Saturday, December 30, 2006

Knitty goodness!

Blogger has not been my friend recently, but I am finally back after a long break! A quick post of the knitty goodness that came my way this Christmas - and soon to follow, some FOs!! Above is a couple of knitty presents I bought myself. There is something about Christmas, with all it's planning and perusing the internet for others, that makes me suddenly need to 'treat' myself.

On the left, some pure cashmere Alice in Tweedy colourway from the Posh Yarn sale a couple of weeks back. On the right another hat kit from Lilith - I couldn't resist - it had been staring at me all day of the latest craft market, and I vowed that if no-one had bought it by day's end, then it was fated to be mine.

Above - yes it is... the most beautiful wooden swift, and my Alice Tweedy cashmere being wound. From the boy, and oh how I love it! I think he does too, since he no longer has to take any part in my ball-winding.

My other knitty presents - an utterly georgous Namaste needle binder that fits all my circs, straights, darning needles, stitch markers, and other assorted knitty paraphanelia in a lovely organised case - thanks Mum!
An 'I heart Yarn' tee designed by the boy, Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann - totally fabulous - thanks sis! And Knitted Flowers by Nicky Epstein with lots of lovely ideas from the boy's parents.

Yay! I hope everyone else had a Happy Knitty Christmas too :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Food glorious shokuryou!

Again, not much knitty content although, contained within my Japanese Christmas homework, I have to learn the word for Yarn. Not a problem! The 3 characters to the right of the diagram are 'Ke', 'i' and 'to'. Keito - which means knitting wool, and also condemned person, prisoner according to this online dictionary ... hmm...

Japanese food we made last night at Japanese - the top is Futomaki [thick rolls of seaweed with rice and filling], and the bottom two are Aburage [tofu envelope thing with vingared rice inside - left] and Gunkan-maki [similar to the Futomaki except they are made individually with strips and 'filled', rice first - right]

It was my first ever try eating Japanese food, and all the better for the fact that the teacher was making 'proper' Japanese food. I have to say the rice was more sweet than I expected, and the whole thing was way more filling than I expected.

Still not sure I liked it, but I am prepared to open my mind [and probably close my eyes initially] so that I can experience Japan properly, and not spend my time there nursing English tea in Starbucks like a sap.

I was apprehensive in Singapore when I went a few years back and have never tasted food better anywhere since!

A lot of my food 'fusiness' stems from just about everything giving me migraines, and a fear that language barriers will cause misunderstandings that waste my precious Japan time in a hotel bedroom with a migraine.

And a more 'traditional' cooking experience - Christmas Fruit Cupcakes with Brandy and Christmassy spices, from Cupcakes Galore. I couldn't find crystallised fruits in Asda and so substituted sultanas, since it was blowing a gale outside, and I couldn't be bothered to trail Glasgow. It's been raining here for about 100 years *sigh*

These are delish, and definately got me in the Christmas spirit!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Don't Panic

Just tell me that there are others who plan to wrap half-finished WIPs with an IOU note as Christmas gifts and I'll be able to breathe better ...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Elizabeth Zimmerman

This weekend I have been so festive - I am waiting for brandy Christmas cupcakes to cool and decided to take this opportunity to blog.

It's blowing a gale outside, torrential rain and grey - perfect Sunday house weather. Whilst Christmas present shopping online I thought I should treat myself to Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac - a snip at £4.71! I was dubious at the rather dated looking patterns on the cover, and had it been more expensive I probably would have given it a miss.

I'm so glad that didn't - I would pay £20.00 for this book without pausing!

The patterns chat with you along the way, including comments such as; "Repeat these 2 rounds ... [and the sleeves will start] to creep over the body. But not fast enough you will say, and you are right."

This is my kind of pattern! The point where I start to doubt that I'm following the pattern correctly and start reading, and re-reading, part of an abbreviated pattern in a gradually louder and more frustrated exasperated tone. Where I consider ripping out and the room clears of cat and boy in nano-seconds - Elizabeth pops in a vital lifeline. It's OK, she says, I know it looks odd - trust me.

She tells us how to knit in the dark with a ballsy, easy-peasy air that gives me the confidence to believe in myself and my knitting skills.

Patterns full of words like 'about', 'however you like', 'whatever you're comfortable with'. Patterns with no needle sizes, or yarn brands, to be knit with the brand and needle size that I want and feel comfortable with.

She isn't pattern precious, she doesn't order it done her way or the highway. Elizabeth Zimmerman encourages, nay demands, that you rip apart her patterns to suit your taste and your style. And she gives you all the information to do exactly that, and armed with this knowledge my confidence grows in myself. Her patterns become timeless, because they can be updated to whatever is the current trend.

Such that the Bella cardigan I knat earlier in the year was re-designed in my head last night with a more flattering fit. It has lain dormant in a bag since I tried in on ... I looked like a pear, with an army-green Ready-Brek kid outline.

She is a gauge square advocate - however she shows us nifty little tricks to save wasted knitting. Gauge squares that turn into hats, caps, the sleeve beginnings, depending on whether they end up bigger or smaller than the intended size.

Buy her books! I'm a convert!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cool knitty things...

Not an awful lot to write about as the WIPs are top secret. I will say this though; post-it notes don't have enough stick and now I've lost my place in a lace pattern and am sad.

And also this; Noro is beautiful - I have only ever used it for armwarmers or hats though, and have discovered that joining Noro 'seamlessly' involves lots of cutting of yarn and teeny tiny balls....

Perhaps I can use them to make a rug similar to the one pictured below, on Both Textile Constructions. Found by the boy, the rug (they also make bags and cushions) is constructed using felt balls all stitched together. Me - I would have had the patience to make perhaps a necklace at most. An entire rug though?! It is very pretty though,and the bags are cool too. I imagine quite sturdy.

The mural above is from this guy - also found by the boy. I'm not sure that the boy actually does 'work', rather just surfs the web for YouTube videos of stupid people blowing up petrol stations and the like. But he does stumble across some knitty gems in his travels!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Teami Daisuki

Teami Daisuki
Teh-ah-mee -> hand knitting
Dah-e-suk-e -> like very much
I like hand knitting very much!

I have been going to Japanese lessons with the boy for the past couple of months as we are planning a trip next year.

Obviously I am getting my priorities right and trying to locate the biggest and best craft and yarn shops in Japan. Our sensei doesn't seem to be touching knitting at all so far ... maybe next week.

In the meantime, the latest Interweave Knits magazine (Winter 2006) I ordered last week arrived containing a fantastic article by Amy Singer ( editor) It explained that Japanese knitting patterns basically follow a chart - which I am familiar with now. I'm working on a secret WIP using a chart.

The only problem is that Japanese patterns tend to use Kanji. There are 3 types of character sets in Japanese - I have got Hiragana, and Katakana is the same 'alphabet' but with different characters.

Hiragana and Katakana follow a kind of alphabet - there is a symbol for sounds such as a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, na, ni, nu, ne, no etc. - With a few exceptions this is pretty much it. So wherever we see Hiragana (and soon Katakana once we learn it) we will be able to 'say' the characters and then be able to look them up the Japanese-English dictionary that will be no doubt superglued to our persons for this trip!

Kanji however ... well that's a whole other ball game entirely. And there are thousands of these characters. Japanese words tend to be a of mix Kanji and the Kana (Hiragana and Katakana). Therefore, we could maybe transliterate 3/4 of a word and there will be a Kanji symbol somewhere that throws a spanner in the works. No looking that up in a dictionary.

And Japanese knitting patterns are no exception, until .... ta-da! The Basics of Japanese Knitting website! I'm so relieved! I might not be able to deal with a menu, but as long as I can deal with a yarn ball band I'm happy!

If you look at the site the characters for wool - there are two entries for wool. The first has Katakana characters and the second has Kanji characters. *gulp* English wool is written entirely in Kanji, whereas Shetland Wool is written in Katakana. Why? I'm not altogether sure at this stage - maybe Japanese Stage 2 I will understand better.

There was also a fab guide to shopping on Amazon Japan - woo!

Sayonara for now!

edit: I forgot to mention - during the break in the Japanese evening class a woman across the room got out her knitting! I was so excited and wished I'd brought mine. Too shy to go over and talk to her though!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thug knitting

It's the weekend - and to celebrate I ordered the latest Interweave Knits from Angel Yarns. I was in there buying Addi Turbo metal straights to try out and felt I should make the postal charges worthwhile ...

That is if I don't receive a sodden magazine. I checked the
Royal Mail's complaints page after last weekend's sodden yarn parcel. Their complaints page basically says tough pants stupid sucker we so sorry to you valuable customer!

In the course of my work I occasionally very rarely come across an official publication of interest to me. It was the publication of the
Responses to a consultation on a Review of the British Wool Marketing Board. If you are interested take a look, there are some interesting points made.

Supporting local industry is important for Scotland in my opinion. I'd rather spend more and support local industry, than buy cheap and support corporations. Unavoidable in today's society, but every little helps in my opinion.

The boy sent me this. I love Banksy's work, and now he has illustrated knitters! Yay! I like it because although (as many non-knitters stereotype) it is older women knitting, they are rocking!

And that's about me for this post, except for this;
On the way home last night, dark, raining, stuck in nose-to-tail gridlock commuter traffic next to the railway line. My mind full of the myriad things needed to accomplish before saturdays stall, Christmas knitting, Japanese lessons, work stress etc. etc. I saw what looked to be the car wash building on fire - huge enormous plumes of smoke billowing into the sky.

... and then a slow-moving steam train chugged into view. A steam train! I don't know that I've ever seen one before - it had such a huge amount of smoke billowing forth and looking into the windows there were those little rooms for people to sit in.

It made me feel better about everything whirring around my mind, and made me realise that it's OK if I don't get everything finished - slow down...

(Only 3 hours and 15 minutes til I can knit again)

Monday, November 13, 2006

An FO!

The Hat-Shaped Hat! It is indeed hat-shaped! Or head-shaped... anyways - I'm particularly pleased with the top - it's exactly the icicly-snowy vision I had in mind. (See below post for pre-knitted up hat kit.)

And below ... yet more magazines [since this picture was taken I bought Simply Knitting... - I have a problem and I admit it. I, Elaine, am addicted to buying knitting magazines and cannot stop. There! I said it!

... and in other knitting news ... the project with the prettiest yarn that I cannot speak of is hard going well. Thanks to Rosie and my granny for their help explaining what happens when 2 strands of DK are knit together - chunky yarn. Too thick for what I have in mind, and so it is being knit in DK after all.

About 2 inches into it and I realised that the emergency metal needles [circa 1960s probably] that I had impatiently grabbed to cast on were leaving black marks on the prettiest yarn! Gah!

Bamboo needles and take 2.

The Harry Potter hoodie has been put down due to mystery project and also a sisterly request for a scarf for Christmas. Whilst I stated that I would never knit for a non-knitter again, my sister has lovingly worn the Noro hat I knitted her last Christmas and has shown the appropriate amount of gratitude to receive more knitted gifts.

(The boy is also not included as he is there with me every expletive step of the way and appreciates my efforts.)

My granny has recently joined the internet revolution and so I will state publically an enormous thank you! for the black out-sized cable-knit cardi that I desired a few years back in my 'gothy' student phase. It must have been a nightmare to see the cables in the black yarn, and as a non-knitter at that time there is no way I showed an appropriate appreciation for the efforts put in. I love it and still wear it! AND now I know how to wash it safely :-)

Hat-shaped Hats

I got my delicious hat kit - made to order by Lilith and some extra yarn. See above for finished hat. I love it - such pretty packaging! Look what happened to my extra yarn though! Standing outside in the pouring rain, pacing and waiting for my driving lesson and the Postie man arrives...

With a sodden packet, delivered exactly as photographed! I screeched 'Aah! My yarn!' in his face ... which made him think I was a raving lunatic and he turned on his heel; "sorry hen" drifting over his shoulders! *humpf* I didn't have time to pursue the matter as my driving instructor arrived.

I'm still uncertain about whether to tell the Post Office. I mean it was torrential ... and the yarn was OK once it dried. Still ... we should be able to write 'contains yarn' on a parcel and it should be assigned to 'Yarn delivery' which would involve arriving in a waterproof backpack worn by a fluffy tame alpaca.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Weekend

Me and the boy were at Loch Lomond this weekend so not much knitting content.

I bought some stunning yarn online that I can neither photograph, nor rave about as the intended recipient is a reader of my blog.

I do have a couple of questions though - if a DK yarn is doubled up is it then an aran weight? If the suggested needle size is 3.75 for the DK is there a formula for knowing what the suggested needle size of 2 strands of DK? Or do I need to gauge and stop trying to find the lazy route out?

So I did do a bit of ballwinding as it arrived in 3 skeins - 350 yards per skein! I really really need a swift [hint hint!] as, although my ball winder has been described by a member of Glasgow Stitch n Bitch as the 'Rolls Royce of ballwinders', it is still sometimes hard going.

The problem is that a device such as a ball winder makes me want to go fast, but sitting with an opened out skein on my knees and winding from there forces a slow progress. Any attempt at speeding up results in the start of a tangle - especially with the fibre blend of this particular yarn for some reason!

It's hard going - the tangling of yarn, the slowness of winding, and the precarious-ness of the opened out skein on my knees, combined with a cat getting ready to pounce on my knees ... All of these make me want to grab the yarn and yank at the tangle, boot the cat and scream a murderous rage ... and yet I must sit there still, breathing deeply and calm myself. To do anything else will only worsen the situation.

And the closer I get to the end [as with nearing the final rows of a project] the faster I begin to wind - the tangling begins ... reign it in ... Slow down... 1 skein down, 2 to go.

No baking this week but a homemade cake none-the-less. This is a cherry cake from the Farmer's Market at Loch Lomond - we also got some Aberdeen Angus Beef burgers [Well Bred, Well Fed and Well Hung according to the logo!] and some Salmon.

Having a stall of my own has made me realise the importance of buying locally and supporting the community.

A view from the edge of the Farmer's Market, next to the Loch Lomond Aquarium [picture above of some jelly fish]. The Aquarium was fantastic - especially the otters. There's Mona, Rona and Shona [mum and 2 babes]. I was pretty indifferent to otters before - the boy once took me to the otter viewing park in Skye - over an hour in a chilly hut watching waves ... no otter was sighted and I took it personally.

Seeing them romp about up close and personal was amazing - they're so cute! Like wet kittens - they can open monkey nuts with their bare hands too.

The aquarium itself was one of the best I've been to - the displays, colour and lighting had all been so carefully thought out to give maximum impact. The Finding Nemo Kingdom was brilliant and there was a baby sting ray in with the sea horses - only born the day previous.

And that was my weekend. A day off yesterday to work on crafty stall stuff means my post is a day late.

Monday, October 30, 2006

30th October 2006

I have to think of more imaginative titles for my posts...
OK: 'I heart Yarn, I heart Yarn Magazines, and I heart knitting' will be the title of this post.

I had a lovely Stitch n Bitch meet yesterday. One of the members brought in a magazine called "Knit n Style". It contained an article called 'Mindless Knitting' about using knitting as a form of meditation. Now I've long been telling my doctor that knitting is a form of stress-relief for me. Whilst she agrees to an extent, she argues that yoga or meditation would be more effective as knitting is still engaging my mind and hands. Therefore it is not allowing me a total 'relaxation' - which I clearly need as I am 'highly-strung' to say the least!

I believe that knitting can induce a meditating effect - once I get into it I can start to drift and become lost in a zen-like state brought about by the repetitive action of knitting.

However, I never really thought about the projects I knit. Under the Hoodie for example - whilst being a stocking stitch hoodie - cannot induce a zen-like meditative state because I must remember not to knit too far, to remember the increases every 6 rows etc. etc.

What I need to do is have a project that is knit in the round with purl stitches - my favourite stitch. Perhaps with a thinner yarn, like the Artesano Alpaca that's been in my stash forever. Then whenever I feel the need to de-stress [those that know me will know that this is very often at the moment!] I can pick this project up and use it to unwind.

No iPods, no TV, no boy - just me in my craft room purling myself calm.

I can't find the magazine anywhere so far - I had hoped that Borders would still have some copies - but none left. If anyone has access to this article (or knows where I can get a copy) I would really appreciate a photocopy of it! I just got a quick read at the meet, and it wasn't really the place to totally absorb all the info.

On another note - following Threadless dropping his design - the boy has decided to join the ranks of the indie craftsters and has his own shop - selling 'I heart Yarn' totes, messengers, hoodies etc. We are thinking of buying 3-4 of the totes and selling them at the next Miso Funky market too!

This is what happened when I fell into Borders after Sundays meet looking for "Knit n Style" ... I've been wanting to get a copy of Bust forever and always seem to miss the window that Borders stock it for - but this time I struck gold! A brilliant magazine aimed at actual women, normal women. Including features like how to make an apron, how to gore up with make-up, lots and lots of indie adverts for Christmas shopping ideas and a "Ask Aunt Betty" for 'bedroom' advice that made me blush!

And hiding behind it, my favourite knitting magazine - Vogue Knitting International - yay! Haven't read through this properly but it contains the usual mountain of patterns to add to the 'in the queue' pile.

I don't even bother to update that portion of my sidebar anymore - there are so many works in the queue that it exceeds my life expectancy already!

Under the Hoodie continues - I am now onto the sleeves. I'm knitting both sleeves at the same time to avoid second-sleeve sydrome [a sister of second sock syndrome] and to ensure an exact match.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday 26th

I received my copy of Yarn Forward this week. The good: Good articles and the best idea for a needle holder that I've seen - sew a strip of rufflette from a curtain to the inside of the fabric and pop the needles in there! Genius!

They give 3 yarn substitutes for each pattern "Cheap and Cheerful (under £5 per 100g)", "Mid-range (bet. £5-£10 per 100g)" and "Spoil Yourself (over £10 per 100g)" which is a fantastic idea!

Some interesting patterns, although nothing that took my fancy at the moment. I'm having a down-sock time but I think that the sock patterns could appeal later.

The down points were a bad choice of typeface and layout which could impact negatively on anyone with visual difficulties and also some image issues.

There were many photos of the patterns from all angles, which is exactly what us knitters need! However many of the photos were stretched and looked odd, making it difficult to see the pattern in some cases.

The shiny paper chosen gave the magazine a 'tabloid freebie magazine' feel. I'm guessing that this is not the image that the magazine is aiming for and a matt paper would have been a better (although undoubtedly more expensive) choice.

These however, are picky points on a fantastic start for this magazine! I can't wait to see where it goes and will be buying more copies.

Progress on Under the Hoodie from Stitch n Bitch [I have temporarily dropped Central Park Hoodie]. The front is done! I love the look of the overlapping neck although the pattern instructions had myself and some of the Glasgow Stitch n Bitchers scratching our heads.

"With RS facing ... cont across row, pu 24 more sts by knitting into the purl bump of sts already worked along right front neckline ..." pu = pick up

We eventually decided that the instructions meant to pick up the stitches straight along the row (parallel to coloured chest stripe] for anyone doing this project. The "along the right front neckline" bit caused the confusion ...

Onwards and upwards to the hood and sleeves!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday 21st Oct

I had a lovely knitty day today! I got the wristwarmers above from K1 Yarns' charity stall at the Miso Funky market. An absolute bargain at £5 - I love them! The proceeds went to Childline.

I also made some decent progress on Under the Hoodie (from the Stitch n Bitch book), getting up to the neck shaping and beyond.

And I managed to score some Angora yarn from the K1 Yarns stall - 7 skeins for £3.50!! Wooooo!

I placed an order with Lilith for one of her fabby hat kits - ice'y/winter blue merino and grey undyed and snowflake charms. I can't wait, and will blog it once it is done.

Great day! Am floating on a knitty cloud :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Long time...

It's been a wee while since I last blogged ... The start of semester really takes it out of me, especially this year due to a temporary promotion to desk supervisor. I'm getting migraines more frequently and falling asleep on the couch at frankly ridiculously early times!

I've also been busy seeing a friend from Melbourne (originally Glasgow) and learning Japanese in preparation for next years Japanese yarn/craft fest holiday...

Above is Hot Fudge Sundae from Cupcakes Galore - it has ice cream on top and home-made hot fudge sundae sauce dribbling down it - mmm! It was a fairly easy recipe this time [no more stir in bowl over boiling pan of water nonsense!] with an unusual addition of crushed salted peanuts. The boy likes these - I think it would taste better without any nuts.

But, unlike with knitting, I fear deviating from the recipe even a tiny bit as I am still very much in novice stages.

Below [sticking firmly to the pattern] is my progress on Under the Hoodie from Stitch n Bitch. I've finished the pocket! It was a total nightmare that nearly reduced me to tears & gave me a migraine breeze. Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tuesday 3rd Oct

WIPs here, WIPs there.
A row here, a row there.
Everything's plodding on - nothing's reached a blogworthy stage at the moment.

Instead I'm posting about a t-shirt that the brilliant boy has designed - see below - tis fabulous isn't it?

He designed it for a site called Threadless which is like a giant t-shirt competition that anyone can submit designs for. People vote and, based on this, some tshirts get printed up by Threadless and sold from the site.

So if you would like to see the boy's design being printed by Threadless then please join and vote! It has to get quite a high score in the first 24 hours to remain up for the full seven days, so if you like it spread the word amongst knitters :)
[To vote click the box below]

I would love for the boy to get the recognition for this excellent design - plus I really want one! I thought about doing it with the iron-on transfer sheet thingys but I'd much prefer a professional printed tee.

My Submission

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Kool-Aid Dyeing the Microwave Way Pt. 1

I spent the Holiday Monday dyeing some yarn that I've meaning to do for ages with Kool-Aid, for the Urban Mittens - so I decided why not take pics of my progress and do a tutorial-type post.

By the way Kool-aid isn't available in the UK [probably due to all the mean chemicals] but if you have an American friend they should be able to send you some.

(Also - this tute is in 4 posts as Blogger would never let me upload so many pics into one post - plus they would be out of order)

1. The yarn - I'm using Jaeger Matchmaker Merino Aran in Cream. It's a discontinued yarn, but any animal-based yarn will dye. Acrylic won't dye, but acrylic-blends might produce some interesting results ... I found that merino makes a much more vibrant 'glossy' yarn - Coarser 100% wool tends to make a more matt result.

2. Prepping the yarn - I halved the balls into 25g each - the microwave is better for smaller batches of dyeing. I used a bookshelf to wrap the yarn around and left the ball end in the kitchen scales while I wrapped until it read 25g, then I snipped and wound the rest!

It's very therapeutic sitting on the floor wrapping wool around a shelf clamped between your knees! I developed an interesting rocking motion that felt quite meditative (but probably didn't look that way!).

Then I tied the tops and placed them in a basin of warm-hot water for at least 20 minutes - during which time you can begin preparing the Kool-Aid!

Kool-Aid Dyeing Pt. 2

3. Preparing the Kool-Aid - some websites are very exact about this, but honestly - if you put a little too much vinegar, water, Kool-Aid etc it's still going to be OK!

I put 2 Kool-Aids in a pint glass and used a smaller glass (maybe third of the size of a pint glass) to add 1/3 glass of white vinegar and 1 full glass of warm water to the pint glass. This would make vibrant 'hot' shades.

If you wanted a more pastel effect I would go with 1 Kool-Aid packet to the same vinegar/water mix.

If you want the same vibrancy but a lighter tone than dilute with futher water and a splash more vinegar.

Some websites state there being no need for vinegar as the Kool-Aid has acid in it. As I can find no definitive answer, I figure that adding vinegar when it maybe wasn't necessary is less of a catastrophe than not adding vinegar and having the dye all run out in the first handwash as it hasn't set right... Experiment! See what happens!

4. Painting the yarn. Lay the yarn in a mocrowave friendly dish and pour the glasses of dye over it (or use a baster-type implement for more precision) I just poured - the dye tends to 'stick' straight away to the yarn, so there is little running of colours (unless you shuggle the dish or something).

Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the colour in, and pour more on if necessary. The image above (plus the top image) are to give an idea of how much to pour in - until the yarn is soaking and still sticking out of the water a wee bit. I don't know how clear my pics are in illustrating this though.

5. Dye me! Cover with cling film and pierce with a fork a few times. Bung in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and lift cling film (be careful - extremely hot steam escapes) if water is clear when you move the yarn with the wooden spoon then you are done! If not then let it sit for 2 minutes and cover and put back in for 2 minutes. Repeat until done.

Some websites say this process takes about 8 minutes, but mine was 2-4 minutes of microwave zapping - I have an 800W microwave.

If you take it out after 2 minutes and see bits where the dye hasn't taken very well then just pour more dye on and bung it in again! (This method is for variegated yarn dyeing only)

Kool-Aid dyeing Pt. 3

Figure A

Figure B

Figure C

So Blogger is totally not playing with the order of the pics ...

6. Out of the microwave (Figure C) - once the water is clear tip it into the sink and leave to cool whilst dyeing the next lot. Once the next lot is ready the 'sink yarn' should be cool enough to pick up and place on a plastic bag around the edge of the sink.

The reason for this method is to prevent felting - all the instructions I read talked about rinsing yarn in water the same temperature as the yarn. I have taps that run cold for a bit, then go roasting, then warm ... too many temperature variations could cause felting. I decided that cooling the yarn off then rinsing it in cool/lukewarm water in a basin was the safest way to go.

If you can get a consistent temperature then put the yarn in the sink and rinse by running the (same temperature as the yarn) tap water down the side of the sink and through the yarn. Don't allow the water to run directly on the yarn in case of felting.

PS - don't use ASDA bags because the ink transfers onto the sink surface and it'll take ages to scrub the writing off the sink and side!

7. (Figure A) ... finish scrubbing ASDA transfer off sink and lay yarn on draining board to rinse. Rinse in cool water (check yarn is cold to touch) - you could wash yarn at this point too.

I'm going to knit it up then wash it before blocking - the lazy knitter route!

8. Dry (Figure B) Hang out on the line to dry in the sun - or if you live in Glasgow (where it never stops bloody raining) hang on a drying frame indoors with a towel underneath. Mine took about 48 hours to dry.

Kool-Aid Dyeing Pt. 4

Et Voila!
"Oh I love my ball winder,
my ball winder,
my ball winder.

Oh I love my ball winder,
It is utterly great!"

That's my little song cos there's not much else to say in this final post, except to look at the Kool-Aid dyed loveliness and try and resist starting another WIP until I get the current mountain of WIPs at least a little bit under control.

To make me feel better - are there any readers out there who have a bigger WIP progress bar than me? Or am I utterly lacking in the ability to finish anything?

I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed making this little tutorial :)