Monday, March 24, 2008

An Early Start for a Fall Shawl

A lovely Easter with family. What fun was having a Easter egg hunt for my grandaughter. Here's some pictures of her in action.

My workmates loved the Easter baskets! They were very fun to make. I saw too late a little chick to knit, also. Well perhaps, next year.

I am on Spring Break! Yea! More time for knitting, spinning and what ever else I want to do.

I have started a new shawl. At the last TKGA Knit and Crochet show I stopped at the Liza Souza booth and fell in love with the lovely soft yarn. Though a little pricey, I was looking for a yarn for a “fall” Shawl and found some Baby Alpaca/Silk blend fingering wt in Olive tones. I purchased 7.2 oz/750 yards of 70% Alpaca/30% Silk. Since then, I have been looking for the perfect shawl “fall” pattern and finally found it from listening to “Lime and Violet”. Available free was the Woodland Shawl, a rectangle shawl that says that one ball of sock yarn will make a whole shawl. One ball of sock yarn is roughly 500 yds and I had 750 yards. For a larger sized woman I was hoping that would be enough.

Soo….I cast on in Size 6 Addi turbos. The yarn just slides off my needles. I tried to change to Size 6 bamboos but found it too tight, so went back to the Addi turbos. After one pattern repeat, I weighed my yarn and figure I would have enough yarn for
about 14 pattern repeats. It was a wonderful, easy-to-follow lace pattern, with a nice pattern definition of a spade-looking leaf. The only problem was that one pattern repeat was only two inches long, which would make the shawl only 28 inches, and would barely fall across my shoulders. This would not do. Below is the results on size 6.

I asked myself….what if I reduced the number width wise and used larger needles?. I ripped it all out and restarted. Using Size 9 Knit picks Harmony needles, I cast on. After one pattern repeat, the stitches were more open, airy, less defined pattern, but it was 3 inches per pattern repeat and it stretched 4”, which would make it wearable at 56 inches long. This would definitely cover my arms and wrap around my body. The airyness should not matter, because Alpaca is very warm. This is my results on Size 9.

The thing that I really want to do this week is hand dye yarn and fiber. I have been slowly accumulating the materials I need. I’ve never dyed with Procion MX acid dyes before and am hoping to give it a try. Most people I have talked to said this type of dye gives the best results. The only thing is the precautions one has to take is somewhat daughnting. Nevertheless, I’ve got my mask and goggles and gloves ready. I have been planning this for months and wanted to wait until I have a day or two without distractions. I’m not sure I understand all the chemicals involved to fix the dye, to allow dye to saturate better, to neutralize the dye. I’ll try to figure it out as I go.
I want to dye different fibers……cotton, wool, & mohair. Tonight I will try to get the fiber/yarn ready in skeins. I will try to “dye” tomorrow. Let’s hope it not literal.

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