WIP Wednesday: gradient cakes

Anneli and I thought we’d join the WIP Wednesday family, and here is my first offering. The finished cakes from last week’s Kool-Aid adventures:

20130908-153456.jpg

20130908-153511.jpg

20130908-153525.jpg

The plan is to use them both as a continuous gradient, from blue to pink. One ball will have to be centre pull and the other not (the skeins did not want to cooperate). Not sure what to make with it yet, but I’m thinking maybe something for a wee one!

1

To frog or not to frog

The longer Green Beryl has been sitting in its fishbowl, the more I’ve started to doubt whether it’s really what the yarn wants to be. Maybe it wants to be something with lots of cables instead. Hmmm.

20130910-121309.jpg

The strangest knitting pic of the year: baby Beryl with me on Möja last month. I think it was an accidental snap!

1

Lobster clasps and lanyards

The truth is I just started a new job and I expect it will drain my energy for a bit until I get settled. So this week didn’t contain much knitting (or blogging). I attended a two day course during the week and in the break I dug out my sock project. My mind was just swimming from all the new information and I needed a fixed point on which to focus. It worked nicely. I am a happier person when knitting regularly. I really must try to remember this even when I’m so exhausted I think I won’t be able to pull it off.

Anyway, at the back of my mind there’s some intriguing ideas cooking. As I’m going to have to carry my id card at all times at my new job (and just a clasp on the edging of a pocket or similar doesn’t work when I prefer dresses and the lanyard itches). How about I knit my own lanyard? It should be a quick knit and I could have different ones to match my clothes. It will be top class comfy fibers. Zero itching. And personal.

So now I’m working on the first design and I’ve ordered some lobster clasps from SprinkledPinkCrafts on Etsy. (Just how I figured out it’s called a lobster clasp is beyond me. In the last moment I thought of clasp and sort of went from there.)

lobsterclasp

0

New ideas

I got some supplies for some new projects in the mail today.

20130906-191128.jpg

I’m a self-professed yarn snob, but Drops totally has its uses. I have exciting plans for these!

20130906-191207.jpg

Crochet thread. Cutest balls ever.

2

Kool-Aid adventures #2

I tried dyeing with Kool-Aid for the first time a couple of years ago. I still have the skein, and probably the pictures (which I never posted on my old blog) from the process too, but it’s a bit of a green-blue-yellow mess that I’m not too proud of, so I doubt it’ll be making a Toshwood appearance.

Yesterday I felt the urge to have another go. For anyone not familiar with Kool-Aid (cue all Americans shouting WHAAAAAAT right now), it’s a drink mix powder that comes in little packets which you mix with water and sugar to get a violently coloured, super sweet, artificially tasting drink. Mmm. Not a big fan. The violently coloured part is what makes it work for dyeing, though. I won’t go into detail because there are tons of articles online (Knitty has a good one here), but basically all you need is Kool-Aid, yarn, and hot water.

I wanted to try making a gradient yarn and followed these instructions.

20130902-090250.jpg

I used two skeins of Knit Picks Bare worsted weight, and eight packets of Kool-Aid: two each of Pink Lemonade, Black Cherry, and Grape, and one each of Berry Blue and Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade.

20130902-090557.jpg

Attempting to soak the cake. Turns out it floats. Next time I will separate the cake BEFORE soaking it. Wet yarn cakes are really hard to pull apart; who’d’a thunk.

20130902-090829.jpg

Yarn ready, Kool-Aid ready…

20130902-090908.jpg

… hot water added…

20130902-090949.jpg

… yarn added! I had some issues with white patches on especially the blue (another reason to pull the cake apart sooner) and had to poke at it a bit with a spoon, but mostly I just let them sit for five minutes until the dye was soaked up and the water was somewhat clear.

20130902-091137.jpg

Yarn soup for dinner!

20130902-091216.jpg

The other skein soaking up the dye. Reds seem to be easier than blues. (However, I DON’T recommend handling the grape stuff with your bare hands. It resulted in nails that looked like I’d been dead in a river for a week. I had to bleach my hands.)

20130902-092130.jpg

I would love to lie and say that the skeining was smooth and easy. It took two people about two hours. Holy tangles, Batman.

20130902-092252.jpg

The finished skeins drying in the bathroom. I’m quite pleased with how they turned out, even if everything didn’t go exactly to plan!

2

Turn your mistakes into fun features

It happens that I miscalculate and at times ripping and re-knitting is the worst option. Especially if you’re on a deadline. (Note to myself: I hate deadline knitting. Try to avoid it.)

In this case I decided to line in with Tove’s new fascination of asymmetrical items. So, I added some, completely off pattern, cable knitting. And I really think it will be cool.

2013-09-29 12.00.08

2013-09-29 12.00.22

2013-09-29 12.00.38

0