Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't count them before they're hatched

I don't know what it is with chickens. It seems to be the year of the chicken here.
I am in a pin cushion swap on Ravelry.
Not really knowing what I'd do I had this thought - what if I felted something and turned it into a cat. Well my person didn't want a cat (I'm still going to make one to see if it can be done) but she does like chickens.

Ok I'm up for the challenge.
I decided if I made a rectangular piece of felt I could make a chicken in a pyramid shape - similar to how you make a pyramid purse.

So away I go. White feltable wool and some needles later I knitted up the piece in one night. Sat it in some vinegar and water and dyed it with food colouring the next day.
That all went well.

I sewed it up (and stuffed it) and wondered if it was actually going to work.
So I ploughed ahead. Everyone kept saying it looked like a chicken, but if only they could have seen their own faces when they said it, they would have known that I could see they thought otherwise (there's logic in there somewhere).

Anyone I finished sewing on a few bits and pieces last night and here she is....My pin happy chicken.
What do you think?
I'm not sure my partner will like her, or that it's up to swap standard.
Or maybe I've decided she's just too good to swap. The pins can go right in and don't push through the other side, and she's kind of quirky. I like that.
She's not completely flat bottomed, but that's all right, she's not really chicken shape either I guess.
I'm still undecided.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

it's still green

Ok, so if you're not sick of the sight of green wool you should be!
I overdyed the lot from the last photos, with some avocado dye.
There was only one skein I left untouched - which is more chartreuse than the photos are showing, but it's a dull rainy day here so my background is uninspiring and the lighting is whatever I could find.The crepe (the second and third skein from the right) took the avocado and spread it out all through itself, really not leaving much of the former colour behind.
The front skein here I did touch up, it was very yellow once it dried. I did leave quite a bit of the chartreuse colour in it, I know people who like chartreuse. :o)
The second skein is the one I didn't touch - just after the row of chartreuse if you're trying to pick it out.
The DH didn't like the really light topped skein I did so I put a bit more dye through it. It's the one on the end at the right.
A table full of a variation on a theme.

The top end.
I like some of the colours in here.
It's just a sea of green.

I will reskein most of them (one of them is being balled up and didn't make it to the photo shoot, I actually really like it, some nice dark rich greens in it) and they'll all look different again.
(I'm skeining them because I think hand dyed always looks nicer in skeins.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

and then the next day

This is the water from the rinse out of the non-mordanted wool.
Speaks volumes.Some shots of the wool during its drying process.

you can see the yellow based ones and the blue based ones can't you?

There is a lot of variation in the colour, isn't there?

You can see the obvious blue/yellow base here.

Only one skein has survived being over dyed... we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's not easy being green

I'm after green sock wool. I can't seem to find what I want with out paying a fortune, or importing something from the US or UK and in that case the item might not cost a fortune but postage certainly seems to.

So when I met Mum in Canberra last weekend she kindly brought me some wool from the Mill at Wangaratta.
I bought some dye at the markets in Canberra and I couldn't wait.

I spent the week trying to hunt down a mordent for my wool. One of the dyes I am using is actually a blue colour and I was warned that it often leeches for many washes afterwards so I wanted to try and avoid that.

Who would have thought it would be that hard to hunt down some alum? Anyway I managed and I was eternally greatful. (I did actually a dye some with out using alum and I'll post photos of the water tomorrow!)

So it's Sunday and I have 4 lots of wool pre-mordanted.
I would like a nice bright lime green, chartreuse and maybe a nice middle of the road green.

I'm sure there's some scientific way to get the green that I want. I have lots of equipment - scales to weigh the dye, cups, measures, boiling water, pots, plastic, rubber gloves and anything else I think I might need.

Here is some crepe wool that I spent hours winding in a special way so I could have three columns of green - one light, one middle and one dark. Well that was the plan.
Gaywool dyes.
They produce nice colours and are safe to use with out industrial safety equipment.
I didn't get round to the red ones today... another time perhaps!
I bought some Earth Palette dyes, which are cold water dyes. No cooking required - you just leave the parcel in a warm spot for 24 hours. Be interesting to see how they come out.
Ok, so my strategic plan went down the drain.
I should have added the blue to a yellow base.. not a yellow to the blue base! (I ended up with more dye than I knew what to do with.)

So... umm.. yeah, this is what it looked like before I cooked it (it was too dark after cooking it for photos, but I'll get some in the new light of day)... it looks different after, mainly I think due to the uptake of the blue in the green.
I don't mind this colour green.

Here are a second lot of parcels waiting to go into the pot.
The top and bottom one didn't go into any mordant.

The first lot cooking in the pot.

Here is one of the many disasters I seemed to have today -
I thought using good quality plastic bags would work. Think again. I don't know why I thought Glad Wrap would melt when you can use the stuff for cooking, but I did. Well I'll share this secret, these bags melt very easily and the dye in them leeches.

Left over dye. You can really see the blue in these pots.One batch cooked.
Nice. I don't mind the colours. They're not like they started are they? Quite a bit of yellow in there.

The second lot in the pot.

All skeins have been washed now and the ones with out mordant really let out a lot of blue.
I might have to do a little over dyeing.

More photos later.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The best kind of donut

Another present for my friend - she loves pincushions!
A low fat, hip friendly, yummy pin cushion.
I love these, I have more cut out... to be completed soon!

A friend's birthday project

I made this cute little bag for a friend for her birthday.
I love the colour combination and I will make one for myself (when I find some spare time!!!).

It has a pocket that runs across one side and closes with a sort of 'Japanese knot' handle.

I've seen a few 'knot bag' inspired patterns and decided to have a go at my own.
This one is very triangular and has a little 'gusset' so that it sits on its own little bottom when you put it down.
This was a prototype of this pattern for me - I can see me making more! I might even make a deeper, longer version.
I hope she likes it.