Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY dyeing wool yarn with food coloring

My first, second and probably last attempt at dye my own yarn!

I saw all the pretty colorful yarn dyed with food coloring and I wanted to give it a try.
If you are in the US, you can find everything you need to know about yarn dyeing on the website. (thanks Filitaly for the hint!)

In Italy, lots of these brands aren't available, and I wanted to make my yarn exactly that day, without waiting for an amazon delivery... So a trip to the supermarket later, I started to get busy (and quite messy). My local supermarket carries only one brand, and only four colors... so I had to try and make it work with what I had.

Inspiration comes from the wonderful yarn I saw on Filipbrat FB page.
One thing to remember: things won't go according to plans!
This is what I was aiming for: and this is what happened.

A closeup of the swatch made with my DIY yarn!

In the end, I was happy with the result, even if it is quite different from what I was looking for!

Because these food colors are really bright,
I started with a skein of light grey 4 ply merino wool.

preparation of the colors: I used: blue, red and green.
I added a splash of  blue to the red and green to get the purple and the teal shades.

folded the skein in three parts and placed into the glass jars with the dye,
as for the tutorial on la fiaba russa

The skein took about two days to dry.
I speeded up the process by hang onto the radiator for the last 5-6 hours.

This is how it looks once rolled on the cone and knitted!
I had fun, indeed.
But I will most likely not doing it again! Why?
Between colors, time, and a high chance of not getting what you're looking for, this project is a bit on the expensive side.
Not to mention that best results will happen while working with a small skein, rather than what I did: I had a thick 400 grams (almost a pound) skein to be able to complete a sweater.

Before that, I tried with some white yarn.
This yarn was given to me by the lady that sold me the knitting machine.
It a huge cone, and I didin't know the composition.
I followed the tutorial from artherapy .
.. and this is what happened.
Major Craft Fail! turned out... it was acrylic. The blue didn't stick to my yarn at all,
and all I got was a spotty dirty-white and pink yarn.
Pink isn't really my thing!

xox, d.
keep in touch! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

DIY MK multi-striped sweater

anatomy of a multi-striped sweater

After more than two decades (ugh... really??) without a knitting machine, it is time to get serious about making things.

When it's about knitting, there are two things that I like the most: cables and stripes.

So... for this sweater, I decided to go with stripes.

Stripes are a good stash-buster project. But not all stripes are created equal.
Since I'm going to wear this thing, it takes a little preparation to get things the right way.

First... look around. Designers are doing striped and multi-striped garments for as long as you can think. So chances are... you'll find plenty of inspiration.

my inspiration board on Polyvore
Once I had a 50 stitches x 50 rows sample ready with the yarn of my choice (3 threads of 2/28 : 2 are cachemire, and 1 merinos wool), I opened an Excel spreadsheet and adapted the width and length of my squares equal to the size of my stitches. 
Once I knew how many rows and how many stitches I needed for my sweater, I started to fill the rows in different colors, until I had my final design.
This is an easy way to keep your projects in your computer, for future reference.

To calculate the neckline, I used the same method.
...and then, just some arms workout!!

I love turtlenecks and funnel necks. (if the yarn is not itchy!!)
The yarn I'm using is so soft that I could be completely cocooned into it!
It's a very simple design: just a wide rectangle of full beds ribbing, where I started with a very tight tension, and after the first 30 rows I increased 0.1 tension every 10 rows: I knitted a total of 100 rows, then used some scrap yarn for few rows and sew the open stitches around the neckline.

xox, d.

keep in touch! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

inspiration: oh my ugly (sweater) Valentine

happy un-conventional Valentine's day!

In the past few days on my Facebook page, we were joking about Valentine's day with a lot of silly, witty, punny cards. (I know, "punny" isn't a word, but how would you describe something dense of puns?) 

I placed these sweaters on my polyvore and the fact that they got so popular tells me that I'm the not only one that feels "please-don't-take-me-to-dinner-tonight" kinda way!!

my board on Polyvore
there, you have it!!

because nothing say Happy Valentine's day like an ugly sweater can do!!!

xox, d.

keep in touch! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

alternate skull pattern

4th anniversary: Alexander McQueen

What a better way to remember him, if not with a skull pattern?

This is the pattern I made for my punch-card knitting machine, but can be used for hand knitting too.
I'm still learning, so this is a simple jacquard card, only on the first bed, So there are a lot of floats in the back.

With time... I'll learn to make better :)

xox, d.

keep in touch! 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

DIY: tubular machine knitting... and a knot pillow

knots pillow have gotten very popular in the DIY world...

Since I love knots in all forms, I decided to join the club and gave it a try too.
I had to practice using my knitting machine, and with the two beds machines, one of the first lessons on the manual is about how to knit in tubular.
I thought that doing the same thing over and over is actually the key to getting it right... right?

4 bights turk's head knot pillow: supplies

(but considering that I unraveled a big chunk at the end probably 3 would have been enough)

My pillow turned out  52cm x 52 cm // 20.5" x 20.5" 
It's large: it would be perfect as floor cushion (but I would scotch guarded in that case).

here's the result: a 6 meters (about 20 ft long) knitted tube

Edit 2/8/2015 : I'm taking down my tutorial after being asked by Ragnheidur Osp  (the designer also known as Umemi on Etsy)

Edit: 3/1/2014
Have you noticed how many times I mentioned "time consuming" in this DIY? 
From beginning to end, I worked about two days on it.
Not to mention that if you want a quality product, you'll end up spending quite some money on the yarn and filling.
This is where I wished I've found the Umemi Etsy store sooner... 

Notknot pillows @ Umemi on Etsy

xox, d.
keep in touch! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

everyday is Valentine's day /sweaters inspiration/

love is in the air... and maybe soon on a new sweater!

I bought the intarsia carriage for my knitting machine, and can't wait to try it !

Although prices range from extra splurging to very cheap, there's nothing like making something with your own hands (and lots os swearing, indeed).

my inspiration board on Polyvore

I'm devouring videos and tutorials on how to use this little intarsia carriage (it's not exactly the easiest thing out there) ... there's a lot of planning and precision involved.

So, for sure it won't be ready for Valentine's day, but I really don't care.
I'd probably wear a heart sweater any day EXCEPT Valentine's day anyway!

keep in touch! 

xox, d.

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