Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Turn back now

What is up with this proprietary shit? I'm talking about a the general closed lip nature of dyers. I've seen on a few occasion when someone will be real chatty but as soon as a question of dye technique comes up. Closed lips. Where did you go? Why aren't you answering the question? I was reading a board on Ravelry which went a little something like this (paraphrased of course).

Q: How do you speckle dye yarn?

A: (from a dyer) What is that?

Q: Yes I do. Your (the answering dyer) dye is the look I want. Here is a link to some of your yarn that has the look I'm looking to create.


No answer. Dyers then started discussing this. But nobody fessed up. Not even the dyers who know how to do this. Why is this? Why are we as a fiber community willing to share all kinds of info about our personal lives, but not this. Trade secrets? Seriously? At the time I was also trying to create a speckle type of dye job, more like the Araucania brand look but it was similar to this dyers look. I eventual figured out on my own but only after a long year of money spent and time wasted. Well, not wasted, I enjoy any time I get to spend dyeing. And frankly I'm happy with the results I have been able to achieve. But, some people don't have the money or time to be able to go through a year of trying things out.

Here's my thoughts on this matter in a nutshell. It's a large nut. A simple google search will results in a load of tutorials on how to handpaint yarn in the segmented colorways. You know the one when you lay out your yarn on some plastic wrap and color different sections. And what did that hurt? Now we as knitters have so many choices for really lovely handpainted yarns from indie dyers all over the world. And I'm sure that some of the really big indie dyers started out by buying an extra PAAS Easter Egg dye kit. Vinegar. Painting all those pastel colors over a skein of KnitPicks Bare fingering weight yarn. I actually used Wilton food coloring and the Bare yarn. You get the picture. And how about those who started with the large pot on the stove and just threw cation to the wind. Dumping in those food colors all willy nilly. Has it really hurt? Really? I think it helps to have so many with dye knowledge. It opens more resources. It opens more opportunities. Look at the Phat Fiber Sampler box. Where would this be if it were not for so many indie dyers (and other fiber related things)?

My pledge is two fold. First, my next post will be the tutorial on my dye process. Second, I'm going to start to review and post about things I've bought from indies. These will not only include yarn/fiber but also soap, jewelry, and more. Whatever I buy from etsy will get a review and link to the etsy store.

We have to support each other. I'm just not digging on this "it's mine" attitude.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

much spinning inspiration

I'm pretty sure my head is going to explode with all the art yarn ideas I just rec'd from the DVD Sit and Spin. It's 3:31am. Yes, 3 in the morning and I just finished watching. Um...I Luv this DVD...seriously. First because of the great technical info. Second because of the metric butt tone of inspiration. Check out this trailer. If you want to learn to spin art it, buy it now.

You can't imagine how much I want a drum carder just for spinning art yarns now. I did buy hand cards and a load of different fibers for carding. I'll post when I get them in. And you will be seeing plenty of pics in upcoming post.

Oh...wanted to update you on the progress of the Magical Sweater. Spinning has been put on hold until I receive the carders. I've decided to card the 3 colors together and then spin. I want a more heathered look than I'm getting from the current technique. Course now I have an entire bobbin of the brown/turquoise single and a partial of the natural. Luckily I have plenty of this fiber. And, I can maybe use the single in art yarn. Just say'n.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I was thinking...

It might be time to order some proper yarn/fiber labels. I have some questions before I do. How do I label each for the different yarn/fibers? For example, If I have different yarn/fiber types, I would need different labels. But labels can get expensive. That's why I've been doing them myself, I could just print out the amount needed at the time with the correct information. What type of graphics should I use? These will probably have to last a while so I want to be absolutely happy with them. Crap...I hate not being able to make up my mind. Oh and don't forget. What size would I order?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Year of the Garment

magical sweater notes

I'm so into making sweaters. I've started 2 sweaters so far. The February Lady Sweater and my own Magical Sweater. The Magical Sweater is still in the planning and spinning stages. I figured out the stitch patterns I'm going to use and I've created a schematic (not shown). Above you can see the general notes on how I want to construct the sweater. It will be knit in pieces (fronts and back first) then I plan to seem the sides and top. From there I will pick up stitches and knit the sleeves down from the body. I'll then add the front/neck ribbing and pockets. Good plan right? I've finished the first bobbin of brown and turquoise. I'll next spin the bobbin of natural. Then brown and turquoise. Then natural. You get the idea. I just want to break up spinning the natural since this might bore me. One concern...after dyeing the brown and turquoise, it's feeling a little rougher than the natural. I'm hoping that after plying and bathing in conditioner it will soften up.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Magical Sweater - Part 1

So here we go. The dyed and natural roving. This roving has a fairly long staple length. Had to get used to that. Spun up some samples of 4 combos.
1. Turquoise single. Natural and brown spun together, then plied with turquoise single.
2. Natural single. Brown and turquoise spun together, then plied with natural.
3. Brown single. Natural and turquoise spun together, then plied with brown.
4. Singles of each, then 3 plied.
I'm going with door number 2.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

little about things

I have this idea. Not an original, but an idea. I going to dye, spin, and knit a big comfy sweater. Why is this interesting enough to post about? Well, I've not done this before. Here's what I'm thinking. The roving: 1/2 lb brown, 1/2 lb natural, and 1/2 pound turquoise. From here I don't know if I'm going to spin the turquoise and natural together and then spin that with the brown. Or if I'm going to spin each single and then do a 3 ply. I hope to get a worsted weight. I'm going to do small sample of each to swatch and see. Once the spinning is done then I hope to do a sweater like this. It has some sort of cable and bramble type pattern. Only on the front, which will make the project quicker. It should be simple to design, drop shoulders so no sleeve shaping.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Phabulous Idea

Have you heard about the Phat Fiber Sampler Box? Go look now! Its full of samples of indie dyers, spinners, patterns, and fibery goodness. You can buy a box here. And...guess who will have a box in the April sampler box. Yay!