Knit-Purl Knitting

I am a beginning knitter.  I can cast on, knit, purl and cast off.  Over the course of this year I hope to choose a new skill each month and add a new pattern each month.  My goal for the year is to make each of my boys a hat for next Christmas, fight now all I can make are scarves.

January Pattern  IMG_2741

I found this pattern as part of a baby blanket and modified it for a scarf.  I used #10 bamboo needles.

First, I cast on 52 stitches

rows 1-16:  k52
row 17: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 18: k52
row 19: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 20: k52
row 21: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 22: k52
row 23: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 24: k52
row 25: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 26: k52
row 27: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 28: k52IMG_2740
row 29: k52
row 30: k52
row 31: k52
row 32: k52
row 33: k52
row 34: k52

repeat rows 17-34 until you have the length you would like

finish with 16 rows of k52

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Dyeing Wool: the Kool-Aid Way

yarnsA few weeks ago I found a lovely cashmere cardigan at the local thrift store for under $10.00.  What makes it special is the gauge of the yarn, it is very think compared to all of the other cashmere sweaters I had found. I unraveled it and have five nice batches of yarn to use.  Now for the down side.  The sweater, and therefor the yarn, is a really unattractive shade of pink – very similar to Pepto Bismol.

I had read a few things about dyeing yarn and was not sure the dye would take at all, but I decided to go for it after finding information about dyeing animal fibers with unsweetened Kool-Aid. I do have to say that I am no photographer and these yarns are much prettier in person. The whole process was, cheap, easy, fun and sticklers – I’m hooked.

I purchased 10 packets of Kool-Aid for $2.50 and dove right in.  I simmered water in an enamel pot and added 3 packets of Black Cherry Kool-Aid.  After wetting down the yarn, being careful not to agitate (and felt) the yarn, I dunked it into the dye pot.  In a few minutes the color had completely disappeared from the dye pot and I wanted a more intense color so I added 2 more packets of Fruit Punch.  I “cooked” the yarn at a low simmer for 10 minutes then turned off the heat and allowed the yarn to cool to room temperature.  I rinsed the yarn in luke warm water with a drop of dish soap (again, don’t agitate) and followed with clear water.  Then I just squeezed out the excess water and hung it to dry.  The variations in colors are due to the later addition of the dye as well as the skein being tied together in several places – I really like it.

IMG_2738
Black Cherry and Tropical Punch

For the violet yarn, I started with the same pink cashmere, added grape Kool Aid and then a few drops of blue food color. The citric acid in the Kool Aid helps the dyes in both the mix and the food color adhere to the yarn.

Grape with a few drops of blue food color.
Grape with a few drops of blue food color.

The last batch was cream colored wool dyed with 3 packs of Orange and 2 packs of Cherry. I used so much so I would get a vibrant color. The photo show the yarn still wet.

Orange and Cherry
Orange and Cherry
Kenton was unimpressed
Kenton was unimpressed