June 26, 2014

Physically Exhausted, Beyond Creatively Inspired!

I think the title pretty much sums it up! I am so exhausted from the AWESOME course yesterday! I attended the Freeform Dyeing Course from Olds College  It was so much fun and beyond inspiring! I learned so many new techniques and an overall new way of thinking about dyeing yarn. Our teacher, Caroline Summerfeld, was the best. She was extremely informative and had hilarious stories of why certain thing just shouldn't be done during the dyeing process :-) Her trial and error stories were inspiring and hilarious! She's the kind of teacher I enjoy. Direct, informative, funny, talented and lackadaisy (dyeing wise). It was totally worth the money for this course.

Caroline and her husband are the owners of Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts and I had time to peruse their booth at the market during lunch. It was fabulous! I fell in love with her roving braids!



There were so many great vendors at the market. Like this wonderful booth. Spring Harvet Farm had so many beautiful locks of Mohair. I fell in love with them (as well) :-) I took her card since I have full intentions of buying some mohair from her in the near future. She let me know that she doesn't update her website often since she's so busy on the farm but if I sent her an email, she can put an order together for me. Which I'm totally ok with. If I had a bunch of Angora Goats on a farm I would be out with them most of the time too :-)



Alright, I may have gone a little crazy in this booth. I won a $20 gift certificate to the market from Olds College and I spent it all in the Legacy Studio booth. Plus a little more.



I just couldn't help myself. Look at all this fiber!!



I ended up buying all of the marbled roving! I originally found the 200g bag of Oatmeal BFL and instantly fell in love. Then the owner showed me the 100g bags of Merino in Gunsmoke and I was toast. So I bought the last 3 bags ;-)



Alright, now to show off the skeins I dyed. 



This skein is dyed using the crock pot method. This was pretty fun :-) You basically put your water in, your vinegar, then your skein, add your dyes and let it cook until it's exhausted. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen this photo on Wednesday:



I was in a group with 2 other sweet ladies and we had fun. We added our first layer of color first, let it cook for an hour, then when we came back it looked like this :-) The bath was exhausted so we turned the skeins and added what dye we wanted to our skeins :-)



I hand dyed this skein. I don't like it. Since I use different dyes for my dyeing at home I wanted to try out the brand that Caroline had. So I pretty much used a little of the primary and secondary colors we created and in the end I'm just not in love with it. I'll stay with the dyes I'm using now. I'm a sucker for saturated yarns. 

These 2 skeins were dyed by Caroline since we wouldn't have anywhere close enough time for each student to dip dye in a pot or kettle dye their own project. 



This above skein is the kettle dyed skein that Caroline did. Seeing the process that she used and how the skeins took the dye and transformed is magical!



This skein is the skein that she dyed using the dip dye method in te dye pot. It was also beyond awesome.

I need to order some more yarn ;-)

Happy Knitting :-)

June 24, 2014

Out The Door...

I'm quite excited! Tomorrow I'll be attending Old Fiber Week :-) I've registered for the yarn dyeing course. I know the basics but it's always good to learn some more skills! I'm going to make sure to take lots of pictures. I'm sure this excursion will be more than inspiring! I can't wait. I've already packed my bag and I'm raring to go.

Aside from being ecstatic about what tomorrow holds, I've decided to dwindle down my personal stash a bit. It's WAY out of control. When you can't close the lids on the rubbermaid containers, thats a problem! 



I've been able to sell some and send them to new loving homes :-) Although now I've been informed that the ISO Destash Group doesn't allow "Commercial Seller's" to post destash threads in the group. Even if it's their own personal stash they are destashing. One of the moderators was very nice about it but it's still a bit silly. I'm not pumping my business, but she didn't make the rules. So I'm undecided what to do. Do I list them on Etsy? Do I leave them in my FS portion of my stash on Ravelry? Do I create a personal Ravelry account, not associated with my Etsy shop? I have a lot to consider.

Anyways, I also was able to ship out another order today :-) These skeins are on their way to Jennifer. I hope she loves them. I also sent her a half set of my Snagless Stitch Markers in White Onyx to test out.



Top Skein : Material Girl on BFL High Twist Sock
Bottom Skein : Spring Showers on Anna's Sock

I'm also ecstatic that my Peony's are starting to bloom. They are beyond gorgeous!



I'm also plugging away on my TFA Vector  I love how it's coming along. The only modification (if it could even be considered a mod) is that since I weighed out all my skeins halfway, I'm short on ridges for each color. The pattern calls for 36 garter stitch ridges and I could only do 31 ridges with half a skein. So to make up for the difference I'm going to work the whole skein of  Forest Green in the middle before I continue on with the gradient on the other side. I'm sure it will still look fabulous :-)

Happy Knitting :-)

June 19, 2014

Swatching with Gems :-)

Yesterday was pretty much a complete scratch! My 18m old daughter was teething so my day was full with a flailing screaming baby. She had 4 teeth cutting through and I felt so bad because there's only so much you can do. 


Today, on the other hand, was completly different. She's back to her normal baby shenanigans. You know: ripping apart the DVD's, throwing food around, tearing through the house with the tea towel she took from the oven handle, chasing the dogs around. You know "normal" baby stuff ;-) My house looks like a bomb exploded. It was clean this morning. 


Anyways, she was actually able to take a nap today so it gave me some time to finish making the last of the Snagless Stitch Markers for the Etsy Shop   



Clockwise from Top Left : Rainforest Jasper  Fossilized CoralFlower Jasper & Tree Agate


I also had some time to do a quick swatch with the Mookaite Stitch markers. 




It gives you an idea of the size of the stitch markers since it's hard to tell when they're in the packaging. I used size US 8 needles for my swatch and the stitch markers fit easily. They would fit up to a size US 11 needle if nessessary. I love the white flex wire since it makes it easy to see where your stitch markers are while your knitting. There's a variety of stitch markers in many gems & minerals in my etsy shop :-) It's making it hard for me to figure out which ones I want to keep for myself ;-)


Happy Knitting :-)


June 16, 2014

Bloomin' Happy :-)

The last couple days have been a little nutzo! We've had some on and off rain each day. Which is making everything super green. This year I decided to do the "lazy" garden and plant a bunch of summer / spring bulbs so they're all starting to come up. 



There's the odd sprigs of quack grass in there. Ignore them ;-) They got pulled shortly after I took the picture. 



I'm going to get some beautiful Peony flowers this year!! I'm so excited for them to bloom! I have 3 Peony's planted in the front and I've been patiently waiting the last couple years for them to bush out and bloom. This is the year :-)



My rhubarb plant is producing well this year as well. So I'm planning on making a small batch of rhubarb jam this week. Hopefully, it'll be just like my Baba used to make :-) I may have to lower my expectations, since I've never made jam before!


I'm also very pleased with myself :-) This is the first year I've chosen my own flowers for my pots. Usually, I just buy them already potted. That ended last year. I bought my pots and when the flowers bloomed I hated the colors they had in it!! So this year I was determined to do it myself and I'm so happy with what I chose. 



This Begonia plant was the last one at the greenhouse. I fell in love with the color :-) It's a wonderful salmon orange. It was in a hanging pot that was very root bound, so I transplanted it then gave it a good trimming. It was SUPER lop sided. Then I brought in the trimmings to see if I could root them, and enjoy the blooms :-)



I made fresh bread on sunday. There's nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread in the house! 



I casted off Kaylee's Mitten  :-) Both yarns bloom wonderfully once washed. Since both yarns are superwash, I soaked them for an hour in the sink. I then transfered them to the washing machine for a cycle on delicate and then into the dryer they went. That fluffed up the mittens! Since I still wanted to block it to show off the cabling I sprayed them lightly with water in a spray bottle them pinned them out to dry. It didn't take long. I only do this for blocking before FO shots :-)



They look awesome! I'm not a pink person, but Kaylee is! I know she'll love them. She loved the toque I knit her. I knit both the mittens and the toque holding the yarn double to get gauge.

Pattern: Eugenia's Mittens by Mollie Woodworth
Yarn: Dragonfly Dyewerx Smooshy Sock in Princess 2.0 (dark pink) & Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Sundance Sock in Red Hot Pink (lighter pink)

Also more yarn has been mailed off to it's new home :-) 2 skeins are off to live with Jennifer! I hope she loves them :-) 



Bottom Skein : Prairie Knitting Yarns BFL Sock in Double Bubble

Plus, a couple Snagless Stitch Markers to try out :-)

Today, I'm going to relax and knit a bit more on my TFA Vector. It's coming along :-)



Happy Knitting :-)

June 15, 2014

Spotted...

I went to my monthly meeting to the Crocus County Guild yesterday and was extremely happy to see a skein of Prairie Knitting Yarns BFL Sock being knit :-) I can't remember the colorway and Penny didn't have the ball band BUT these socks looks fabulous! I had to take a picture to share. 


It's amazing how they're knitting up :-)

Happy Knitting :-)

June 12, 2014

Quickly...

Sorry Peeps! There's just going to be a quick post today! 

The WIP's on my little table next to my couch is over flowing!!


So I've decided that I NEED to get one of these WIP's cast off today. Out of the 4 projects I have marinating here only 1 is realistic enough to actually finish today. 


Mittens for my friend Kaylee! I have 1 mitten done and part of the second mitten. 

Pattern: Eugenia's Mittens by Mollie Woodworth
Yarn: Dragonfly Dyewerx Smooshy Sock in Princess 2.0 (dark pink) & Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Sundance Sock in Red Hot Pink (self explanatory) 

Upside after I cast this mitten off : 

I can continue working on my TFA Vector Wrap :-) Teaser Pic:


Happy Knitting :-)

June 04, 2014

In case you were curious...

I've been dying to do some more Silk Fusion lately. I was able to score some more dyed tussah silk from The Wacky Windmill a couple weeks ago. Plus I still had some left over from the workshop I attended. I had more than enough Tussah Silk to play around with :-) That made me a happy girl!


I've had a couple friends that had no idea what Silk Fusion was, or how to even do it. So I decided to do a post on it. I guess it'll be a guideline. I am no expert by any means, but after the first time you create one it's really enjoyable :-)


First up, the supplies your going to need:
-dyed tussah silk
-undyed tussah silk (if your making fabric)
-newspaper
-large garbage bag or a tarp (to cover your work space)
-small garbage bag (to transfer your silk fusion, or you can just wrap it up in the big garbage bag if your not planning on doing anymore)
-a hanging apparatus (like a clothes line or something you can use to hang your silk fusion to dry)
-window screen or tulle in the length needed for the project. Keep in mind that you are sandwiching your silk fusion in the window screen or tulle. I have used both and prefer the window screen. You can get wrinkles when using tulle.
-dish soap
-a paint brush. Not a foam brush!
-a plastic container (like a margarine container). If you are doing more than one silk fusion project, you'll probably want 2 plastic containers. One for the soapy water and one for the textile medium.
-Textile Medium. I used FolkArt Textile Medium from Shuttleworks.
-a plain sponge
-clothes line pins
-lemon juice

I cut the large garbage bag down the side so I could use it to cover my island table in my kitchen. It worked awesome. Then I laid out my window screen that I had pre-cut to the size I wanted. I had it folded in the center. It's a pain if you have 2 separate pieces because it can pretty much move freely when your trying to wet out the fiber. I let the screen flip open and rubbed my hands in lemon juice. Let your hands dry. This will help when your handling the tussah. Otherwise the silk will snag on any dry skin on your hands and make a mess.

If your making fabric you'll be using the undyed tussah silk for the first layer. If your doing a thinner 1 layer fabric you can use the dyed tussah silk. You'll need to divide the undyed silk first, so I held my hands about 4 inches apart holding the silk and gently pulled, separating the fiber. I then divided this section into 4 sections length wise. So now you'll have 4 long sections. You'll use these thinner sections to  make the first layer.


I laid one of the sections down on the window screen on the lower half of the screen, placed my left palm on the edge of the silk and gently pulled with my right hand. It will separate the fiber and give you a light wispy line of fiber. If it's thicker your going to want to divide your section length wise again and possibly fluff it up a bit. If it looks good, then your going to keep going top to bottom in a column, with a slight overlap. Once your done the first column your going to create a column right next to it, with a slight overlap as well. Keep with this pattern until you've made it the size you need.


Then your going to do the same thing only going the other way for the second layer.


Then for the 3rd layer you can use your dyed Tussah Silk. I worked in the columns then went back and added a little extra colored silk to the areas I wanted to get it to look how I wanted it to.


Now your going to "sandwich" the Tussah Silk with the other half of the screen. Then your going to get the soapy water ready. I added a drop of the dish soap to the plastic container and added warm water. Your going to use the paintbrush to wet out the fiber now.


Your going to add as much water as necessary. I used a whole container of soapy water on the top side. Your going to work the water in by painting the fiber in the direction of the fibers. If you work it in another direction it will move the fiber and you'll see the undyed tussah silk from the bottom 2 layers.

video

Keep working the water until you think that it's saturated enough. Your then going to flip your sandwich so the bottom is facing up. Then your going to wet out the bottom side too.


Once you've done both sides, it's time to check to see if there are any bubbles or dryer sections. Your going to flip the sandwich again so it's right side up. Then you are going to take your hands and rub the fiber in the direction of the fiber to gently push out any extra water or air bubbles.

video

If you notice that any sections have air bubbles or dryer sections you are going to repeat the wetting out process (after you've pushed out any air bubbles) until the fiber is completely wet. If any section of the fiber is dry, it won't laminate properly when you add the Textile Medium. If it's well saturated, then you can repeat rubbing the fiber to take out any excess moisture. It's not imperative that you get it completely dry but if your rubbing the fiber and there isn't a river of water coming out the side of the fiber then your fine.


Use the sponge to wipe up any extra water that you've pushed out.


Now it's time to add the Textile Medium. I poured it into the plastic container and started painting it on.


You want to make sure that your applying an even coat and work it in, as you did with the soapy water. You won't need to use a ton of the Textile Medium but use as much as you feel you'll need. Once you've applied an even layer to the top, flip your sandwich over and do the back side as well. If there is any excess moisture wipe it up with the sponge.


Now your going to lay a garbage bag and some newspaper under where you plan on hanging your Silk Fusion. Then you can transfer it. I wrapped it up in the garbage bag that I had put on my work surface. I folded the ends of the garbage bag in and picked it up by the edges and carefully transferred it to my basement. I didn't want to drip on my floor or carpet. I have enough crusties on the carpet from my daughter's half eaten Cheerios ;-) The you'll pin it up and let it drip out. It's important to hang it up. It lets all the excess moisture and Textile Medium drip out. If you have it hanging in the middle of the Silk Fusion you are going to have an obvious crease that you will never get out.


I let mine hang to dry for 3 days. I went down and gave it a light squeeze to see if there was any moisture left in it. You want to make sure that it's completely dry otherwise when you try to separate the screen your going to de-laminate the fibers and possibly ruin your Silk Fusion. Chances are, it will most likely be dry. Unless you had some thicker and thinner sections in the fiber. Your going to carefully remove the screen then it's time to iron your Silk Fusion out. I put an old sheet down and covered the Silk Fusion with another part of the sheet to iron. You'll want to use the appropriate setting for silk and take your time so you don't crease the fabric.


Then you can admire your Silk Fusion :-)

Now what to make? I found a couple beautiful projects on Pinterest using Silk Fusion. I'm completely envious!


 
 And these 3 beauties are by Tamara Leberer. From her Silk Fusion Gallery.

These works of art are beyond inspiring. I'm not sure I have the required patience or skill to do it. Maybe one day, but not right now ;-)

Happy Knitting :-)