Friday, July 11, 2014

Shamrock Cardigan

Since I saw this pattern in Crochet! Magazine in Spring of 2012, I've loved this sweater! I was not crazy about the color of the yarn in the model (brown and pink). Then I saw this color, sachet (purple, cream, green) and fell in love with it! It is Patons Lace yarn. It took 4 skeins for a large size. I love working with this yarn and I love how the projects turn out. I found it on the Knitting Wharehouse site for half price!

The button on the sweater was made by local artist and friend Nancy Bossert. I love everything she creates! She inspires me!

It needs laundering. Then we are good to go!

Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Red and Pink Wool is done!

This roving I call Watermelon.

I love color mix almost as much as the brown/copper! I was hoping to post a pic of the sky blue/lemon yellow alpaca today but there was a lot of dye left in the dye bath. I added another 2.6 ounces of alpaca fiber to the bath. That should be exhausted in a day or two! I am amazed how much dye is left in the bath with the 2 ounces of alpaca versa the dye bath with the 2 ounces of wool. I'm not sure if the density of the fiber has something to do with it or the if it is the intensity of the dye. The Kraemer's wool I used in the first to dye baths is a dense wool. When spinning that wool it does not draft easily, even when pre-drafted. The alpaca drafts almost effortlessly.

Well more experimenting to come!

See you all soon!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Another Solar Dyeing Experiment!

Today, July 7, 2014, I soaked 2 oz of alpaca with 12 cups water and 1 tsp citric acid in a bucket to soak in the back yard for a few hours (8:30 AM).

I noticed 2 oz of Alpaca fiber seemed to have more yardage then 2 oz of wool I dyed yesterday. That is why I needed 12 cups of water v/s 8 cups of water for the wool.

At 1:00 PM, I mixed 1 1/2 tsp of citric acid, 1/4 tsp Wilton Sky Blue (mom's old dye) and 1/2 tsp Lemon Yellow with water I heated in a kettle to a simmer. I added the left over kettle water and dye to the bucket. 

It is a lot greener than I expected. I thought it would be more of a yellow green, but the sky blue was a bit stronger of a color than I thought it would be.  That may be because it is older gel.

I was busy today, so I didn't check to see how it was doing. I will check after work tomorrow. So, more tomorrow! I have to cool and was the red/pink wool from yesterday and this green. After work tomorrow I will finish this experiment! Very pleased with the results so far.

I'm very excited. The Dharma Acid Dyes I ordered were delivered this afternoon! Sooooo.... next weekend I may get out the canning jars and do a sample of each of the colors I ordered!! Hopefully the sun will cooperate and we will have at least one nice day for dyeing.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Garden July 6, 2014

It's July and the Garden is doing very well. My basil was not happy were I originally planted it, so I moved it. The plants are doing very well now and growing beautifully! Here are a few pictures I took today. Enjoy!

Today we picked some beats and onions. I can't wait to try them! There is nothing like fresh veggies from the garden!

Happy gardening!


Solar Dyeing Experiment July 5-6, 2014

I researched dyeing with Wilton dyes, solar dyeing, and dying roving prior to trying this. I found useful information on and

I also found the Facebook group Not Afraid to Dye and other sites very helpful.  As I researched the topic, I took notes! Now it's time for hands on experimentation!

July 5, 2014
  1. Weighed out two bowls of fiber (wool from Kraemer's) - 2 oz each
  2. Braided each piece of fiber
  3. 8 cups water and 1 tsp citric acid in each bowl
  4. Began soak at 10:00 PM July 5, 2014

July 6, 2014

  1. 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp each Wilton Gel food coloring Brown and Copper; 1 tsp citric acid and fill container with hot water (heat to a simmer).  This batch I put the dye and acid in the container before the hot water. I did not shake up enough and hat clumps of dye in the bath I had to smush with gloved hands to disolve. 
  2. Pour remaining hot water in bucket. Pour water used to soak fiber overnight in bucket and gently put fiber in bucket. Pour dye mixture over fiber. Close lid on bucket. Place in sun.
For the second bucket I used the same process as above, except:
  1. I used No Taste Red and Pink dyes (same measurements as above)
  2. I poured hot water into the container prior to the dye and acid.
  3. I shook the container longer.
  4. Result: dye dissolved in the water

By 8:38 AM, both dye baths were in the sun...

At 4:00 PM the dye had completely exhausted for the brown/copper roving. The water in the red/pink bucket still had a little dye in it. I will leave that outside through tomorrow morning and check it again.  I took the lid of the brown/copper and let it cool down. Then washed with Method dish detergent. Rinsed well and soaked a few minutes in Eucalan wool wash. I gently squeazed out the excess water and draped over the bucket to dry overnight. Here is the results....

The photo does not do it justice. The depth of color is amazing!

Took a better photo today, July 7, 2014

I left the red to exhaust more today. I was very busy and didn't get to check it. Tomorrow after work I will cool and wash the fiber.

Explore your creativity!