Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kool-Aide Dyeing on a Beautiful Spring Day

Carolyn invited Bonnie and I over for a day of lunch, machine knitting discussion and Kool-Aide dyeing.  Lunch was wonderful, but before we ate we got our yarn dyeing.  Carolyn gave me some yarn as I didn't have any wool to dye.  Thought I'd just watch them dye.  It really was a lot of fun to participate.  Her thoughts were to get the yarn wound and tied into hanks.  Add dye and water to the yarn in 1 quart Mason jars.  Then set the jars in her solar oven to make sure they got hot enough.  We all didn't do any reading up on what to do, but we all had a little bit of knowledge and vague memories of doing it in the past.  So, we all went about dyeing our hanks in different ways.

After soaking my hank in a vinegar solution I laid my hank on the lawn (didn't want to mess up Carolyn's kitchen) and I sprinkled a package of Grape Kool-Aide and a package of Ice Blue Berry Lemonade Kool-Aide on both sides of my hank.  I didn't randomly come up with these flavors.  I used a chart on the Dye Your Yarn website.  Then I stuffed it into the Mason jar and added hot water until the jar was full.  Shook it up until I thought all the Kool-Aide was mixed.  It was interesting as the yarn quickly turned purply pink and the water around it was blue.  Very pretty.

Carolyn and Bonnie mixed their colors in water before adding it to the jar with their yarn in it.  They then topped off the colored water with more hot water.  Their color choices were completely different from mine. It was getting very exciting to think about how things were going to turn out with our little experiments.

Carolyn placed all our jars into the solar oven.  We had lunch and talked every thing fiber for several hours before they thought to check on our yarn.  When we peeked in the oven the water around our yarn was clear, so we knew it was done.  We needed hot mitts as the solar oven had gotten up to 200 degrees F.
I drained my jar, rinsed my yarn and hung it to dry on a near by tree.  My yarn came out the most variegated in color.  Probably due to my sprinkling technique.
Bonnie's yarn from the left was purple and the next hank a beautiful tan with yellowish highlights.  She had a little bit of variegating.  Carolyn's roving on the right was a mint green color.  Sorry the sun wasn't helping with the photographing.  I'm curious to see what we all do with our lovely colored and great smelling fiber.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fingerless Gloves by Karalyn

Karalyn Rainey came to visit our guild (MKGSFBA) last month and had wonderful projects to teach.  I loved her enthusiasm for machine knitting.  When there were left over patterns I asked if she minded if I shared them with the Sacramento Guild (SMKG).  She said, "No, I love to share."  After I got back to Sacramento and started sharing everyone loved the patterns.  I started getting emails for me to share the patterns.  I felt I should check with Karalyn one more time.  Sharing here in Sacramento is one thing, but putting it on the internet just seemed like something I wanted permission for.  She emailed me back, "Hi, it's fine please share my patterns they are free to all, I just want people to knit and share our love of machine knitting with everyone."  I think I love you Karalyn!  That's exactly what I like to do.  I like empowering machine knitters of all levels with patterns they can be successful with.  Nothing makes one want to knit more than getting a project done that they are proud of.

Here is a picture of Karalyn's fingerless glove on my hand.  Back of glove.  Can you believe she does this on a bulky knitting machine?!

Here is my glove using the double gate peg bind off for more stretch for the fingers.  Bonnie found out that the bind off where the glove goes around your hand is a little tight for her liking.  She felt her fingers were confined.  I tried them on and could see why it would be bothersome.  I didn't mind, but I think my daughter wouldn't like it either.  Carolyn from our guild had an idea to bind off around 2 gate pegs.  I did this on my glove and it does give a stretchier edge.

Cabling requires some concentration for me.  There are a couple places where I've gone wrong.  I've added cheat sheet notes on my pattern to keep me straight.

Here is the pair she gave to our guild member Bonnie.  Bonnie experimented with doing a Bickford seam on the side.  The seams looked great.  Now to weave in the ends.  The Bickford seams create the flattest seams frequently used for socks done on a flat bed machine.  Several tutorials on how to do this online.  One here done by Marg Coe.  Another one here at Knittsings.

Here is Bonnie's glove just getting past the thumbs.  Cable looking beautiful.
Here's my glove off the machine.  See why Karalyn calls it the Cactus glove?
Without further adieu here is Karalyn's pattern.

Cactus Fingerless Glove
Instructor, Karalyn Rainey

Bulky Machine
Tension 6
Lion Brand Wool-Ease 2ozs.

Left Hand
Chain cast on 27 sts (LI3-RI4)
If you are putting a cable, knit 2 rows and twist the first cable
Cable needles are right needles 5,6,7,8, after the first twist you are going
to twist the cable every 4 rows
Knit to row 26 twisting the cable every 4 rows
On row 26 start increasing on both sides every other row (EOR) by
moving one st out and filling up the empty needle with the heal of the
inside st

Continue increasing to row 38 you now have increased 6 sts on each side
COR set the machine to hold, put all st except the 6 st on the right to
hold, knit 7 rows on those 6 st, RC46, bind off, move carriage to the left
COL put the 6 st on the left to work knit 7 rows, bind off
You should only have 27 st left, knit 13 rows don't forget to twist your
cable while you are knitting the 13 rows, bind off

Right Hand
You are going to make another one just like the one you did except cast
on 27 st (L14-R13) and the cable needles are going to be on the
Left side, left needles 5,6,7,8.

Sew up the side seam and the thumb seam.
If you haven't seen the flat seam that we do on the flat sock you need to
have me show you that seam it looks great on the fingerless glove!