Friday, August 31, 2007

Ok, here goes

My first knitting blog entry! I don't really know how to start. I might as well talk about what I'm working on right now. First, a mitered square blanket (pattern adapted from Mason-Dixon Knitting):

mitered squares

Americana blanket
Americana Blanket, yarn: Katia Jamaica (4 balls), needles: US size 7

The squares are joined with single crochet on the back side. I'm chugging my way through the applied i-cord border. I really like the neat and tidy edge it creates. First, I went around the whole blanket with single crochet, now I'm working a 4-stitch i-chord. The edge is so soft, I think a baby will have a nice time running its fingers along the edge.

Next, cable yoke jacket from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby. I'm aiming for a 2-year-old size, though sizing kid garments without the kid present is a little challenging for me--I always fear that the sleeves won't be properly proportioned.

cable yoke jacket in progress
2-Tone Cable Jacket, yarn: Cascade Sierra (2 skeins dark blue, 1 skein light blue), needles: US size 6 for stockinette, size 5 for cables

I love the way this pattern is coming out so far. I'm trying to knit this up with as few seems as possible. So far, it looks like the only seems will be at the shoulders (3 needle bind off), and where the sleeves join the body. I have a bit of work left on this: sleeves, middle zipper bands, find appropriate zipper, collar. The yarn is so soft--and machine washable!

Yesterday I had a bit of a dyeing adventure. My first foray beyond Koo-Aiding. I got some Jacquard dyes a few weeks ago at Lee's Art Supplies on 57th. My goal was to make yarn that was mostly kelly green with short runs of royal blue. The first step was taking the skein of Cascade 220 and turning it into a much longer loop:


The next step was soaking the yarn. I soaked it for about 1/2 an hour, I think.


While the yarn was soaking, I mixed the dyes (1/4 teaspoon dye in 1 cup boiling water with 2 tablespoons white vinegar) and prepared a workspace on the kitchen table. Since we don't get the newspaper, I used a couple JCrew catalogues. On top of that, I laid out a long piece of saran wrap in a sortof-circle. My yarn loop was longer than the available space, so I had to double it up a bit on the table.

dye prep

laid out

I applied the dye to the yarn with sponge brushes, about 5/6 green, 1/6 blue. I forgot to take pictures of this part, sorry! I had the gloves on, and I was really into it. Once the yarn seemed saturated with dye, I wrapped up the yarn in the saran wrap like a big yarn burrito, put it in a microwave safe bowl with a bunch of water and started microwaving it.

yarn burrito ready to cook

I cooked it in 2 5-minute sessions on high followed by a 3-minute session on low, with cool-off periods in between. I tried really hard to keep the water from boiling. Next time I'd really like to have a dying pot (aka a big cheap pot) so I could cook it on the stove. Anyways, here's my finished product!



I've named the color Un-lose-able because it's that bright. Those colors you see are true to life. It's not exactly kelly green. Oh well. Next time, I'll mix double the amount of green pigment I mix. I'm not sure what will be come from this yarn. Probably something for a kid, who else will wear day-glo green? The whole process seemed to take forever, but I'm pleased with the finished product. It probably wouldn't have seemed like such an ordeal if it had been a little bit cooler in the kitchen.

Anyways, there you have it, my first knitting blog entry! Today I'm going to Coney Island with some friends from work, and I'm bringing along my purse sock (pics to follow). Fingers crossed the sun comes out, it's overcast now.