Thursday, 24 July 2008

Back To Scrapbooks

I have got a cut on my fingertip just at the point I use it for knitting so I have decided to give knitting a break for a while. I thought it had more or less healed but yesterday when I tried some knitting it was very painful. It is never going to heal while I am sticking needle points into it so an enforced break it is to be.

This is a good thing though because I am hoping to get some inspiration back for scrapping. I haven't done anything for around 3 weeks now and the longer I spend without doing it the longer it will take for me to get back into it. I still haven't opened any of the gorgeous paints I bought from Paper Popsicles. I spy some painted chipboard letters on the horizon.

Then there is this little lot I bought off Ebay. The paints are Making Memories Hampton and the alpha stamps are MM too - Mixed Font Foam Stamps. There are also some Karen Foster Pastel rings. I am intending to use these to bind the Bo Bunny BEACH album I bought the other week.

Still not got around to scrapping 6x12 so that is another thing I am hoping to do over the next few days.

School holidays have been starting bit by bit in this house since May. Doing GCSE's meant my daughter finished in May, the 2 strike days last week plus a hurriedly put in inset day meant my son in high school finished last tuesday for 7 weeks and 1 day. The youngest two finished yesterday until September. So far so good. We are only nearly through the first day though so things are likely to change. The council have decided that this week would be a great time to close off the park while they fit new gas pipes to the council houses behind it. Great timing.

HSMS is insect today. I had the perfect photo opportunity yesterday of two spiders getting a bit 'jiggy with it' but by the time I had gone inside for the camera and come back out the dog had done his part in the natural food chain and the spiders were no more. I searched around today and managed to find this one (far too high up for Charlie so it is safe for now). The focus is crap but it is a picture and it is an insect. Is a spider an insect?

Speaking of dogs. We bought a new cage yesterday meant to house Charlie plus our new addition when it comes mid august. I don't know what on earth possessed us to even think of it. It is huge and most certainly does not fit in my living room as intended. You could fit half a dozen dogs in it comfortably never mind just two. That will teach me to look at dimensions of things properly before buying. I did think of putting the kids in it for the school holidays (joking folks before you start shouting at me). So it is going back and we will order a smaller one either capable of holding them both or just a much smaller one for the new dog and let Charlie have his old one.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Dyeing Yarn With Kool Aid

First of all HSMS which is row today. These are some paints I have just bought all nicely in a row.

Next up are the Monkey socks I finished last week. The yarn is from Angels and Elephants. I can't remember what it is called but it was fantastic to knit with. The pattern is great too. The repeats are easy to remember and it knits up quickly.

A close up of the pattern and yarn.

Now to the main topic. Dyeing yarn with Kool Aid. I am a complete novice and this is my first 'dye job'. It isn't meant to be a tutorial because my directions are probably completely wrong.

Dyeing yarn is something I have heard lots about but haven't really bothered with until now. I armed myself with some undyed yarn and some Kool Aid sachets. Kool Aid is a powdered drink you add water to and it goes a lovely shade depending on the flavour. I chose cherry, pink lemonade and lemon/lime. Not sure how this can be safe for drinking without turning your insides a rainbow of colours because I only got a tiny bit on my hand but it took ages to get it off.

The yarn needs to be soaked for around half an hour.

Then add yarn to a pan with some warmish water in. Pour the diluted Kool Aid onto the parts you want dyed that colour. I was very mindful of the fact that red and green make a muddy brown colour so I didn't want them to overlap. As you can see I didn't really achieve that in parts. The recommendation is 4 sachets per 100g and as I only had 3 I added a couple of drops of red food colouring. It then needs to heat up at less than boiling point until the water has gone clear. This took around 45 minutes.

I then spread it out onto a towel and patted it dry. Then I hung it up over a coathanger to dry overnight.

This was when I realised my major mistake. It is recommended that you tie the skein in several parts to help it stay in shape. It was already pre-tied in 2 places so being impatient and wanting to get onto the dyeing process I thought that would be OK. WRONG. It wasn't. The skein got tangled. This is the result and instead of re-skeining it I ended up putting it into a ball.

I'm not sure what I think yet. The colours aren't too bad together. More like a strawberry field. I'm sure a sock pattern will come up that will suit the colours.

I have got the bug now though and will learn from my mistakes as I go through the process each time. I will learn which colours will and won't go together. Which is the best method - stove top or microwave. How to do striping yarn. Or maybe I will get a mess. Who knows. I will have fun trying though.

Next project is a horrible ball I got from Bright Dyes sock club while it was running. I was never happy with their customer service and paid for a 3 month sub but only ever received 2 months and even then it was lost in the post. Anyway life goes on and they have now shut down. The yarn was around the christmas period and was bright red, green and yellow. Not my cup of tea at all so bring on the experiments with dyes.