmonys...


Plus the yarn for my Flicca has arrived:


Sirdar Click Chunky in a new colour (called merlot I think).

And a WIP:


Sunday, 2 March 2008

Socks - help?

OK, I'm trying to knit Matt some socks. Obviously Matt is a MAN. So I can't exactly follow the pattern as I have been as he is bigger than women, which seem to be who sock patterns are written for.

I roughly worked out how many stitches to cast on and merrily did so... only to find that when I had done a round of 2x2 ribbing that I had a problem. I finishedwith 2 knit stitches. But of course, I STARTED with 2 K st too... which would mean I had a wide strip in my ribbing. Bah. I cast on 70st, so I'm trying to think of some kind of rule. half of 70 is 25, which is odd. If I had cast on 72 or 68 st, half of those numbers is odd. So do I just need to stick to a number which when divided by 2 is even for the ribbing to work? ETA: Aber has pointed out the blindingly obvious. Both the fact that I was clearly searching for the fact that the stitches need to be divisible by 4, and that 2x2 rib is just a pattern repeat over 4 stitches... so CLEARLY you need a number divisble by 4. Doh!

I'm going to rip and be good and do a swatch. I got the harmony dpn set for my birthday today so have a nice range of sock needles finally. Before I only had a 2.25mm set, so was knitting every thing on those. I realised today that all my patterns (and the Opal yarn) are all written for 2.5mm so tis not really surprising that my jaywalkers are too tight is it?!

So other than the making sure my cast on number results in an even number when divided by two, does anyone have any tips for deciding how many to cast on? I measured Matt's leg at the point where the socks he was wearing came to, and it was 23 cm. Just in case that helps! The Yarn Harlot seems to suggest casting on about an inch-worth's less than the required size so they don't fall down. So that would mean making it 20.5cm I guess...

I'd like to try short row heels again rather than doing a heel flap. Are there any good web tutorials? The first socks I did were SR heels, but they were badly written and put me off. Since then I've done the heel flap and picked up the stitches, which is fine, but I hate picking up stitches....