Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chocolate shoes

First, the dyeing. I darkened these up a little

and did some tiny skeins of 5ply merino crepe. These are about 15 grams each.

The multi colored one is handpainted with "Aeroplane Jelly". hehehe. The brown semi-solid is imitation chocolate, and I have already used it all up for these:

I could take pictures of these tiny shoes all day! They are so cute. I heard my friend, Pam, had a daughter, and I immediately thought: "Oh, a girl! I can make some more tiny shoes!" I'm afraid I was planning dyeing and knitting through the rest of the church service (while knitting yellow mittens). hehehe. :D
This started out as worsted weight socks on 4mm needles: a two-at-once experiment, after being inspired by this bloke, who knit 7 pairs of socks at once, on one needle! But they're so soft, I started thinking they wouldn't last, so now they're going to become a not-socks birthday present. (Ssshh!)

It's Cameo from Bendigo Woollen mills. I don't think they sell it any more. I got this 200g ball in the bargain room for $7. :D

(disclaimer: I did not have my son's permission to photograph his feet with 'girl shoes' on. Sorry, Zachary. He he he.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Orchid Mint

This one will be self striping, because the skein was about 12m diameter ;D and it's only a minty green, what the Queens Food Coloring box calls "orchid" and a bit of white between.

Inspired by Jasmine's pyjamas! LOL!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Used 3 bottles of immitation chocolate (which are $1.12 and 50ml each) and 100g of white patonyle sock yarn. I tied the skein in a few spots so white specks would be left, dipped it into the pot slowly, and left a few white bits out until the end.
Did a few inches of Vivian sleeve yesterday, but today I've been doing another mitten; yellow for Jasmine :)

Monday, March 22, 2010


First, a pic of Jasmine wearing the meshy dress. It was short, more like a long top, and in the space it took me to have a shower, she'd caught and pulled three strands. Oh well. This is her saying, "DON'T! Go away!". I wonder if I'm taking too many photos of them. hehe.
Byron's hands in some little mittens. They fit well, with a bit of extra length, which is good for kids. The thumb stripes annoy me, though, but they'll be muddy and wrecked by the end of Winter, anyway. Lucky they only took about 20g of Luxury 4ply, which is worth about $1.40.

More mittens to come, but I'm in a Vivian mood, now, so progress pics on that might take a while.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


So far I've done pretty plain socks. For one with a pattern, this is a nice simple one. Easy to remember the pattern after a while; don't think I even looked at it for the whole second sock.
Don't you love it when they start grinning at you? And check out that boy's chins! He's 2 months old in 2 days, and when he gets weighed, I think he'll break the family record. hehe.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I love bargain sock wool!

This one was a long skein (I wrapped it around the couch, almost 5m around), dipped 3 times into red, blue and yellow, so they overlapped and made green, purple and orange. The color changes should be long enough for striped socks, I think.
Here I am making the 5m skein into a more manageable one.

Byron woke up at this stage, and despite my threats could not seem to keep himself away. In fact, I heard:
"You're doing a really good job with your wool, Mummy!"
"Your wool is pretty..."
"Your wool is nice. That's just amazing and nice!"
"You good knitting is cool knitting..."
...and so on, as he surreptitiously edged himself close enough to touch it again. LOL! "Thanks, Byron, now STOP TOUCHING IT!". hehehe.
I left two long loops to play with and made... um... a sock for a pen, I guess. heh. Maybe a bookmark :)

The bright colors made me feel pretty cheerful, but I think I'll have to make socks for Byron.
. Maybe. We'll see.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Brown Science

Last Friday (on my evening off) I was persuaded to spend money I didn't have on Sock Wool because it was on sale, from $17 to $7. I got all the white patonyle they had left: 400g.
Today I used up one of the four in the name of science...
...in search of a good BROWN. I soaked them all overnight, in a container of water with a splash of vinegar, a dash of salt and a smidgeon of dishwashing liquid. Then I put each into a different dye bath, but most got the same heat treatment (three lots of 1-2min in the microwave with a break between).

Here are the results (I won't show you the messy kitchen result, but you can probably imagine...):

My "findings": from left to right:
1. Cocoa: Winner of the BEST smelling dyebath. lol. It was nice and dark, but washed out heaps.
2. Tea: winner of the most "caramel"ish color. I used four tea bags in a cup of boiling water.
3. Twice-dyed food dye: Winner of the most disappointment for the most work. I first tried soy sauce, which washed right out. Then I dyed it with green food coloring (1.5ml in a cup) and heated, washed and dried it. Then I overdyed it with 1.5ml of Rose Pink. It looked like it was going to work... until the wash. Then it became a purple/green that I hate. :P
4. Food coloring: 1ml of green and 1ml of rose pink, mixed together. The green and pink separated out of the brown a bit, but in a bearable way. It exhausted the color, so I wonder if you could actually get solid brown if you just used a TONNE of it?
5. Coffee (the cheap stuff, not the nice Fair Trade stuff): Winner of the Microwave Mess award. Smelled almost as good as cocoa.
6. Cola (coloring 150D). Winner of the Ghost Brown award. Thought it was going to wash completely out, but it stopped fading at this nice pale color.
7. Queens Coffee Essence (coloring 150D): Slightly cooler color than real coffee, and didn't smell quite as nice. Same coloring agent as cola, but different result. Like the coffee, the color didn't exhaust.
8. Kiwi Kids scuff brown liquid Shoe Polish: winner of the Girly Pink award. Weird thing to try, perhaps, but it was fun squeezing it on. I used extra dishwashing detergent, because it was a bit waxy, and the only part of the color that really stayed was a musty brown/pink, which I actually like, though I'm not the Pink sort.
9. Queens Immitation Chocolate (coloring 155): WINNER!! It exhausted the dye bath down to a pale blue, and left the yarn a fantastic chocolate brown :D Can't tell you how pleased I was! I wondered if it was just the amount (as I'd put a whole 100ml bottle onto the 10g skein-lette) so I used the dregs to dye a tiny bit of leftover scrap...
10. It was paler (of course) but there was no color bleeding. Just white and pale brown! See:
A 100ml bottle cost me about $1.30, I think, so it might not necessarily be cheaper than a normal fibre dye. But I like the idea of a pale brown semisolid yarn, and now it might be doable. Woohoo!
Just one problem with the IC method: I washed it lots, and still didn't completely get out the chocolate smell... what a shame :D

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's next...?

Happy Birthday, Abigail Grace! These were a little present for my gorgeous niece who just turned TEN (I feel dizzy... no... OLD!)

They're basically "Bella"s, a popular mitten pattern on Ravelry, due to the fact that they're warm and nice and easy, plus they are an attempt to copy the mittens Bella wears in a Twilight scene. I made my own pattern because I wanted to knit top-downs so I could just knit until the ball of yarn was almost out. Each one is about 50g of Cleckheaton 12ply, soft and thick... and washable :)

I added the button-cable at the end, though, and this...
only on the right glove. Her mum tells me she opened the rest of her presents with the fingers of her right hand ;)
Next project:

Fargyles. Zachary is helping me from the convenience of a baby carrier. We were sitting in MacDonalds (as you might notice) and the kids were on the playground. We do this every now and then; a five-dollar meal between the three of us (bottle for Z) and a few hours of playground for them and knitting for me.
Got distracted and whipped up this one day. Nathan asked me to make him one in (boring) plain black. (He refused all the nicer colored and striped options). So I made myself one to show him what he's missing. lol.

A future project: I've watched "Flushed Away" twenty or thirty times now, as Byron has become obsessed with it. It is pretty watchable, though, and I'm starting to obsess about making Rita's sweater. Maybe for Jasmine's birthday... I've been annoying Byron today by pausing the movie to get detail-pics. LOL.

Looks like 3x2 ribbing with 7 ribs on the front (and back) and two under the arm, eyelet holes around the edges, 3/4 sleeves and it has stitches running up the side seams. Should be easy, if I can find this color. It has to be this color, of course. I have the perfect color, but not enough.
Today I cast on the second Fargyle and then decided to make all the kids mittens (in my phone cover yarn). I'm not even down to the first thumb gusset and I want to cast on something else... hehehe.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Not the right mitten

I don't have a lot of free time, and when I do I seem to waste it by falling asleep on the couch. So my Twilight Twilight Mitts were... never going to make it by the end of the Ravelympics, frankly. I realized this after spending an hour doing 2 rows (probably 4 rows, if you include all the tinking). It wasn't fun.
So I decided (as it's my hobby and I can do as I like) to throw in the TTM's for a bit and start something new. This is as far as I got before the torch went out, but it hardly matters; it's been quite fun to knit, and reasonably mindless, too.

I just wish I had started it earlier. Aparently it would have qualified me for:
cable cross-country
Designer biathlon
D original dance
D pattern skeleton
Holiday jump-start skiing
Junior olympics
mitten moguls
Stash compulsory dance.
Of course, if I wanted a pointlessly easy medal I'd have entered "Aerial unwind" :P
Here's another shot of Jasmine, wearing her 1st birthday present, which is finally starting to fit. It will probably fit her best when she's three!

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