Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Plying Candy Colours

So I managed to spin up and ply my first 1/4 lb. (113grams) of soft, squishy merino dyed in Ciba Washfast Dyes. Here it is! Don't you just love the colours? I wasn't sure I'd like the plying results, but once I started knitting the swatch, I was quite happy with the beautiful variegated stripes. So far, I'm getting about 22sts and 30rows in stocking stitch on 4mm needles for my gauge. I'm not sure what I'd like to knit with it for now, but it is pretty yummy inspiration just to have it around encouraging me to dye some more. God knows I have enough wool fibre around the house from all my online shopping binges!!!

Two days ago, I decided that I would try to dye up another 113 grams of merino before going to work, since it was the last of the one pound bag from Birkeland Bros. I had to work fast with R having a nap, and D willing to watch and help me. I presoaked my fibre, set up my work station on the back porch and went to work deciding on my dye colours which were mostly pre-mixed from my last dyeing session. I basically chose four mixtures, all with glugs of white vinegar mixed in 1)a dark blue made from equal 1% mixture of turquoise and magenta, 2)a very yellow lime green made from 1 cup yellow and about 1 tsp. of 1% turquoise 3)a darker green made from more turquoise mixed in the yellow lime green and 4)a more diluted mixture of the dark blue. Look below to see how it turned out after steam setting and drying. I see some pinks, purples, and rust colours! I just love the randomness and surprise of dyeing.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bing Cherries and Gelati

The merino roving still hangs on the hanger near my wheel as the weekend was filled up with outings to community playgrounds, and to Trout Lake on Saturday morning for the East Van. Farmers' Market. There was little chance to stroll through the market with two little boys itching for some kid interaction and some fun on the slides. Here you see the boys taking a cracker break at the playground. I did, however, manage to convince the boys that we needed to buy the sweetest, juiciest Bing cherries before we left the market. All but a handful of these cherries (saved for P) made it home as we ate them under a shady tree. What a relief that I remembered to bring the baby wipes!

The boys and I made it out of the house late Sunday afternoon for a visit to the park with the "steep slide" (I think the real name is Swamp Tea Park). Then we took a short walk to Urban Source for cool finds such as cheap translucent sample bottles for my mixed dye colours (25cents each) and hip fabric samples for crafty inspiration. For those of you who have never been to Urban Source, I highly recommend paying them a visit for great alternative, reclaimed art materials. I've attended one of their art workshops that they put on at my neighbourhood house with my preschooler and toddler and had a lot of fun seeing all the ideas that came out of it. Anyhow, once I was able to coax R out of his fascinating activity of inserting styrofoam balls into rolled up tubes of paper in the store, the boys and I met up with P for some yummy gelati across the street. What better way to toast the Italians for winning their World Cup before heading home all sticky from both the heat and the treat.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Diving into Blogland

So, I thought it was about time to take the plunge into 'blogland'. After two years of reading other peoples' blogs and being inspired by so many people's ideas and enthusiasm to share, I felt today would be the perfect day to start documenting a part of my life, which includes motherhood and the crafty, "fibery" pursuits that keep me sane. Why? Because I think it would be a great way to organize my ideas, to connect with other like-minded people, and to capture some of the precious, fleeting moments that I am enjoying as a mother at this time. As there is no time like the present....let's proceed with what I am up to these days.

As you can see above, I am presently spinning up some merino wool fibre (bought from Birkeland Bros.) that I dyed with Ciba acid dyes. It's my first dyeing attempt with these dyes and I love it! I don't think I'll be going back to Kool-Aid, that's for sure. I have a Louet S10 and an Ashford Traditional, but I mainly spin on the Louet (it's my first wheel, which I bought from eBay). Other projects on the go include knitting toe-up socks in Trekking XXL (Wendy's pattern) and the Elektra vest from Rowan 38. (I had to take a break from weaving in all those loose ends.) I really should finish this vest, but I've just been too excited about learning how to knit socks in the past three/four months to think about anything else, with the exception of spinning. My immediate goal for now is just to finish spinning up my merino, so that I can experiment some more with the Ciba dyes on wool.

I'll have more and better pics of my projects to come in future posts.....