Fancy Spin On Toms

~Tom’s shoes are the best! Not only do they donate a pair of shoes to a needy child, each pair comes with a nifty, cotton, drawstring bag, Now I know that you are supposed to store your shoes in the bag, but what?? Not happening at my house, shoes need to air out and breathe. What to do with the bag? Dye it and iron on some scrap fabric! Hurrah! Loving my new, repurposed knitting project bag. The bag in the background is now in a vat of green dye. If you look closely, you can see that I like the mottled-dye look

Repurposed Toms Bag

Repurposed Toms Bag

Delightful Handpainted Fiber Surprise

q~Hello My Pretty! I fell in love with this roving the minute I laid eyes on it at Happy Ewe! It is so not colors I wear. What was there about the braid of  85% Polworth Wool/15% Tussah Silk Fiber, color way: Rainbow Bright by Western Sky Knits (WSL) that called my name?

my pretty

As I was undoing the braid, I was overtaken with total amazement. I was expecting the colors of the rainbow because of the Rainbow Bright name: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Keep in mind, I’ve looked at My Pretty every day since purchase AND shared it with the spinning class but never noticed that I’m looking at a color way in the print color wheel!

Watch out, my science brain is taking over! There are 3 main types of color models/wheels which have different primary colors; dye, print and light. I taught this for 23 years but never had it “hit-me-in-the-face” before.

brief description of each without all of the vocabulary and science which usually accompanies a lesson.

1. Most of use are familiar with the dye color model/wheel we learned about in elementary school which has the primary colors of  red, blue, and yellow. Combining the primary colors give us the secondary colors of red + yellow = orange; yellow + blue = green; blue + red = purple.

2. On the printed page the colors we see are based on tiny little dots so close together that our eyes blend them together into colors. This is based on the CMYK color model: cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (K). Get a magnifying glass and look at the Sunday comics, easy to see the dots. The primary colors of print are: cyan (C), magenta (M), and yellow (Y).  The secondary colors obtained by mixing the primary colors are not exactly the same as the secondary colors of dye, but create values of the colors: Magenta + yellow = orange; yellow + blue = yellow green; blue + magenta = purple. Combine all colors to get black, the black isn’t a true black that’s why real black is added. Think of the color cartridges you purchase for your color printer.

3. The colors emitted by a light source which go straight into our eyes; for example TVs, computer screens, stage lights are based on adding light together. The primary colors of light are red, blue and green. The secondary colors are red + blue = cyan; blue + green = yellow (yes, yellow); green + red = magenta. If all three primary colors are projected at a single spot, white light results. Next time you’re at a play, notice that all of the footlights are either red, blue, or green. The lights are combined to make different colored spotlights; including white.

So, when I unbraided My Pretty, much to my delight I noticed that the CMYK color model was used to produce the color way: magenta, orange, yellow, yellow-green, aqua, purple and black. And, as expected the black is not a true black it’s more of a very, very, dark, midnight blue. Here is My Pretty folded into a CMYK color model: Magenta, orange, yellow, yellow-green, aqua, purple, and black. Very clever dyer! Now it’s time to get to the wheel and have some fun!

cmyk

Maddie’s and Grandma’s Hearts Entwined

q8~ Happy Birthday to my granddaughter. How can it be 9 years? I’m afraid she inherited a very strange gene from me.  As a kid I had fair hair and freckles.  I just HATED those freckles, especially the biggest one on my nose. I asked mom when the freckles would go away and she told me when I was grown.  Well, the morning of my 8th birthday,  I ran to the mirror to see my new “freckle-less” nose.  Hum, imagine my surprise when they were still there!  I just knew turning eight meant I was grown up! Then before she turned eight, daughter Sarah told anyone and everyone within earshot that when she was eight she needed a desk of her own because she’d be grown up! My parents gave her a kid-size, roll-top desk.  And then there’s Maddie, at eight she told her mother, “Mom I need to wear lipstick everyday now because I’m a lady.”  The “I’m-All-Grown-Up-At-Eight”, such a funny gene to pass along. It does not seem to affect the male line, only the oldest daughter.

Anyway, both Maddie and I are having a hard time with their move to Hawaii. I decided to make a shawl for her out of the first yarn that Curls and I dyed. Asterope by Romi Hill was the perfect pattern, which I downloaded through Ravelry.  I had seen a model of the pattern at a LYS. I know the pattern is described as having an arrow going down the back, but to me it looks as if it’s hearts entwined; thus, Maddie’s and Grandma’s Hearts Entwined.   The blended colors are pink and purple.  Maddie’s favorite color is pink and grandma’s is purple.  The large holes represent all of the adventures Maddie is going to have   Every stitch is a kiss and the entire shawl is a huge hug.  She’s to wear it when she misses grandma or thinks grandma misses her.  When I send it, I’ll enclose a note for Maddie explaining all of the special meanings.  I know it’s late, but our family never minds late presents we feel as if the special occasion has been extended!

Have Yarn, Will Knit, But What?

 I dyed the yarn using KoolAid, posted April 19 as Guess I’m Not A Vanilla Type Of Gal. I have been very slowly spinning the yarn.  I decided I don’t like this yarn.  I think it was Polworth.  I bought something “cheap” to practice with.  To me, it is as if I’m spinning with iron!  It was great fun dyeing. Another reason I haven’t finished the yarn is that I don’t have a clue as what to knit.  If you know me, that is not usual! 😎 I’m open for suggestions!

This was the dyed fiber.

This is the spun fiber on the spool.

I’ll be ready to ply soon. Input needed!  What should I knit?  So not my colors! 😎

From the Grays to the Blues

 After seeing the sweater Anne Field had in her Spinning Wool: Beyond the Basics book and reading that the gray wool had been dyed I made a blog comment.  Sweaty Knitter told me that she has died gray wool and it comes out quite nicely.  As mentioned, when I was on the Northwest Trip, I purchased all gray spinning fiber.  Sigh…..  Now that I am home in sunny San Diego I don’t want all of that gray! 😎 I did an experiment.  I took a two piece of gray wool, one from each gray fiber type purchased.  To insure that all of the parameters were equal I followed these steps:  1. soaked both together in vinegar-water for 30 minutes, 2. added a previously prepared blue dye to a black, plastic container (one that frozen food comes in), 3. put both gray wool samples side-by-side in the container.  Waited about 10 minutes and then turned both over, 4. put the container in an aluminum-lined, plastic shoe box, 5.  put the top on the shoe box and placed in the sun (behind the retaining wall so Hans could not reach).  I left the samples out in the sun for a few days; partly because the weather was drizzly or spitting, I wanted to make sure it heated up well enough.  When I took the samples out, the dye was almost all exhausted.  These are the results.

One sample was Gray Norwegian Top.  This fiber has some long, coarse black hairs in it.  You can see that the black hairs did not absorb any of the dye.  This has left this sample looking as worn denim.  A very pleasing color.

There isn’t a tag on the other gray fiber.  I don’t know what it is.  I asked my spinning teacher and she wasn’t sure either.  It is more of a brownish-gray color.  It has some white hairs sticking out from it.  It dyed a darker blue color, which looks like new denim jeans. Another pleasing color.

I’m only going to dye one of the grays.  I decided to spin both samples.  I found that the brownish-gray was by far the easiest for me to spin.  Remember, I just started spinning about 2 months ago.  Here is both of the spun samples.  Top: Brownish-gray sample, Bottom: Gray Norwegian Top.  So what do you think?

Ok, I’m a retired high school teacher and taught Computer-aided Graphic Design.  I just had to “play” with Lightroom since I went to the seminar last Thursday in Los Angeles.  I LOVE the clarify slider in Lightroom.  Had to combine what I learned in Lightroom and then use my old friend Photoshop to layout.

Guess I’m Not a Vanilla Type of Gal

 Yesterday I started spinning some vanilla colored Ashland Bay Portuguese Wool Top Spinning Fiber. After spinning about 20 oz I decided I could not spin that vanilla color one more minute.  It was so boring I almost fell asleep at the wheel.  Yawn.  I kept saying, “Dye it when you’re done.”  Didn’t work.  Pulled out the crockpot and some KoolAid.  I tried a new dyeing method.  Don’t you just love craft blogs?  I found this method at the do stuff! blog.  This should make kind of a “spotchy” yarn.  Filled the crockpot with water and added some vinegar, even though Kool-Aid has citric acid this is thick wool and I wanted to make sure.  Added the wool, poked it down, turned it over, tons of air in this top.  You can see air bubbles in the picture. Soaked for about 20 minutes.  Then turn crockpot to high; it only has a low and a high setting.  Let it “cook” for an hour.

Colors I used; Ice Blue Raspberry, Orange, Strawberry, Lemonade, and Lemon-Lime:

Sprinkled Lemon-lime color on one side and orange on the other.  Yes, the Kool-Aid package was torn open and sprinkled directly onto the yarn top.  I did have to poke the orange a bit so it would dissolve.  You can see some of the orange Kool-Aid chunks in the picture. I left a swath of neutral color in the middle since I know the colors will bleed together.  Kinda reminds me of the Italian flag!

Top back on and let it cook.  Had to show this picture of my favorite dying tool – the wooden fork!  It is the best yarn-poker, turn-the-wet-yarn-over, and lifter-out-of-pot tool ever!

After about 30 min the dye was exhausted.  I carefully turned the yarn over, making sure I kept the green side to the left and orange to the right.  This time, I sprinkled blue on the green side and 1/2 of the strawberry package onto the orange side.  Red is so strong it will just take over if a whole pack is used.  Blue + green = Blue-green; Red + orange = red=orange.  Yum! Last dye step.  After all of the blue and the red have been exhausted, look for any white spots and add yellow lemonade.  You can see that there is a small white line going around the yarn top.  Gently turn the yarn and add yellow to the back portion.  Now the yellow lemonade has been sprinkled all around.  After the yellow has been exhausted, I let the yarn cool down in the crockpot.  With spun yarn I dump it into a colander to drain the water.  This is my first time doing a top, it seems more fragile.  I did not want to agitate too much, so I turned the crockpot off and let it cool down slowly.

Ta Da!  The final product.  I let the top cool down in the crockpot, carefully lifted into the colander to drain for awhile, then gently rinsed in a cake pan. Now it’s on the boot tray to dry.  Love the boot trays from Target.  They are large, heavy, unbreakable plastic, with about 1/2 inch lip all around. Perfect for putting wet yarn on.

My husband said, “It looks like cotton candy.”  😎  Really is quite vivid.  When it dries, I’ll spin it.  Can’t wait to see how the splotchy colors turn out!!!  Easy peasy way to dye.

Off to sister Barb’s today.  What trouble can we get into? At least, how much trouble can we get into that allows Curls to sit with her sprained ankle up?