- August 29, 2016
- tags: dyeing
Last time I showed you a bit about how I dyed these, so this time it seems only fair to show you how they came out! Full disclosure, these are still a bit damp (and there is no way I care enough to iron them, that’s never going to happen), but this is a pretty accurate version of how they looked once they were washed (and washed and washed and washed) and dry.
Overall, I’m super pleased. It was a bit messy (my fingernails are still blue), and the process is a tiny bit smelly (best done outside). But the kit made it pretty idiot proof (and dyed a lot of fabric), and the napkins are huge and stood up to the dye (and the power washer) perfectly.
If I were going to do it again, I’d probably get a little bag of thiox (or a commenter on the last post suggested rit dye remover, which is probably easier to find at the craft store) so I could revive the dyebath after it got all churned up from having things go in and out. But even without that, it dyed 24 huge napkins and several shirts a lovely deep blue, and I totally feel like I got my money’s worth from the kit.
One more, just to show off, because I’m totally happy with it!
- August 26, 2016
- tags: dyeing
So on the Saturday after the book launch, I decided I deserved a little break, and signed up for an indigo class at a local fiber studio. I was super excited, and I’ve always been the advance prep sort, so I decided I’d snag some napkins and do a bit of work ahead of time.
I went, I dyed, and…eh. I don’t know if it was because I was tired from the launch or because it was hot or something else, but I wasn’t all that thrilled with the results. The color was super light, and the patterns were not distinct, and I just didn’t care for it. So I decided to fix it. I bought an indigo kit, dragged some buckets out of the garage, and got to work.
I tied up the napkins again (rubber bands people, you need lots and lots and lots of rubber bands) and tossed them in some water to soak.
I let it sit for a while (cough, overnight, but some lovely folks online have told me that was unnecessary and a few minutes would do just as well) then pulled everything to get some air (and watch the show as they went from green to blue in the space of a moment or two).
I did this for a total of four dip/air cycles. By that time, they’d stopped turning green when they went back in the dye, and the dye itself looked blue instead of green too, so I decided I’d likely gotten as much out of it as I could.
I hosed the ever living crap out of them while they were still bundled up (here’s where I say seriously nice things about having a pressure washer…forget cleaning the fence, this is much more fun), left them in the sun for a few hours to get mostly dry, then snipped the rubber bands. And that’s where we’ll pick up next time!
Folks often ask me how tall they should make their hats. And it always sort of strikes me as a funny question, sort of like saying ‘how long should I make the leg of my sock’ or ‘how deep should I make this cowl.’ I can tell you how long mine is, I can offer a suggestion or two, but the real answer is ‘however tall/long/deep you like it!’
The first one I ever came across was in Knitting Rules by none other than the Yarn Harlot herself. She says “the distance from the base of a person’s palm to the tip of the longest finger is equal to the height of a hat (for that particular person’s head) from cast-on edge (when placed just above the eyes) to the point where you begin decreasing (to shape the crown).”
I’ve found that works awfully well as a guideline if you want a fairly fitted hat (with no folded up brim) and you’re doing something like 8 decrease points with decreases every other row. If you’re doing something a bit more dramatic (I love to do more like 16 decrease points and decrease so fast the top of the hat goes sort of flat), you may want to do something more like ‘knit the hat until it’s a good inch taller than the person’s head from crown to base of ear, then start your decreases.’ But that means you need to know how tall someone’s head is. Luckily the lovely Woolly Wormhead had a handy chart that will help.
And of course, if you like your hats slouchy, you’re going to want even more height than that. So the ultimate truth is that you’re probably going to need to experiment a bit to find the perfect height for you. Luckily, I happen to know that 7 to 7.5 inches from the cast on gives me the perfect slightly slouchy hat for me (big head, lots of hair). But it’s totally worth experimenting to see what works for you!
The speckly hat has continued to grow. I’ll admit it can be hard to tell, because one row looks rather a lot like the last, but I assure you it is indeed taller.
The real question now is do I keep the lines going as they have been for the whole hat, or do I send them careening back the other way for the second half. I’m leaning slightly toward option one, but I think either would be adorable.
So, it’s been sort of all book all the time around here, but I have managed to grab the occasional spare moment and actually knit (not many mind you…but every now and then). There’s a hat underway.
It’s the simplest little thing ever (two row repeat, mostly stockinette, easy to pick up and bang out a row when you have a minute), which makes it the perfect thing for the craziness of launch week. All the interest comes from the yarn (Spun Right Round in the color Bug Jar), and I’m not actually sure I’d be up for anything more complicated at the moment!
And it’s the absolutely perfect project to break in my lovely new needles.
I’m a huge fan of long dpns (really long, 14 inches long). But they can be shockingly hard to find, and the wooden ones I ordered most recently have given me no end of problems. So I was absolutely delighted when a few folks on twitter pointed me to this etsy shop. They have long dpns (both metal and wood) in a whole host of sizes for astonishingly reasonable prices. Their customer service is great (I had a question about the needles and they helped me out right away) and the needles came quickly. I’m completely smitten with them and will totally be ordering more.