Archive for i can haz cheap alternative plz?

Solo dye party!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 26, 2009 by wickedsharp

Decided it was beyond time to dye my white wool/nylon blend recycled sweater, so busted out the kniddy-knoddy and the Easter egg dyes my boss gave me. Had a brief “oh shit” moment when I realized we didn’t have any vinegar, but that was quickly remedied by a trip to Aldi (I’m not *always* to lazy to go to the store).

The initial plan was to mix up a brown dye and knit John a hat. Yeah… red + green = brown is all well and good, but I started with a blue base (left over from my previous dyeing project – the “Tweet” yarn -> Ravelry link) figuring if I mixed enough colors together I’d end up with brown. And then I couldn’t tell 100% percent what color tablet I was dropping into my jar of dye since I was mixing it all together in one jar (this was all while the yarn sat in a vinegar/water bath).

I ended up mixing up two different sets of dye. I thought I was happy with the first set (it looked to be a very very dark teal/green/grey or something). Figured it would be suitable-enough for John. For this one I think I used tablets for purple, either red or orange and green. Dumped it into the pot, stirred, and moved the hank around. Let it sit for a bit (maybe 5-10 minutes? Dunno, didn’t really think to look at the clock). At this point the yarn looked pretty awesome, though different than I expected. It was a dusky light pinkish purple with a few blotches of a dusky teal.

But I was still kind aiming for brown, so I made the second mix, that was definitely of red and orange, and dumped that into the pot, while holding the hank out (with a fork) and stirred. Let that sit. It ended up in the dye bath for maybe about an hour total (again, wasn’t too good at the checking of the time, so that’s a vague estimate).

The whole thing ended up kind of mediumish brown-purpleish, with small variations into very slightly more pinkish, areas of a slightly greyer color (where I had poured in the first dye mix), and a couple tiny patches of teal-ish, (mostly under my ties… note to self – tie looser!). I must say it’s some of the strangest looking yarn I’ve ever seen! I’m thinking of calling the colorway “Atomic Dusk” — it’s kind-of-almost dusky colored, but muddier and just slightly wtf.

Right before I ended up taking the first hank out, I added the second. I decided halfway through the dyeing of the first hank to make a matching/coordinating hank (since at this point I was positive it was going to come out a color John wouldn’t wear, so wanted more yarn so as to make myself something larger than a hat). Except… I forgot about dye exhaustion. The only color left in the pot was a very pale teal (and apparently a tiny bit of pink, as I discovered after rinsing the first hank and starting the second re-dyeing – it had a few little blotches of it). I was going to use all of the rest of my dye tablets, but then decided green (which was what the brownish looking tab was) and blue only would be better. Purposefully using the technique I accidentally used the first time, the blue dye went into the center of the pot and the green went around the outside, and I didn’t stir much, only enough to make sure the dye got into the still clear part of the water. Let it soak for about an hour, until the dye was just about exhausted (*again* forgot to note exact times, even after realizing I should have the first time through today).

The second hank is a bright green to blue variegation (much more green than blue, unfortunately) with the blue more towards the center of the hank, with some tiny patches of pink (see above) and some slightly larger patches of white (thanks to the ties again and the fact that the yarn wasn’t actually soaked before dyeing it *and* that I didn’t stir it much). This one will probably be called “Tipsy Mermaid” – had a couple of beers during the whole process, and the mermaid part was the obvious choice for a green-blue.

Aside from the general dyeing lessons I learned today, I definitely was taught to not have an exact color in mind, as it’s not going to come out like I expect until I’m *much* more experienced! And working with a blend makes that even more so.

And on a slightly different, but related, note, a friend’s girlfriend has some cotton dye I can probably have (not much, but still), so I might actually be able to dye some of these pale green cotton sometime in the foreseeable future! It would be nice to have market bags that weren’t all solid pale green. I’m maybe 1/2 – 2/3 through the first one and I’m already a bit sick of the color and I will probably have enough of this yarn left to make 3-4 more.

(And just for the record, I first typed this up while dyeing the second hank and while they were both drying, so I ended up having to change the descriptions of their colors numerous times. And the colors will probably change a little more before everything’s said and done. Just, you know, FYI.)

The making of a sooper-DIY niddy-noddy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 12, 2009 by wickedsharp

I realized a few days ago that I was in desperate need of a niddy-noddy. I have three whiteish sweaters from Goodwill, that I plan on dyeing, in various stages of reclaiming (one 100% wool, one 50% wool/50% acrylic, and one 50% wool/50% nylon — I should really look up the difference between acrylic and nylon…). The other balls of yarn that I have wound into hanks have been done around the back of a chair which, frankly, is a pain in my ass. It’s not terribly portable, I have to stand up to do it, and I’m lazy. The laziness really comes into play in the fact that I didn’t want to have to go to a hardware store to get PVC to make myself a niddy-noddy and I really don’t have the money to buy one. So I googled for DIY/homemade niddy-noddies and came across a blog post where someone had made one with wood from their backyard. “Hey! I’ve got some wood in *my* backyard (and the next-door backyard)”, I thought. And even though I have only the most rudimentary of woodworking skills I figured I’d give it a shot.

In John’s pile of firewood I found a straightish dead branch of a work-with-able width and next door I found another straightish piece of newly cut wood of a slightly thinner work-with-able width. Using a dull hand saw I cut them roughly to size and de-barked them (would that be the correct term? It sounds more like what a terrible person might do to their noisy dog :S ) with our totally awesome Bushman knife. (A little side note about the Bushman: the handle is hollow so you can use a suitably sized branch to make a spear, which we did at a cookout and I had a hilarious time attempting to throw it straight!)

Then came the sandpaper. And more sandpaper. And a little bit of a steel wool scouring thingy. And more sandpaper. And wood splintering. And more sandpaper.

My original plan was to use duct tape to put the pieces together. (Actually, my original original plan was to whittle the ends of the center piece to go into drilled holes in the crossbars, but my wood was just not the right sizes for that.) Sadly, no duct tape was to be found, and going to CVS to buy more would have been too much effort. Luckily, John’s an Eagle Scout and has mad lashing skillz. With said lashing skillz he put the pieces together.

And….. TA-DA! A sooper-DIY niddy-noddy!

The sooper-estimated size is a 60 inch hank (ie once around the thing). And the yarn pictured on it was my birthday gift to Hayley!