Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top done

Well sorta done.  I am done piecing the large fish quilt.  I need to do the sashing and the border still but wanted to make sure the top was going to come out the same size that I calculated before I cut it out.  sorry about the poor quality of the pictures the top is large enough that the flash in my camera won't cover the entire top.  those of you who actually get real winter weather would laugh but it is was 37 outside and dark out side so I didn't brave it to take the quilt top out to the grass to photograph.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All the Pretty Colors

Before we get to the good stuff, here are some lovely pictures of my daughter in the dress I knit for her.

She learned very early to look away or close your eyes when some one points a camera at her.  But look at that smile

I love going to the quilt shop and the yarn shop for all the pretty colors and all of the pretty textures. I have mentioned in the past that I like to play with dyeing fabric.  I have been playing with dyeing yarn over the past couple weeks.  I have been playing with a couple techniques.  I have been using Jacquard Acid dyes on the wool.  I have been doing immersion dyeing and hand painting.

Immersion Dyeing 
Dye Bath: 
1tps dye powder per 100g fiber
3Tbs white vinegar per 100g fiber
enough water for the yarn to move freely
I cook it on the stove for 30 minutes or until the solution is clear. the dyes I use are really nice cause they exhaust and you know when it is done cause the dye bath turns clear.  This works well for how whole skeins and when you only want to dye half of the skein.  you just have to support the part you don't want dyed out of the water

These skeins were dyed using  a full immersion on the red and then a half immersion on the black

These skeins were dyed in a green dye bath that was made of 3/4 yellow dye and 1/4 blue dye.  they took of the die differently through out the skein due to differences in the the wool.  some of it wanted to take more of the blue dye others took more of the yellow.  Mixing colors of dye gives a more variegation color than if I had used a true green dye.

The red black yarn all balled up an ready to knit

Hand Painting Technique 1:
Dye solution in an 8oz condiment bottle
1/4-1tsp dye powder
1/2-3tbs white vinegar
topped off with water.
I take a garbage bag lay my item on it paint my colors on it, well more like squeeze my colors and work the colors in with my fingers. Then I use the garbage bag to wrap the item up in. wrap that in saran wrap. I have a 16 quart stock pot that has a pasta strainer thingy that litfs out. I put water in the pot up to to the bottom of the strainer and put my pieces in the strainer, put the lid on and steam it for a while. it usually takes about 30 minutes at temperature for the dyes to set. I usually let them steam for about 45 minutes which gives about 15 minutes at the beginning to let every thing come to temperature.  The amount of dye in the bottle will change the intensity of the color you get on the yarn.  The amount of vinegar will change how the color runs.  if you want the color to run and mix and play, then only a tiny amount of vinegar is need.  if you want the color to stay in one place and not move then you want more of vinegar

Hand Painting Technique 2:
8 oz squeeze bottle filled with 3tbs vinegar and 8oz water.
dye powder
so you have the item to be dyed laying on the garbage bag as before.  with a plastic knife you sprinkle  tiny amounts of dye over the wet yarn.  when you are done  sprinkling the colors. you squeeze the water on the yarn and work the dye in with your fingers.  can give stunning results and gets a highly variegated yarn.  when you are done with that you wrap it up and steam it like before.

These are some examples of the hand painted yarns


and some times they come out looking hideous so that is when an over dye is nice

 and then it looks like this.  Much better.  alot of the color play in the yarn didn't come out on the camera

Indigo My friend, My foe, the Bane of my existence. 
Indigo is a is a fickle friend.  I have tried it in the past and never got it to work right.  I tried it the old fashioned way of trying to ferment a vat of indigo and could never get it to ferment correctly.  Could be I was trying to do it in the middle of winter and even with it in the work shop at my moms it just wasn't warm enough for the yeasts to ferment. 

this time I went with the pre-reduced indigo and the reducing solution and got my indigo to reduce and turn its yellow green that is supposed to.  and I get these:

The ball is a wool yarn and the very tangled skein is a cotton modal fiber blend.

this lovely pale deminy color is on a cotton/acrylic blend.  so part of the paleness is the acrylic not taking the dye and partly cause it was the last yarn to go in the dye bath and I had used up a lot of the indigo on the previous couple skeins and the 5 yards of silk I threw in there.  I left the silk all crinkled up and it has the most amazing crinkly white and blue texture to it.