Sunday, December 5, 2010

Phat Fiber for December

December's theme is "Music Box". I had some difficulty with the theme as all I could think about were those pink and white ones with the ballerinas in them that little girls get for their jewelry.

As I read the threads about it on Ravelry, I realized that I had some yarn I'd dyed over the summer that I'd called Tequila Sunrise. While some days I feel like I could strangle the DJs for playing the Eagles yet again, the yarn would work.

I'll be listing this soon on both etsy and artfire.

I've had some really great ideas for January and February. I'll start working on those in this next week to get them ready in time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Artfire Studio

I getting my Artfire studio set up! Yesterday I added the first two yarns. I'll get more added as I edit the photos.

Stop by and say hi!

I will also be updating my etsy shop with some of the same yarns where I have multiples.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SAFF 2011

It's official. I'll be at SAFF in 2011!

I'm quite excited to see my name in virtual print online. I'll be in the Sales Arena, so start praying for cool, dry weather.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Solid Lotion Bar

Until I get pictures taken and uploaded, here's something fun to do. I've made this recipe for solid lotion bars, and I really love them. I used coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax. Enjoy!

More dye challenges

The most fascinating and annoying aspect of dyeing is how the colors change from one yarn base to the next.

I've been working with two other bases that say they have the same fibers as Chris sock - 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon. All I can say is "huh?"

The way they take the same colors in the same concentrations is beyond strange. I'm sure other, more experienced dyers have gone through much of this and found what concentrations work for what wool, but for the novice dyer like myself, it's an exploration that some days confounds and frustrates us.

That's not to say I'm not getting some wonderful and beautiful results. Sometimes I do. Other times I think thank goodness I can overdye this crap!

Anyway, I've been actually working with dyes and not spending as much time here on the computer. That's why you've not seen much here lately.

I do owe you some pictures, and I'll get around to it. I've got some other, more pressing stuff going on today, such as visiting a friend with cancer and a cat at the vet for several days, so it will take me a few more days to post some pictures. Bear with me!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Be back soon!

I've been at SAFF, and now I'm playing catch up with all the household stuff. I'll update the blog soon. It's funny how the hubby actually wants to eat and complains if there's no food in the house. (and yes, he can get some himself, and he's picked up food quite a lot recently. While Publix makes a mean rotisserie chicken, homecooking is still usually better.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another installment of same dyes, different yarns

I see the end of the Chris Sock Yarn in the near future. No, it's not bad yarn, but I purchased it from another dyer who was shifting to a different knitting related venture (Blackthorn Needles) with the intention of practicing my dyeing skills while I searched for base yarns.

This past week I had some unexpected demands on my time which cut into Fiber Charmer time much more than I liked. I was unable to do much dyeing, and I'm hoping for fewer time-eating surprises this week.
However, I did find the time to get in a little dyeing, and I'm finding the other yarns don't dye at all like the Chris yarn did. They've all grabbed the dye and don't let me push it along as the Chris does.
You can see by the pictures that it looks like I'm starting at square 1 again. The Steampunk yarns in the top photo went into a dye bath yesterday to see if immersion could even out the splotchiness.
The thick/thin yarn in the bottom photo took the dye beautifully. I'm really sorry that type of yarn isn't in fashion right now as it was a dream to dye. The other yarn in the photo is Baaamboo, which I need to reorder. It's a merino and bamboo blend, and it dyes wonderfully too. It has a frosty sheen to it since the bamboo doesn't take up the acid dye.
I'll rinse the overdyed yarns today and see how they turned out. Later this week, when I have an undisturbed dye day, I see that I have to refine my techniques and experiment with dye solution strengths for these other yarns.
As for the bases in the top photo, I like them both. One is 100% merino while the other is a merino/nylon blend. I do have a merino nylon blend from another source that I want to try also. It's truly astounding how similar bases from different sources can feel differently.
I also plan to get the etsy shop updated and get the artfire studio set up in time for the Phat Fiber Box. Boxes go on sale pretty soon. Go sign up for the email if you haven't already!
edited to add that I'm working on managing my time better. Not only am I setting aside dye days, I'm working on setting up a dye schedule. I've got colors I need to restock. Contact me with any special requests!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's Sunday!

Actually, I'm low on pictures. This week seemed to speed away with practically no time to dye. My fault, really. I must learn how to schedule better.

I will mention that I'm now one of the moderators and bloggers for the Etsy Knitters Street Team. It seemed I had just signed up for the team when a message came out that the current moderators were planning to shut down the team unless some new folks volunteered to help. I thought about it and wondered if I should volunteer? Here I am, starting a new business, what could I do? I have much to learn myself. I realized that the current moderators all felt like that at one time, and hopefully I wouldn't be the only one to volunteer. There is a new team, although I think we've all been a little reluctant to step up. It feels a bit presumptious to just leap in, but I started leaping today. I've updated the blog for the Etsy Knitters this morning, and I'll spend some time this week making sure I'm well immersed in all that's going on. (Yes, it does sound like more admin time. I'm working on my calendar in just a little while and getting everything into its time slot. I must start treating my life truly as that of a small business owner and not a crafty lady who lunches.)

I will mention too that Sivia Harding will be at the Atlanta Knitting Guild this week as our Superstar. She's the main part of Thursday night's program, and she's teaching workshops all weekend long. You can get more information about all that here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Different fibers, same dyes

I've been very busy these past few weeks.

I did go out of town for a nearly a week with Gale to go to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. That was a lot of fun. I really like that show.

I've had some administrative tasks for Fiber Charmer, such as registering the name as a trade name and getting my business license.

I got sneak attacked on etsy the same night I got back into town from the show. I was so excited to pack up all those orders and get them mailed out. In fact, go check out Handmade Movement and join in a sneak attack or two. It is an amazing boost to the new artist or crafter to get those sales.

I dyed up enough yarn to send out 71 samples to the Phat Fiber Box for their October Steampunk themed box. 70 are mini skeins ranging in length from 15 to about 30 yards long. Most are 25 yards. I'd started with 15 as it was the minimum suggested, but they looked too skimpy, so I only did a few of them before boosting it to 25 yards. If I was near the end of the skein from which I was winding, I just kept going which is why there are a few that are larger. I had one short skein that was about 200 yards, so I just sent it in as is.

I just started getting back into gear and dyeing again a day or two ago. As you can see from the photos, I tried Steampunk on two other bases. I'm nearing the end of the Chris Sock yarn. On the left is a 100% merino, worsted weight yarn. I didn't really like it in the skein, but once it was dyed up and bloomed, my goodness! The one on the right is that seductive blend, MCN, which is superwash merino, cashmere and nylon. Let me say that yarn is a dye hog. It didn't look quite so splotchy when I was dyeing it, but I had run out of dyes, so I decided to just see what would happen. As you can clearly see, it needs a lot more dye. It's getting more, and luckily I have some time to decide on whether I'll overdye it by immersion or handpaint it some more.

I do have another skein of the MCN which I dyed with other colors, and while it's not so splotchy, it's not good either. The not so good experiences do tend to teach us more, don't they?

I'm really hoping to have my logo next week. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I will be selling at the Atlanta Knitting Guild each month, starting in October. I'll have one of a kind yarns there from test dyeing, or yarns that I'm having a lot of difficulty getting the colors to photograph well.

I'll be working on getting my Artfire store up and running later this week too. I'll post the link when I've got it set up.

Have a great weekend, what's left of it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How a color is born

You may wonder how a dyer comes up with color ideas. I can only speak for myself in this department, although I have been reading up to see how other dyers' minds work.

I'm joining the Phat Fiber Box, and if you're a knitter or spinner who doesn't know about this, go check it out. Now! I'll still be here when you get back.

See, here I am. Still sitting here with my coffee, in front of my computer, which is under an open window that has a cat sleeping in it. It's actually a lovely day here in Georgia after a summer of most miserable heat, but I digress. Back to how ideas occur.

The Phat Fiber Boxes have themes each month, and while a dyer doesn't have to slavishly follow the theme, it does give you a jumping off point. I've spent some time researching October's theme, Steampunk, online and getting ideas about the sorts of colors to use. Taking that information, I decided to use Gale's way of testing new colors, which is mixing tiny amounts in an ice cube tray. She says to use small pieces of silk to dye, but I've also read where you can put dots of color on a paper towel or coffee filter. And that's what I did. I mixed colors and put spots on a paper towel. I wrote my formula for each by it (again on the paper towel), then came and held them by the computer to see how close I was getting. When all was said and done, I had an ice cube tray with tiny amounts of dye that I could a)throw out, b)mix together and use later, or c)apply to one of the short skeins I had sitting around just for that purpose.

Needless to say, I went with c, and painted up the short skein. I painted it, put in into to steam, and after some time, perhaps 40 minutes, turned off the heat as I had somewhere to go. I left it in there to cool while I was gone.

When I got home, I rinsed it and hung it to dry. It's one of those yarns where I can't decide if I like all the colors or not, but as it's just a sample, it doesn't matter.

I'll admit that when I take something new from the pot, I look at it a lot. Every time I pass the bathroom where they are drying from the shower rod, I go in and look. While I know that's about as helpful as watching and waiting for a pot to boil, I haven't been able to stop myself.

Now, this sample yarn was just to use up all the test dyes, and it let's me see that this particular batch of black has a blue cast to it (great), but looking at it as I went to and fro this morning led to an idea popping into my head. I had glanced at it, and the words "blue ring octopus" popped into mind.
Let's be honest, the colors aren't that much like a blue ringed octopus. I think it was a combination of things. The white areas as I didn't have enough dye to totally cover this skein, and I sure wasn't going to mix any more just to do that. After all, this is merely a color study for me.
As I mentioned, and you can see here, I was aiming for a grey color, but my black has blue/lavender undertones. Most of my greys had some blue in them, although that could also be from the fact that I didn't clean syringe I was using to apply colors between colors, so maybe some of the blue was just contamination.
Frankly, that doesn't really matter. Just something about that particular yarn made those words pop into my head, and now I'm wondering about basing a yarn color on a blue ringed octopus.
Or maybe not. The point of all this is you have to be open for inspiration to strike you when you least expect it. It can't be forced, but it's out there, waiting to surprise you.
Let me close with a gratuitous cat picture. Here is Lily, aka Lilydammint!, photobombing as I wasn't petting or feeding her. You can also see her paws in the middle picture in this post.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

About my yarn pictures

I met with Beth yesterday. She designs both knitted and crocheted items, which you can find on her etsy shop.

It was quite interesting when I showed her my yarns that I'd brought. She had really liked the pictures of Swampwater I'd posted in my Facebook group, but she said they looked very different from what she was expecting. The photos of yarn that I'd posted in etsy didn't surprise her the same way, and that got me to thinking.

If you're a fan of Fiber Charmer on Facebook, you get to see raw, unedited photos. I take the yarns outside and photograph them on a stone bench that I've got. The cats all love that bench, so usually there are cat pictures with the yarn pictures. Lily, Grey and Hopalong (the stray) all love to get up there and see what I'm doing. I call them my quality control inspectors. I also use one of our point and shoot cameras to take those pictures.

The pictures on etsy are taken inside the house in a makeshift studio on a card table with a borrowed camera. In fact, the tan background is a padded fleece blanket that worked better than the white flannel I'd purchased especially for background fabric.

We worked pretty hard on getting the etsy photos to look like the yarns, but even all that work can't take into account monitor differences. Think about what the yarn pictures go through. The camera translates them into a digital image, which may or may not look differently once I upload it into the computer. I then edit the photos, although I didn't adjust any colors with the batch that went onto etsy last weekend. I just cropped and scaled them. The digital images then travel across glass or metal wires, or perhaps they just bounce off a satelite to end up in front of you. Your computer monitor probably shows the colors a little differently from how mine does, and we won't talk about how the colors look on your smartphone.

I do my best to portray colors faithfully, and I'll admit to buying yarn off the internet only to be really surprised when I received it. It happens. What do I do when that happens? This is me, but I toss them into my stash. Eventually, if it doesn't grow on me, I'll turn around and resell it. I've destashed both on Ravelry and ebay, but I honestly think I've only decided to sell 2 or 3 yarns that way. Interestingly enough, they were commercial yarns, although Sheri at The Loopy Ewe loves blue, and I have considered selling a couple of yarns that came in kits, but then again, I've got a husband to knit for too.

I hope this helps you when you're looking at a yarn and wondering about why it looks so differently on etsy. You're always welcome to send me a convo on etsy. I do check the shop at least twice a day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Photography and dyeing

I've been dyeing semi-solids and solids over the past week or so while I tried a couple of other yarn bases.

They're nice, but I misread the yardage on one, and I'd like to find a worsted with more yardage.

I'm adding yarns to my etsy shop today. I borrowed a Canon Digital Rebel from a friend, and I'm much more pleased with the pictures. The colors look truer to life than any I've taken so far. Hubby took about 200 pictures for me yesterday that I have to look through. I've got to find the ones that look best and edit them before posting them to etsy. Honestly, that takes awhile. Longer than I thought. I imagine I'll be sitting here in front of the computer quite a bit today.

I also spent some quality time printing labels, then cutting them apart, and labelling yarn yesterday. I'm not finished with that! At least I can cut and label yarn with a movie going in the background, so it's not totally boring.

Look for more new yarns soon! I'm ordering some really scrumptious bases to try out. I can't believe just how soft some of them are.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dyeing August 8 and 9, 2010

Originally uploaded by Fiber Charmer

I've uploaded pictures to my flickr this morning showing the results of the past two days.

I've also uploaded the same pictures to my Facebook page with commentary.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The search for base yarns

Today I'm planning to go through my list and start calling wholesalers for information and hopefully some sample kits.

The Chris Sock yarn was a one time buy for me. I'm down from 4 bins to 1 bin of it, so I'll need to find some new bases. In the meantime, Webs is having their big summer sale, and I bought some worsted weight and bulky weight yarns from them. Their pricing was really great, and this way I can fill the gap, should there be one, between running out of Chris sock and placing an order for new yarn.

I'm also planning, time permitting, to start working on some more dye recipes today. However, I went to pick tomatoes from my garden this morning, and homemade tomato soup is very high on the agenda. I filled my large colander, and I still have more tomatoes to go pick. I already have some inside that need to be used ASAP also. I'm not sure I'll get around to canning. Canning takes longer than just whipping up some soup, then putting it in the freezer. We'll see how today goes.

I did add a few more yarns to etsy last week. I need to spend some quality time here with the computer and update the shop some more. I also need to catch up on labelling things. Before I know it, I'll be going with Gale to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, leaving hubby in charge of everything. I've got to make sure it will be easy for him to keep up with it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More dyeing today

I dyed 20 skeins last week, most of it on Friday. I'm planning to get another 15-20 done today, then spend some quality time with the camera tomorrow.

I've been working on color combinations for intentionally pooling yarns, and it's been fun. I've got a colorway that I've had in mind for some time now, and I think I'll work on it today.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I didn't know it'd been so long!

The past couple of weeks have been busy with everything but dyeing yarn.

I had my birthday, a major excuse to goof off and go shopping with a friend. I did surprisingly little damage to my wallet at the mall, mostly because I was planning on purchasing a drum carder from a friend.

I did purchase said drum carder, and he delivered it with the "packing material", raw fleeces. Now I have creamy llama fleece, dark grey or brown llama fleece and some Corriedale to scour and run through my new-to-me drum carder.

I've been canning. Probably not as crazily as it seems, but I've got lots of relish canned up. I've delivered cucumbers to the Great Harvest Bakery, to my knit group, and to my family. I'm spreading it around so no one says, "Oh no! Not more cucumbers!"

I've made homemade dogfood for our poor, allergy ridden dog. She's loving it, and this recipe is pretty easy.

I've made non-toxic, homemade deodorant. So far, so good.

I've gotten the proof of my Fiber Charmer logo! I think it's really cute, but it's one of those things I need to let the back of my mind think about for a day or two.

There will be dyeing again this week. There will also be more canning as the tomatoes are starting to come in, but this week I'll be better about scheduling things. That's one thing about being unemployed for awhile. You get used to having so much time that it's hard to manage it when it starts filling up again.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

For once, procrastination was good

I procrastinated taking pictures on Sunday, and that turned out to be a good move.

My repaired camera came home on Monday! Today I'll reload the memory card and batteries, and I can take some better pictures. I'm quite happy about that.

Also, I've been waiting for that all important sales tax number from the state, and it was in yesterday's mail.

Today's agenda, between loads of laundry, includes taking and posting pictures, as well as getting some yarn listed on etsy! Woohoo!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Life has been distracting

I've had good intentions about dyeing yarn. I scheduled it onto my calendar.

I've got to be a better time manager and not let the 4 pints of blueberries that I bought on sale keep me from dyeing instead of making more jam. I'm not sure taking that canning class was such a good idea. In the past two weeks we've made 2 batches of jam and 1 batch of relish.

However, I came home from watching Dehli 6 with the Chicken Goddess on Friday and set to work mixing dyes. That takes time, and I needed to do it. I put some yarn I wanted to overdye in the pot and let it simmer away while I played with colors.

You see, the Chicken Goddess had given me a mission. Could I match a yarn that she liked that had long been discontinued? All she had was a picture on her computer that she printed out for me.

I spent some time on Ravelry looking for this color. It's long gone. I'll probably spend some more time searching for it because I'm insane and like a challenge.

The good thing is that it's forcing me to take very good notes about how I'm mixing colors. I find that I don't always want to take that step, then I get great colors and can't quite remember how I mixed them.

Anyway, I'll be back with photos a little later today.

Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two dye days, woohoo!

It seems there have been so many other things going on right now!

I went over to Gale's (of Gale's Art) house yesterday and got to use her electric drumcarder to card up some of her leftover fibers into some absolutely beautiful batts. Wow! They are so much fun to make.

I always like visiting with Gale. She has done so much over the years with fiber related arts. She is an amazing art quilter. She has done silk painting and silk screening and dyeing her own fabrics for quilts. I still can't believe that we were in the same beginner's wheel spinning class. She took off and running with it, turning her new love into a wonderful, viable business.

The most wonderful thing about her is that she is generous with her knowledge and experiences. She is one of my fiber gurus.

Part of why I'm gushing about her is that I always come away from visiting with her with new bits of knowledge. This time, I came away with batts, handcarders and some Shetland fleece.

So let's all blame Gale for my current impulse to buy an electric drumcarder, make batts, and quit knitting to spin all the time. Luckily, looking at the prices for those drumcarders has helped to curb this impulse. I'm sure it will take some time to find a good used one, as she did.

I'd best get back to the title of this post. I've spent time this past week making batts, making and canning relish, and just spending time with hubs. I finally have 2 days that are open for dyeing after I clean some veggies for easier salad making. Look for more pictures soon! I do have to spend some time today mixing up dye powders, and I expect today to be a low output day. I do have a batch of blueberry jam to make either today or tomorrow, and I may see if I can squeeze it into this morning's schedule in order to have more time tomorrow.

Please go check out the links on Twitter to the Facebook page. I posted pictures of Swampwater over there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Color pooling

Originally uploaded by Fiber Charmer

I recently learned about using color pooling to knit amazing laces, scarves and shawls. I decided to start working on some yarns that could be used this way.

I know, this one if very bright, but I like wild, bright yarns. I haven't always known what to do with them besides socks, but that has never stopped my from buying them. Now I can dye them too.

It's been a dry week!

Hubs has been on staycation this week. We procrastinated about going anywhere, so we ended up staying home. However, I've been doing other things, such as making homemade jam, and yesterday was the first day I'd gotten out the dye supplies.

I've been wondering how to show you pictures since I've been motoring through my blogger alloted photo storage, so here's a link to my Flickr. There's not much there yet, but that will be changing as I upload new photos.

Yesterday I spent some time working on replicating a color I named Bronze Age. I think it's a great color, golden tonal brown with just a hint of green, but for the life of me I couldn't get it right. I did one batch that came out way too dark. I thought maybe I'd done something odd with the blue. I did another batch, and it's not right either. Don't get me wrong! I like the color I got. I've named it Swampwater, and once it's dried, I'll post pictures. However, darnit!, I had the right dyes for Bronze Age. Why wasn't it working?

I didn't think about it anymore last night, but when I woke this morning, the answer was there in my head, waiting for me. I had done my math wrong! As easy as that. I tell you, there's nothing like a good night's sleep.

Also, we've solved the camera issue. Honestly, while I know I'll need that fancy, expensive camera, it's not in the budget right now. We have a Canon Powershot A95 that does take very good pictures. Within the past year it has started acting really crazy, turning everything purple and blurry. Sometimes we can get one or two good pictures before the wild purply, watery effects. I know someone else who has this camera, and she had something very similar happen to her. Hubs mentioned there were a lot of them on ebay for a whole lot less than what we'd paid for ours, and I decided to take a lot. Lo and behold! Several of the ones listed had the same purply problems. I thought perhaps I should do a search on it and discovered that it was a problem with a defective card inside the camera. We could contact Canon and have it repaired for free! That includes shipping! Now we're waiting on the shipping info, and it will be in the mail by Monday, if not today.

I'm so excited to get it repaired and not have to pony up for a new camera right now. Decent pictures are in my near future. Woohoo!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What a feeling!

It's an amazing feeling to see that someone has purchased my yarn and posted it on Ravelry! In my head I'm thinking "they like it! They really like it!" It's very exciting.

As for the photography and etsy thing, I've got something else to try before I go buy a whole new camera. Honestly, I'd like to put off buying a fancy-schmancy new camera for a little while as we just had to repair the air conditioner a few weeks ago, and while it was cheaper than buying a whole new unit, it wasn't cheap. As the temperature here has reached 97F either yesterday or today, we need a working a/c.

I've got hubs on staycation this week, and I can assign picture taking to him. He's done photography professionally, although it was almost always weddings and dances, so working with yarn will be different for him.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

About the photos

I'm eating up the meagre amount of photos that blogger allows. What I'll do is post them to the Facebook group and Flickr account instead of here. Facebook links to twitter, and you should be able to see the photos through twitter. I know, it sounds terribly convoluted, doesn't it? You could just become a fan on Facebook and see them there.

There's also a group on Ravelry now.

I'll keep you updated on where you can find pictures.

I'm hoping to get the bugs worked out of my picture taking in the next day or two. I've got yarns ready to go onto etsy, but right now I'm having trouble with the colors washing out. It's to do with my lighting, and I've got a cunning plan that I'll try tomorrow.

I did drop off some yarns at Needle Nook today. It's the Chris sock yarn, a blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon. I think it will probably be ready for sale by Monday, if not tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Here are some blues

Blues seem to be particularly fiddly to photograph. There are some subtle color variations that haven't been caught in the pictures very well.

Some have bits of turquoise or green or gray, but they look flat when photographed.

Some of the flatness is due to the photographer. I'm sure the more I do it, the better I will become.

Just like dyeing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I've got the the blues

They are drying right now. I'll take pictures later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What about the blues?

I spent yesterday afternoon both handpainting and kettle dyeing. Some of these are one of a kind or a single batch as I didn't take any notes and played with colors.

I can probably reverse engineer a few of them.

I like the oranges and warm colors, but I must remember that not everyone is a fan of them. I have to settle down and work on some blues.

It's interesting because I almost never wear blue, except for blue jeans, and I don't buy blue yarn for myself. I get bored working with blue dyes after a few minutes, yet I know that a whole lot of you are blue fans.

Bear with me, and I'll get some blues worked out.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

No dyeing these past few days

I've been busy with other "important to me" activities.

I participated in my first transport of rescued dogs from the shelter to their foster.

I was told by a Georgia Power contractor about a starving dog in an abandoned house on my street, so now I've been working on my first "real" rescue. It's exciting and scary and takes more time than I thought, but it's all worth it to save this guy.
Since this is a fiber blog, you can read more about it over on SouthBork in a little while. I've not written that post up yet.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

From the dyepot, 5/27/10

Looking at these pictures, I realize I really need to get a better camera for taking yarn pictures.
Or, perhaps if I were to actually set up the light box I could get better pictures from my point and shoot.
Truth be told, I wanted to get these out there so you could see what's been bubbling away in the dye pot these past couple of days.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pictures soon

This week has just slipped by so quickly! It's not like I've been goofing off, as much as I'd like to do. More yardwork, household chores, etc, have kept me from dyeing any wool.

However, yesterday I was able to get some fiber into the pot and try something new (to me). I'll have to take pictures later today to show.

I've got one skein in the pot right now. Another experiment with colors. That may be all I get to do as I've got to buy a pet showerhead today, then give Monster a bath. She needs a lion cut too. I've never done that before either, but it's gotten so expensive to have the mobile groomer do it. I figured I could learn how to do it and save that money for other things (more yarn).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Will I see the inside of a dyepot today?

I sure hope so. There are things to be completed first, such as a small mountain of pots and pans from last night's dinner, laundry, groceries, etc. Those must be done as I put off so much while skeining last week.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ah, finished winding

Wow! It takes a lot of time to skein yarn! I have a much greater respect for the indie dyers whose yarn I've purchased over the past few years.

I've now got three 64 quart tubs of yarn skeined mostly in 100 gram hanks. I do have some short skeins for which I diligently recorded the yardage, except for one. I have some skeins with knots in them (ugh!), but that was to be expected.

I've started knitting with one of the yarns I dyed last week. It's very close to a colorway that I'd been thinking about. I've got the best, most wonderful butterfly bushes in my yard. I love when they're blooming, filling the air with an elusive fragrance and attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds. I think the flowers are very beautiful. They are a luminescent lavender with orange centers. They almost glow under certain light conditions.
You'll be able to find it at my etsy shop when it goes live very soon.
I'm still looking for a graphic designer for my logo. I've looked at a lot of them on etsy, and I've found a few that seem to have the aesthetic I want. It just all takes time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Winding, winding, and more winding

On Wednesday morning I remember that Gale (of Gale's Art) had mentioned that she knew someone who was selling off all her undyed sock yarn. She had been making kits, but she'd found another knitting related product that was working better for her. Would I be interested in buying the yarn?

To be totally honest, since I'm waiting to get my sales and use tax number from the state, I've been hoarding the little bit of yarn that I have until I can order more. The opportunity to get some more was too good to pass up.

It turns out that the seller had 20 cones of sock yarn. Each cone is approximately 1 kilo. 20 kilos of sock yarn. Wow!

I did purchase it, leaving me with how to wind it all into dyeable skeins. I had to borrow Gale's skeinwinder, and yesterday afternoon I started winding.

By about 8 last night I had wound 4 cones. I'm about to get started winding again for today. I've got to return the skeinwinder tomorrow, so I have to wind as much as I possibly can before that.

Yes, you bet I've been looking at them online. Until then, you can find me babysitting this one, winding one skein at a time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dodging a migraine

There are days that don't work as planned, aren't there?

I woke this morning with one eye rather swollen, probably from all the pollen, and feeling pretty stuffed up also. I really thought I could get some dyeing and other things done today, but sometimes what starts off as a normal headache tries to morph into a migraine.

That happened today. I was feeling light and sound sensitive, so I retired to the darkened bedroom to go back to sleep for awhile. I'm lucky in that I know what sets off my migraines, and also since I recognize the signs that one is coming, I can ward off the full-blown ones.

So look here again, probably Thursday, for new pictures.

Yay Michael's!

I found that I wanted to use squeeze bottles to see if that helps with dye penetration, but I wasn't quite sure where to get some. I figured one of the craft stores would have them, so yesterday I went to Michael's.

I'd been on the phone early in the morning with a knitting comrade. She has a very distinctive car that is a lime green with a cryptic bumpersticker on it, and there it was in the parking lot. It's easy enough to find knitting friends in Michael's - just go on back to the yarn department, which is right next to fabric paints and dyes. There she was, choosing some solid colored yarns to make amigurumi sushi. We visited for a minute, then off on my search for squeeze bottles.

In the dye department, there wasn't a squeeze bottle to be found. I'd decided my next stop would be a restaurant supply store when I remembered that Michael's has supplies for cake decorating and candy making. Hmm, perhaps they would be there?

Yay! They were. I cleaned them out of one size and bought a package of smaller ones also. Today I'm mixing up more dyes and trying them out to see what results. There is so much to learn! I find I'm very grateful for the nights I actually sleep and don't wake up at 3:00 a.m. with dye ideas or knitting patterns.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Experimenting with dyes

As you can see, I'm working on my colorways. Dyes act quite differently from acrylic paints, and they almost always do something unexpected. I know it's just a matter of learning how they behave, and that takes time.