Posted in crochet, dyeing, fiber arts, knitting, spinning, Uncategorized, weaving, wool, yarn

Adventures in Yarn!

We have been quite fibery lately!  Below is a photo of some “magpie yarn”, knotted together bits and scraps.  Right now it’s on the needles to make a bookmark for lil ol’ me:

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Other than knitting, there has been weaving. I used the back of my Whoopsitsaloom to make a tabby-weave bookmark with stormy grey/blue yarn.  This was a 30 minute weave, the warp was 6 (I think) strands of slate blue acrylic and the weft was god-only-knows shiny slate blue from Michaels’ clearance.  The tail was also a clearance find.  The label on the skein was so battered I have no idea what the color is, or the brand.  But I’ll find it!

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Finally, there has been spinning and dyeing!  I am a super-super new spindle spinner, so my product is not exactly presentable yet, but I’m learning as I go along.  I was listening to a recent episode of The Woven Road and I became curious about dyeing.  I happened to be spinning and sipping some cheap red when I got curious….

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I interrupted The Woven Road to google it up and I found ChemKnits, so I watched Rebecca’s experiment with wine.  I was feeling a bit lazy so I didn’t feel like boiling and simmering.  The following happened:

Nuked it for 2 minutes on a friend’s reminder.  Left it overnight and voila, a stain!

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The stuff on the spindle is some of the original fiber.  The bit on the left is 12~ hours in the wine, washed, and rinsed.  I found out that at this rate it really is more of a stain than a dye, but it’s a pretty soft tint I rather like.  Still, in the interest of science I left it in for another night and was left with pretty much the same result.

Then I started to wonder about tea….

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This is a length that sat in a covered pot with 10 store brand black tea bags.  Bought the lot to a boil, then simmered for an hour.  This is when it was fresh from its first soap and rinse.  The color faded after drying, but it’s still a nice mustard shade.

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One of the teabags leaked so I do have some leaves in there.  Most came out in the wash.  I’m going to use these for weaving, ultimately.  Just want to make sure they’re clean and dry so things don’t get moldy.

So whew!  Busy bee!  Before I go, Come say hi on Ravelry – I’m Lazdamnit

Posted in crochet, tools, yarn

#Crochet tool: Random Stripe Generator

I have just found this awesome tool by Caitlin of Biscuitsandjam.com.  She wrote a random stripe generator that will do exactly what it says.  You select the colors you want to work with, and the widths of the stripes, and it spits out a pattern.  Well, technically, a set of random stripes, but it’s a pattern for you to follow 🙂  This has tons of applications, but I like it for blanket purposes.  I first saw this by reading about Kristine In Between’s 18,000 stitch afghan.  She used this generator to make her pattern and ended up with a beautiful throw!

stripes1This is very simple, though it presumes an unlimited supply of yarn in the colors you want.  So if you have a lot of leftovers or are in the mood to splurge on yarn, go for the random!   If your supplies of certain colors are limited, try the weighted one instead.

Just to play with it, I picked some really loud colors and random stripe widths.

 

stripes2And here’s the resulting Easter Egg pattern!  I had to change the row amount to 150, as just plain 50 left me with a teeny tiny pattern that didn’t really use all the colors I selected.  So this pattern is larger than the screenshot above.

 

 

 

 

stripes 3If you don’t like the first one, just hit refresh until something catches your eye!  I won’t be using this one as it’s just far too loud for me.  But if anyone likes it, have at – I left the text patterns in there for ya!

 

 

 

When I finish my current yarn project, I’m going to go back to this and lay the groundwork for a blanket for me and husband.  We need something lighter for the warm months.  Crochet with a thinner yarn may be just the right balance of comforting blanket-weight and openness.

I’ll keep ya posted!