Electrifying hand dyed yarns, with personality!

Posts tagged ‘Blanket’

All Caught Up! (For Now…)

Well, I’m plugging along on the baby blanket.  I am not a fast knitter by any means, and my dumb wrist (although getting better, yay!) isn’t helping me be any faster.  I haven’t decided yet just how long I want to make the blanket, but I’m about half way in either case.

Baby Blanket and Duffy 🙂

Here it is posed with a gift from a co-worker of mine, Duffy, in the bassinet we are going to use until we move to a larger apartment after the baby comes.

I’m loving how the yarn is knitting up!  Now might be a good time to confess that I can’t stand self striping or self patterning yarn.  Too predictable in my opinion.  I love how randomly this is knitting up, and yet it’s somehow evenly balanced throughout the blanket.  It looks like I’m going to have to dye up another two skeins before all is said and done.  I’m 37 weeks today, and little girl sheep could show up at any time really, so I’m trying to spend all my free time knitting on the blanket.

Fortunately, free time I now have!  Saturday was my last day working for the Mouse for now.  I’m going to miss it, especially my co-workers, but in all honesty I’m hoping to stay home with my little girl (dying yarn???) if at all possible.  It was a fun job while it lasted, and I’d love to work for them again, but family is first, and I’m having a hard time imagining handing over my little girl to a stranger for part of her days just so I can go sit at a desk.  I guess only time will tell how that one will play out.

***

Another big milestone… I finally finished off, AND gifted my friends their wedding blanket!

The Happy Couple ❤

Arn’t they sweet!  I was lucky enough to have both of them at my baby shower in San Diego last week.

Here’s a close up of the heart detail…

Since I was late in getting the blanket to them in the first place (their wedding was on Aug 12, my shower, the 26th.  Oops!), and since I was IN the wedding, I used a ribbon from my bridesmaid bouquet to thread through the heart.  I think it was just the touch the blanket needed.  It turned out super cuddly and squishy, and I’m so happy they liked it 🙂

***

Well, that’s me getting caught up.  I keep thinking about knitting myself a nice slouchy sweater for Fall, after the blanket is done, and probably after my little girl decides to show up.  What are you all working on, or daydreaming about working on as the case may be?

 

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Let the Blanket Race Begin!

I’m 35.5 weeks along… and I have about 6 inches done on my baby blanket.  It might be time to panic.

Saw the doctor this morning, and everything is going well, but he did instruct me to keep track of where the closest hospital would be while we are in San Diego this weekend.  As if I wasn’t already nervous enough about getting everything done before the little sheep’s arrival, now I have to worry that she’ll be early and born out-of-town where we won’t have any of our hospital things.

If any of you read The Yarn Harlot (and I’m sure there are others as well) you might buy into the superstition that babies don’t show up until their blanket is done.  I have found this to be true, assuming I started the blanket before the baby showed up in the first place.  The last blanket I made was for a friend of mine.  I was quite late on finishing her little boy’s blanket… but he didn’t show up until a day and a half after the blanket was done, making him nearly a week over due (sorry Lindsey!).

Now I’m not trying to stretch out my pregnancy a crazy amount of time, I’d just prefer her to show up a little closer to the date we were planning on being ready by.  I know we’ll never be truly and completely ready, but I’ve still just got a few (okay, more than a few) things on my list to get done before she makes her entrance.

So, I am plugging long on the blanket.  I have the bottom border done so far, and am about an inch or so  into the body of it.

 

I’m keeping the heart border all the way around, and that’s about as fancy as it’s going to get.  I’ve used nearly a full hank of my hand dyed Patton’s Classic Wool, in a colorway I think I’m calling Fuzzy Navel (yes a baby blanket made with yarn that’s named after booze is a little odd, but that’s how we like things around here).  I’m hoping through some trial and error to post this pattern up here once I’m done.

In the meantime, here’s who keeps stealing my seat when I’m trying to put up new posts.

Ivy

 

*I’m also playing around with picture size… bigger better???

**And still trying to figure out the new camera 😛

Obviously I’m Slow

At least with my knitting and getting back to the blog.

I did have a few things going that messed with me getting back to the computer though.  August 5 was Josh and my 5 year wedding anniversary, and also baby shower Numero Uno.  It was a long day that involved a mommy convention type thing with a friend and her kids, then a long drive to north LA for the shower.  Only there did my husband and I actually get to see each other, since he’d had to work all morning.

Among the shower gifts, my mom and grandmother brought a camera for us.  Much needed for the baby, but also it can pull double duty here (YAY!).  That is, once I get the hang of it.  It’s a little more complex than my iPhone camera…

 

Some of my first attempts didn’t turn out so well, but I am getting the hang of it.

 

Those are pictures of the beautiful (I promise it is, the pictures are just that lousy) bonsai tree Josh got me as an anniversary gift.  A traditional 5 year anniversary gift is wood, and he’d managed to remember that I’ve been eyeballing these little trees for a few years now.  He’s good like that 🙂

In other news…

The wedding blanket is done!  Mostly, and late, as the wedding was on the 12’th.  Still needs a good wash, and since I didn’t finish it in time for the actual wedding I’m going to add some ribbon from my bridesmaid bouquet to it as well.  (Pictures to come.  I need a cat free place to block it out first.)  Almost makes it worth having their gift late, eh? Who needs a heavy blanket in San Diego in August any how?

As promised, with the wedding blanket done, I have a new project!  I finally got started on the little sheep’s baby blanket!

Much swatching and sketching was had…

I am liking how the dye job turned out very much.  I don’t think it will be too over powering for a simple pattern to still be seen in it.  I’m also hoping that the pattern turns out well enough that I can put it up here for others to use once I’m done.

Over the last two days, after all the swatching and working for The Mouse, this is what I have so far…

Not all that much.  I promise it’s more interesting that just plain old garter stitch, it’s just really hard to see it at this point.

As you may recall, my wrist has been acting up due to knitting on a deadline.  I’ve gotten myself a more ridged wrist brace that I now where to bed, when I knit, and throughout the day as I need it.  Knock on wood, it seems to be doing the trick! Also knitting on the baby blanket, with more than just big repetitive stitched like the wedding blanket had, really seems to help as well.  (Any other suggestions for help with wrist pain would be greatly appreciated.  Since I’m 34 weeks pregnant still, no pain meds though.)

Now that I’m able to get back in the loop for a bit… What’s everyone else working on?

 

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More Wedding Blanket

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I’m still sweat shopping away on the wedding blanket. It has to be done by Sunday, so I promise real updates and something new after that.

In the mean time, I think the beagle approves of my work so far. He’s going to have to wait for me to finish the baby blanket before he can get one of his own though…

I’m Dying Over Here!

*Har*

So apparently off in my la la land, “tomorrow” means nearly two days from now.  Ah well, better late and all that.

I’d been trying to find the perfect colors to dye the yarn for my little girl’s blanket.  I’ve never been much of a pink person, so I was thinking on an orange, yellow, pink mixture of some sort.  As I’m still an amateur at all this dying stuff I gathered together some Lemon Yellow, Scarlet Red, and Magenta RIT dyes (found in the laundry aisle of most major stores) and started experimenting.

Follow the package directions when mixing the dye.  I put each color in a separate glass jar (awesome way to recycle old spaghetti jars and be able to save extra dye).  I also added just a tablespoon on vinegar to each jar, to help the dye stick to the yarn.

Mixed Dyes

I ended up mixing 1/4 part Red, with 5 parts Yellow to get the right orange.  The other two colors I wanted (Yellow and Magenta) seemed good as is.  Just to double-check the colors I dipped a piece of the yarn I was going to work with in for a few minutes, just to get a general idea of it.

While I was doing all the mixing and science, I had my yarn soaking and warming on the stove.  *always use a designated pot for yarn*

Water+Yarn+1/4 cup Vinegar

I heated the yarn, vinegar, and water to low/med low.  You want the water warm, but not bubbling, AT ALL!  Once the water was warm, I poured the dye in.  Yellow on one side, Magenta on the other, and speckles of Orange in the middle (a turkey baster is a handy tool for this).  It’s super important to not move the pot after this, because that will mix the colors even more, and make the yarn nearly a solid color (which I didn’t want).

Don’t Move the Pot!!!!

Put the lid on the pot, and let it hang for a good hour.  Check it every so often to make sure it doesn’t reach a boil.

After the hour , check to see if the dye is exhausted (the water should be at least mostly clear), if it’s not, let it go for a while longer until it is.  Once the yarn has sucked up every bit of dye it can, turn off the heat, take off the lid, and let it cool on its own.  If it’s a 100% wool yarn (or anything that might felt) make sure to let it completely cool before transferring it to a wool wash to take out any excess dye.  Then, hang that sucker up to dry!  *I like to roll my yarn up in a towel and step on it to get out some of the extra water first*

Once its dried, ball it up!

Not very true to color… thank you iPhone 😛

This isn’t the yarn I’m going to use for the baby blanket, it’s a blank sock yarn I had floating around.  I liked the colors enough (much darker than that pic) that I will do things the same way, but on a larger scale.

On that note I’ve started yet another baby hat with it.  They’re so quick, and I get to try out new yarns and patters, I’m addicted!

A little closer to the true color

This is just a simple roll brim hat so that I could get a good idea of how the blanket will look.

This was just one of many ways to dye your own yarn, and frankly my new favorite.  I’d love to hear about other dying styles and recommendations on dyes, if anyone has them.

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WIP: Wedding Blanket

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Current work in progress which I am very sad I started during a Southern California summer (it’s hot and humid and the blanket is very effective), but it’s all for a good cause.  It’s a gift for some very special friends of mine who will be getting married August 12!

It’s the Knit Bright Stripes Baby Blanket pattern, though obviously without the stripes, and in a larger, more cuddle-on-the-couch-date-night kind of size.  I’m using Loops & Threads Charisma in off white, on size 13 bamboo Clover circulars.  Yes the yarn is acrylic, and maybe to some a little below par, but one of the recipients of this blanket is highly allergic to cats (of which I have 2, who very much enjoy sitting on my knitting) and I wanted the blanket to be very washable.  Besides, it’s still a very nice snugly yarn, and affordable considering the fact that this blanket will probably take at least 8 skeins.

I’m enjoying how soft and snuggly the blanket is turning out, very squishy!  I’m contemplating threading a ribbon or other yarn through the yarn overs on each side, using their wedding colors.  Also on the last corner I’ve mocked up a pattern to put their initials in a heart… I’m going to have to swatch that and see how it goes.  Most of my self designed patterns end up squished or stretched.  😛