Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Latte's Kool-Aid Sweater

Latte was way overdue for a new sweater. I was overdue for a Kool-Aid dyeing experiment. Here's what we both ended up with.

The Model:
Latte is a sweet little Miniature Poodle who adopted me almost ten years ago. She's all happy to be snuggled in her new wool sweater!

The Yarn:
Some buttery-soft, butter-colored lambswool recycled from a commercial sweater in a DK weight.

The Dye:
Three flavors/colors of Kool-Aid unsweetened; Tropical Punch, Orange, and Slammin' Strawberry-Kiwi.

The Technique:
After soaking the skeined yarn for about 30 minutes in warm water with a drop of dishwashing detergent (wetting agent), it was squeezed and placed in a Corningware casserole.

Each flavor/color of Kool-Aid was individually mixed with a cup of warm water, then poured over the yarn as seen below. This method will allow the original color of the yarn to still show.

The lidded casserole was then placed in the microwave and "cooked" on high for three minutes. At the beep, the yarn was allowed to rest three minutes. This process was repeated twice more, and the yarn was then set aside to cool.

After cooling, the yarn was gently washed and rinsed in warm water, given a turn in the spin cycle of the washing machine, then hung to dry.

The Sweater:
A couple of days later, I cast on for Latte's new sweater. The pattern is Casey's Coat from SNB Nation in size medium. It's trimmed with a bit of Lamb's Pride in Onyx from my stash.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Unraveling a Mystery

I just can't resist a good mystery. This turns out to be true even in knitting.

If you are not familiar with the mystery knit-along genre, it usually goes something like this: a clue, or portion of the pattern, is released to a group of knitters one at a time. This allows the participants to all work on the same project at the same time, while getting only glimpses of what the finished item will look like until the end...when everyone finishes the mystery together.

Sometimes it can be a real challenge to select the best yarn and notions to compliment the design. Yet, that is also part of the fun. Things don't always go as planned. This can even lead to happy little surprises.

Other times, not so much. My first experience with a mystery knit-along was with a shawl. While the design and my yarn were both wonderful, they just did not work well together. I ended up working only a little over half of the design, then gave up on it. At that time, I decided I would probably not join any more mysteries. I was a bit wary of the unknown.

Then, in October of last year, along came the Mystery Sock from Kirsten of Through the Loops. I jumped back in, and got hooked. The socks were really fun to make, and turned out great. They are knit from my hand-dyed Knit Picks Bare Donegal.

My newest mystery is the Sock Knitters Anonymous January Beaded Mystery Sock. I'm using Cascade Yarns Heritage merino/nylon blend. I love this shade of red. The beads are Toho size 6/0 and I'm applying them with a size 12 crochet hook.

This is Clue #1, the cuff and a portion of the beading on the leg. Clue #2 continues the beaded lace and then moves into ribbing that will end just above the ankle.

What's next? That's the mystery. We'll find out next week!! Better yet, join us! There's nothing better than a good mystery.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


We had to say good-bye to our dear friend today. Ashes has lived with us for almost all of her nearly sixteen years. I will cherish our time together and her sweet spirit that has added so much to our lives. Rest well, Ashes.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Kool-Aid Blues

Meet my most recent Kool-Aid dyeing experiment: I call it Blue Water.

I used Blue Raspberry, Grape, and Lemon-Lime. Rather than using the colors as is, I did a little mixing to get some different shading. It was then steam-set in the microwave. I did not, however, do a very good job documenting my process. Guess this means I'll just have to do it again. Darn.

I used about 100 yards of a lovely bulky wool that was recycled from a thrifted sweater. It's so soft and took up the dye easily. It'll be a great garment worn next to the skin.

And here is my yarn knitted into a Thorpe, a great design from Kirsten at Through the Loops. I dyed a bit more for the trim that was just a mixture of Blue Raspberry and Grape. I love the effect.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

May yours be a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous new year.

Resolve to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment. --Sydney Smith