yarn project

Remember that dyeing project I was working on a few weeks ago? I decided that the skeins still looked too blue and after a few days of thinking about it, over-dyed them again- this time the full immersion way, in a pot on the stove- more Cushing Aqualon yellow (a sort of greenish yellow).

knit swatch

This swatch is knitted from the center of the skein. The outside yarn is much greener then the inside yarn, so hopefully the knitting would get progressively more green as I went along. I’d like to make a cardigan with this yarn… I am pleased with how it came out.

My softie knitty kitty

Here he is-

Knitkat

and now ready for winter…

knitkat2

He is 12 inches tall.

I am making another one and trying to write down the pattern. I’ve got the head and torso done, but it isn’t coming out at all the same – :-)
Pretty soon I’ll have a whole litter of kittens because I want to make a mohair one and a black one, a long skinny one and on and on! Sooner or later I might get a pattern written down and working.

cat softies

Loobylu has a Month of Softies project that anyone can join in on. This months theme is vintage catwalk. I have been thinking about participating this month.

Over the years I have done a lot of “cat art”(?)…
on hats-

cat hat

sweaters-

cat sweaters

pottery-

cat bowl

I am going to try to knit a kitty- knitted stuffed animals always have a vintage look in my eyes.

knit cat

I was really pleased to find this image-

jazz cat

in Meggiecat’s blog… which I found through In a Minute Ago- a treasure trove of valuable links and information! The blue sweater is excellent!

other projects slowly chugging along…

manndolls

I’ve done a little bit of work on these- Gesso is done- 2 coats, sanded. The base coat of skin tone is on the arms and heads. I can’t do the legs until I costume them. Since the socks and shoes are painted on, I have to wait to see what they are wearing.
I found a new place to hang them while the paint is drying- from clips on the side of my ironing board!

dolls drying

I have also managed to get my act together enough to work on something for Marta’s Tsunami Quilt Project.

tsunami

Usually, when I read about a project like this, I have very good intentions to get involved, but somehow, when I get up to my studio, it flies right out of my head. I am trying to be better. This is probably also a better time of year for me to try some of these group endeavors. Here is my start-

tsunamisquare

more fun with dyes

Well, I’d already started my experiments in the basement… just because the hair project wasn’t going well, no need to abandon my mess! I mixed up 5 more small batches of the colors to see what they looked like on white wool yarn. I also had some blue yarn that I was thinking about over-dyeing…

yarn

so I tried some bits of that also. After my tests were done, I was left with 5 jars that had about one and a half inches of dye in them. What the heck- the ball of blue yarn was sitting right there. I wet it thoroughly and stuffed it into one of the jars- aqualon yellow.

step 1

I put it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. The yarn soaked up all the color- the water was clear. Then I pulled the yarn out of the jar, turned it over and stuck it into another batch of dye- this one was bronze. Again, 2 minutes in the microwave. The result was good enough that I did the rest of the skeins (total 7).
These are the samples I dyed and the first overdyed skein-

stuff

Here is half way done-

half dyed

and here they are, wet-

skeins

They are a bit too blue still. When they are dry, I will decide if I want to give them one more dye bath. I will probably knit up a swatch first though, just to see what it looks like. This is really fun- who knows how much of the ugly yarn up in my attic I can rescue!

experiments with dye

basement

Lots of projects going on in the basement these days. Check out what Eleanor’s been working on.
This morning I’ve been working on my dye project. I started with 5 Cushing colors. Mixed up small batches- powdered dye, add boiling water, splash of vinegar. Let cool for 5 minutes or so. Add wetted and slightly soapy samples. I tried 3 samples in each jar- 2 furs and some wool yarn. I let them sit in the jars for about 45 minutes. Rinse in cool water. This is what I’ve got-

dye samples

They are still wet, but this is my observation so far. The yarn all came out beautifully. The furs… well, not so great. The pearl lamb was the worst. It is a very washed out, greyish version of any of the colors. Actually, looking closer, I can see that none of the furs dyed well close to the skin. The longer the hair, the better they look because more of the hair picked up the color. I would have to say that this first batch was not a success.
The other question is how they will dry- will the back (leather part) get wrinkled or hard. I’ll report on that later, but I might not know for several days.

what’s next…

samples

I need to do some work to figure out how to dye the fur plates I bought for doll hair. I have enough – they come 2 feet x 4 ft-so I can experiment. I have cut up a bunch of samples. I will try Cushing Dyes first. I bought a bunch of dye packets in the colors that might be like hair. I haven’t been able to find any real information on the best way to do this… the only other time I tried to dye some tibetan lamb, the leather part turned into rock and the only way I could use the wool was to cut it off. I know that I can’t use hot water. I am concerned about color-fastness. Lots of the dyes people suggest on doll sites, such as Kool-aid or Rit, are not likely to keep their color. Messy work ahead.

My other project is to clean some of the stuff out of my workspace. Get rid of the books I don’t need anymore, clean out some of the supplies I’ll never use again. I am filling up a bag of stuff for Eleanor to bring back to school for her puppetry class. Another bag of fabric scraps will go to a local elementary school. I’m thinking of having a “yard sale” link on here…

what’s next…

samples

I need to do some work to figure out how to dye the fur plates I bought for doll hair. I have enough – they come 2 feet x 4 ft-so I can experiment. I have cut up a bunch of samples. I will try Cushing Dyes first. I bought a bunch of dye packets in the colors that might be like hair. I haven’t been able to find any real information on the best way to do this… the only other time I tried to dye some tibetan lamb, the leather part turned into rock and the only way I could use the wool was to cut it off. I know that I can’t use hot water. I am concerned about color-fastness. Lots of the dyes people suggest on doll sites, such as Kool-aid or Rit, are not likely to keep their color. Messy work ahead.

My other project is to clean some of the stuff out of my workspace. Get rid of the books I don’t need anymore, clean out some of the supplies I’ll never use again. I am filling up a bag of stuff for Eleanor to bring back to school for her puppetry class. Another bag of fabric scraps will go to a local elementary school. I’m thinking of having a “yard sale” link on here…