Friday, February 11, 2011

Yarn dying

I have finally managed some yarn dying this week. The above skein is 150gm of Naturally Sensation merino 8ply. I'm quite pleased with it, now that I have wound it up into skeins, but when I had originally finished I was discouraged.
I used food colours as I have done in the past, but I tried a new and quite interesting technique for setting the colour.
Solar heat, I did this by hand painting the yarn as you would for the steam setting technique and wrapping in clingfilm. But instead of steam setting I lay the skeins in a polystyrene box lined with reflective building paper (aluminum foil would work too) and put it outside in a sunny position and covered with a piece of glass and left it for a couple of days. This works even faster if you have hot sunny days like we have had lately.

The above (out of focus but was closest to colour) pic shows the largest batch I have experimented with 800gm of 10ply Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury yarn. I love this yarn, and it's really affordable, soft and quite hard wearing. I'm not the only one if you have a look at the many projects on Ravelry.
Now to decide which cardi to knit for winter. A few on my long list are Rosamund's cardi (not sure as this colour is so dark and the the cable details will be lost), Tea leaves, Juliette (8ply pattern) and Kerrera (I'm not sure there enough). Have a look at the links and tell me what you think?

This is the wonderful swift I bought off Julia last month with some xmas money my lovely Mum gave me. It's brilliant you can change the size of the skein and wind it up with ease, it's so much faster than put the skein on the back of a change and hand winding. If you check out her blog you can win one along with a whole lot of other lovely knitty goodies to help support a little girl called Hope who has cancer.
Hope Osborne is a little Wellington girl turning 4 in almost a week who was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago. Since then she's gone through countless painful and difficult procedures and earned 900 beads as a badge of her journey with child cancer. Please support her and her family in their time of need and head over to Juila's blog and donate.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ariane Dreams

In January I was lucky enough to test knit the Adriane Dreams pattern by Anne McCrea, she has done a wonderful job with designing this pattern. It has so many options, three different lace patterns for the skirt, four different lengths, heaps of edging options and sizes written for 8ply or 10ply. The sizes are a great range from 3months to 14-16yrs, so this is a very economical and well written pattern.

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern and the instructions were simple and easy to understand, especially for a beginner lace knitter like myself.

I used bamboo yarn which is great for summer but cotton or wool yarns would be suitable too, probably better, as bamboo doesn't have as much spring. The straps might stretch more with this yarn than wool or cotton. I can see this getting lots of wear over long sleeved tops in winter too.

At the beach

Wow we have had some scorcher days lately, getting up to 40 degrees. The best place to be is down at the beach. Everyone else around the country has been suffering too, what do you do to escape the heat?

Tessa just loved the beach checking out shells and bits of seaweed as we walked along down to the rocks. But the rock pools were even better, we found the smallest Hermit crabs and collected a few mussels. I wonder if Tess is a little unusual in that she love mussels at her age. Starting them young on different flavours and textures must be the way to go.

I can't believe this is my first post of the year, but then again it is summer holidays and everything grounds down to a halt here.

This week school went back, which wouldn't normally affect us. But this time I took Tess down to the local preschool for the first time and boy did she love it. From paint to playdough and the biggest sandpit out, she was in heaven. It made feel like I had been neglecting that stuff a little bit, but I guess she was ready to play with lots of kids her age more often. It's two mornings a week which suits a really well and only five minutes down the road. Normally we had to travel into town which is only 30mins, but does get a little too much more than a couple of days a week.