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So a few people wanted to know how I dyed my recent roving (for spinning).  I am by no means an expert, I’ve only done 3 different kinds and I learn something new each time!  I taught myself through watching numerous videos on youtube, reading many different tutorials on Ravelry and on the internet, and then through my BFF CherrySprinkle aka September Pixie aka Nina🙂 and her experiences with dying wool roving!

But enough jibber jabber, lets get to dying…this is a very photo heavy post because I wanted to try to show as much as I could for you!!  Like I said I am no expert and am still in the learning phase, but this is the process that has been working for me!

Supplies:

  • Bare wool roving (kool aid only dyes on natural animal fibers)
  • Kool-aid, in whatever shades you like
  • Vinegar
  • Newspapers/disposable cups/plastic wrap
  • Strainer/pot for the stove with about 1 inch of water in it
  • Something to squirt the dye onto the fiber, I use a turkey baster

So first here is the bare roving, kool-aid, my work surface, and pots:

 

1. First you have to soak the roving in hot water.  I put just a splash of vinegar in the water as well…I don’t know if this does anything to it but I like to think it helps the color absorb better!  DON’T swish it or ring it or anything!  If you are using regular wool it will felt.  I use hot water, not lukewarm.  All you have to do is gently push the fiber under the water so it starts soaking it up.

2. While this is soaking I like to start mixing my colors.  The kool-aid mix I found works well is 1/3 cup of vinegar to each packet you use.  I usually use 2 packets for each color and then 2/3 cup of vinegar.  I only had 1 packet of strawberry so I mixed in 1/3 cup of vinegar.  Otherwise I used 2 packets of grape and 2 packets of pink lemonade.  Then stir them really really well!!  BE CAREFUL with this stuff!!  It will stain!!  Don’t wear clothes you care about, be careful of where you do it at in case it spill on the counter/floor, use caution!

3. After the wool has soaked for about 15-20 minutes press out all the water, gently!!  DON’T ring it out DON’T squeeze!  I usually put it in a strainer and just press down with my hand.  It doesn’t have to be completely dry but try not to have it soaking wet.  Then lay it out on your plastic wrap (that’s on top of newspaper) and this time I put it in a circle, you can put it in a serpentine like shape (back and forth in rows) or however you want!  Be creative!!

4.  Now comes the best part!  Just start dying it.  Use your imagination.  I always have a cup of regular water too to rinse out the baster in between colors to prevent them from mudding up.  I usually always leave some space in between each color unless you are ok with the colors bleeding, which they probably will.  I don’t mind some white in my colorways though.  Add just enough color, not too much, if you over saturate you will definately have a huge mess and your colors will likely allll pool together.  You don’t have to use every drop of dye, use just what you like.  Remember a lot of color falls underneath the roving so it may look bare on top but on the bottom it’s fully soaked.  It took me a couple tried to get this just right.  Don’t be afraid to mess up, just learn from it!!  *I usually start my water simmering to get the steam ready before I start dying so that by the time I’m done dying the roving the pot is ready!*


5. When you’re all done with that start wrapping it up like a package in the saran wrap.  I pull the top and bottom sides over first and seal it (there should be 2 pieces of saran wrap down on the newspaper sealed on the underneath part to prevent leakage) lightly press down to get rid of any air.  Then bring up each side and seal.  Then roll it up gently so it looks like a little rump roast being careful not to break any of the seals.  Plus there will be steam in it so a little breathing room is nice!

6. Then carefully place it into the strainer in the pot.  I place a cover on it and turn the stove all the way down to a 2 or so.  Just enough to keep the water at a simmer enough to cause steam.  Don’t make it too hot, this could cause felting as well!  Then just walk away…well not too far!  Always keep an eye on it, making sure there’s steam but not too much and BE CAREFUL!  Everything will be super hot, steam is terrible and can burn you!  I usually wait about 30 minutes or so and then check it, I use a tongs to pull up on the saran wrap carefully, if there is no more dye stuck to the wrap it’s good!!  All of the dye should soak into the fibers.


7. I then very very carefully transfer the entire strainer to the sink.  I use a potholder and the tongs to do this.  The saran wrap and strainer will be extremely hot!!  I then use the tongs to gently unwrap the fiber so it is out of the saran wrap completely.  It needs to cool down before rinsing it.  I usually drape it over the sides of the strainer because it cools wayyyy faster than if it sat in a big pile in the bottom of the strainer.  But just try not to agitate the wool too much.

8. After the fiber has cooled enough to handle gently rinse it under water that is about the same temperature, I usually use leukwarm to cool as I let my fiber cool quite a bit.  You don’t need to rinse too much and you should notice the water runs through clear.  If it doesn’t you will need to steam longer as the fiber didn’t soak up all the dye.  Then gently press it with your hand to rid of any extra water.

9. Now it’s time to dry it!  I usually put mine out on my deck to dry, today I was hanging clothes out and it was 100 degrees so I was able to drape it over the clothes line.  You can hang it in your shower, over your sink…where ever you need to so it can dry and you don’t care if it gets wet underneath!

10. Then you wait, wait until it’s dry.  You can than wrap it or braid it or spin it!  I like to put mine in a braid so it stores nicely and looks neat and nice until I can spin it!!

Here was my finished product:
“Cotton Candy”

That’s it!!  I will probably start using acid dyes when we move into our home but while we’re living with my parents I will use kool-aid, it’s quick, cheap and doesn’t take up much room!  It’s so much fun I hope you all will try it out, it gets addicting!!

If you have any questions or comments please ask! 

Here are my other 2 rovings I’ve dyed:

“Cherry Jubilee”

“Oogie Boogie”

So if you are a knitter you have probably heard of the Mason*Dixon books or patterns.  They are these AMAZING patterns that look nearly impossible to complete but they are so awesome and the chicks that wrote these books explain things so simply that it makes you feel like you can do it!!  And when you do you feel like you can make more and more and before you know it you have expanded your knitting skills like crazy…I have both books:

Mason*Dixon Knitting

Mason*Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines

So here’s my goal…knit EVERYTHING in these 2 books…I don’t have a clue as to how long it will take me but I will keep track of them all on here.  I have already made a couple of things and have quite a few things on my “want to make” list.  I am going to start with the first book and so far I’ve made the Ballband dishcloth (page 21), which I’ve made quite a few of but only have pictures for one of them so here is that one:

And then I have done a version of their How to Log Cabin blanket (page 68)…so I think that counts…I am actually still working on it but I hope to finish it before autumn. 

Here’s a list of all of the patterns in the Mason*Dixon book. 
(Bold=already done/currently doing) (Italics=wants to do next)
(Regular=maybe not so excited to try)

  • pg. 21 – Ballband Dishcloth
  • pg. 23 – One-Piece Baby Kimono
  • pg. 27 – Chevron Stripes Hand Towel
  • pg.27 – Moss Grid Hand Towel
  • pg. 30 – Dragon Jacket
  • pg. 32 – Flower Jacket
  • pg. 42 – Big Dotty Cushion
  • pg. 46 – Bubble Curtain
  • pg. 50 – Mason-Dixon After-Dark Nightie
  • pg. 52 – Mason-Dixon After-Dark Robe
  • pg. 55 – Mason-Dixon Washcloth
  • pg. 60 – Felted Boxes
  • pg. 68 – How to Log Cabin
  • pg. 70 – Joseph’s Blankie of Many Colors
  • pg. 74 – Courthouse Steps Denim Blanket
  • pg. 75 – Snazzy Bath Rug
  • pg. 78 – Moderne Log Cabin Blanket
  • pg. 79 – Moderne Baby Blanket
  • pg. 80 – Tailgate Rag Rug
  • pg. 82 – Absorba, The Great Bathmat
  • pg. 84 – Flying Geese Blanket
  • pg. 95 – Superfancy Potholder Loop Rug
  • pg. 96 – Dizzy Rug
  • pg. 97 – Dishrag Rug
  • pg. 99 – Circle-of-Fun Rug
  • pg. 108 – Mitered Square Blanket
  • pg. 114 – Scribbling: The Basic Recipe
  • pg. 118 – Nina Shawl
  • pg. 132 – Baby Bib O’ Love
  • pg. 133 – Baby Genius Burp Cloths
  • pg. 136 – Keepsake Blanket
  • pg. 140 – Moses Basket, Ambitious Grandmother Version
  • pg. 144 – Moses Basket, Stovetop Version

Wow that’s a lot of patterns…and many of them being bigger projects…I really love pretty much everything in this book though.  I’m just starting the Baby Burp Cloths as soon as I’m done writing this so I’m super excited!

And I’m off…

So life has been nuts lately…I got a second job so it is quickly eating up my free time.

I have taken on the second month of classes for the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry and may have gotten in over my head…I have completed 2 projects so far and they both turned out pretty amazing so I’m happy about that!  I made my first doily after saying I would NEVER make one!! hahaha Now I’m hooked!!  And I made another stuffed toy, it’s actually a pin cushion which I love!!

Here’s my doily:
Hearts and Diamonds pattern

And here’s my Donut Pincushion:

There are still 4 projects I am hoping to make but the month is now half done and I don’t know if it’ll happen!!  Plus I need to really put a dent in my big blanket…5 squares down, 15 to go!  I can definately tell I’m more stressed when I don’t have a lot of time with my yarn!!

Now I’m off to bed at 9:30 because I’m beat…

So on this lovely site called Ravelry, which I am hopelessly addicted to, I belong to a group called the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup.  You get “sorted” into the different houses (I’m in Gryffindor) and each month there are different “classes” you can take and make something that fits the “homework assignment” and earn points for your house.  So being the big ole dork I am I started this during the month of May!  It’s a good way to clean out your queue of projects you want to make, along with meeting tons of awesome people and having fun doing it all!!

So the month of May I took on 4 classes out of 6, I attempted 5 but fell short on one project and it is only about halfway finished.  I also started an OWL (Ordinary Wizarding Level Examinations) which you make over the span of 3 months.  So seeing as the first month of this term has come to an end I thought I would share my projects made!

Defense Against the Dark Arts:
I had to spy in someone else’s projects or queue from a different house and pick a project that I wanted to make.  I had to credit the source to make sure it was credible.  I made the “PopTart Cell Phone Cozy“.  I had been wanting to make this for a super long time so I quickly searched other people’s queues and finally found it!  It was a little difficult to make and didn’t turn out the greatest but it still is super cute and my little ‘Crackberry’ fits perfectly inside!

Charms:
I had to make something that involved either a bird, rabbit, or dragon.  I chose these cute “Birds of a Feather“, they are called amigurumi, which are just little toys that are stuffed.  It was my first time trying it out and it was so much fun!!!  They turned out super dooper cute!

Herbology:
Craft something that has to do with flowers or embellish something with flowers.  I had been wanting to make the “Clutch You’ll Never Give Up” handbag for sometime so I thought I could just embellish it with flowers so I found the “Pipp’s Felted Roses” pattern and used some Noro yarn scraps for the flowers.  I love love love this clutch, I just need to add lining to it!

History of Magic:
I had to make something that reminded me of the Chamber of Secrets.  So naturally because of all the bones and skulls I had to craft something with a skull on it!!  So the “Skullholder” was perfect.  A potholder with a skull on it, it turned out pretty well…I want to make a matching one yet too.

Then for my big project I am making a blanket!!  I’ve never made one let alone knit one so I’m pretty excited, plus I’m using Noro yarn for the whole thing which means it will be amazing!!!  I’m using the “Paintbox Log Cabin” pattern.  So far I have 4 out of the 20 squares done and I’ve started the 5th.  I’m not quite as far as I wanted to be by the end of this month but I hope to pick it up this coming month!!  Here’s my 4 squares so far!  The numbers are just the colorways so I can keep track of what each colorway looks like knitted up!

So now the next month of classes will be announced on June 1st and I’m excited and ready!  I know this all sounds super geeky but it really is so much fun! hahaha

So we are HUGE horror movie film buffs….I am probably more of a critic than my husband but we definately know what we do like and what we don’t like.  We also tend to disagree…I prefer the horror films from the 70’s – The Exorcist, The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, The Omen, etc….All which have been remade except the Exorcist but I’m sure they’ll try and do that one eventually.  I detest remakes, there was nothing wrong with the originals and in my opinion the originals are all way better but my husband likes the remakes…so this in turn leads to a classic from our childhood, A Nightmare on Elm Street.  The original is from 1984 which so happens to be the year that I was born but having the amazing parents I did they let me watch these when I was little with them and instead of having nightmares from them I in turn have become a huge fan of horror films.  But now they are remaking this and I am torn.

I was very mad just for the fact that they would remake this and then found out Michael Bay is remaking it…really!?!  Great…not so much!  Michael Bay is a douche bag! hahaha  The only movie of his I liked was Armageddon.  Since then he has been the producer on these remakes:

  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (twice)
  • The Amityville Horror
  • The Hitcher
  • Friday the 13th
  • Nightmare on Elm Street
  • and soon Friday the 13th: Part 2

Really?!?  Does this guy not have any of his own ideas?  He did Transformers which is based off of a children’s show!  Ok now I must get off my soap box about him or this post will just be worthless! hahaha

Next I wasn’t excited for the remake because to me Robert Englund IS Freddy Krueger…no one else could even live up to this.  He is universally known as that character.  It was really really hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact of a Nightmare on Elm Street movie and Robert Englund is no where to be found.  But I do have to say I am a fan of Jackie Earle Haley who played Rorschach on The Watchmen which was one of my favorite characters so I’m hoping he does well as Freddy.  It’s some big shoes to fill.

But nonetheless of course my husband is ecstatic for this remake as he always is for remakes and I’m on the fence.  It is one of my all time favorite horror films so we will probably go see it but I will be overly critical as I always am with remakes.  Watching the trailers multiple times this morning has sparked an interest in me though.  I like the cast they have picked which includes Kellan Lutz who not only is a hottie in Twilight but also is from North Dakota which always makes it awesome!  Plus Kyle Gallner which is the cutie from Haunting in Connecticut which I hated but he was good in it.  Thomas Dekker who played the very lovable cancer patient boyfriend in My Sister’s Keeper who was one of my favorite characters in the whole movie.  Clancy Brown who has freaked me out ever since his role in the TV show Carnivale! 

So with that said it has good things and bad but I leave you with the trailers to make the decision yourself:

So I’ve been wanting to try to make a diaper cake for a while now.  I was just fascinated at how you can make a cake out of diapers and baby supplies!!  We had a baby shower today at work for a fellow coworker so I took that opportunity to try it out!!  I consider myself a fairly creative person and after watching a few tutorials on YouTube I felt confident!  I went and bought a pack of diapers and a handful of baby things (bibs, socks, toys, etc)  So I’m not gonna lie rolling the diapers and putting the rubber bands around them kinda sucks!  But it really didn’t take that long, I got it done during an episode of American Idol…then I assembled it all the next night during the results show🙂

Here was my first layer:

I used an 8oz bottle for the center and then wrapped each round with a rubber band.  This took like 2 minutes! haha

Second layer:

Just added another layer with only 2 rounds of diapers instead of 3.  Super easy!  I wanted to put a third tier but alas I ran out of diapers.  I used a 50 pack so I would buy at the least a 60 pack next time.

Here it is with a few things added…I did add a 4oz bottle on the top and taped it and rubber banded it behind the elephant toy at the top.

Then once I figured out where I wanted to place everything it came together very quickly.  I am so pleased with how it turned out and can’t wait to make another one!!  It took me 2 hours total, 1 hour to roll the diapers and 1 to assemble.  Not too bad.  I didn’t keep track but I probably spent about $25 on it which it what I would’ve most likely spent anyway on a gift.  Plus it was the talk of the baby shower!!!

All I used to keep it together was rubber bands, scotch tape and ribbon so she will be able to use everything including all the diapers.  It was so much fun!  I think I might try making a wedding towel cake for a few of my friends that are getting married this year as well!!  I love being crafty!!

On another crafty note, I am meeting my cousin in a few days (we live in different towns and we’re meeting in the middle!) and she wants to get another small tattoo but wants me to get something too so after much thought I think I will be getting a knitting related tattoo!!  Commitment I know but when have I ever been afraid of commitment!?!  You will just have to wait and see what it is though! 🙂

Lastly, I work in a salon/spa which gives me the advantage of doing amazing things with my hair.  One of the girls loves to do crazy things with my hair (she’s been my stylist for years actually, plus she’s a personal friend) so we were late at the salon the other night and this is what turned out:

Pretty stoked about this!!!  We bleached a huge section on top and then she added teal and purple…LOVE IT!!  And the nice thing is since I work there, whenever it starts to fade out she can just touch it up quickly!

As for knitting, it’s just been dishcloths lately oh oh oh I almost forgot…I got THE MOST AMAZING knitting needles yesterday from scarymerry on etsy.com:

I apologize for the dishcloth being worked but like I could wait to use them!!  The Nightmare Before Christmas ones are size US7 which I use for most dishcloths and the Corpse Bride ones are US10 so it’s a fairly common size.  I also got matching stitch markers with both.  All are handmade!!  LOVE IT!!

Alright that should be it for the night!  Now off to knitting cloths!

So on Ravelry I’m involved with a few different swaps which means we’re paired up and their’s usually a theme and then we send each other stuff.  It’s so much fun to do!!!   Well recently I received a few different packages.

I’m involved in a Pen Pal swap where I met an amazing new friend and in the month of February we were supposed to send each other something that we like…well she’s a spinner so she sent me a Spinning Kit!!  Plus some handmade fiber from a friend of hers in our wedding colors that is absolutely amazing!!!  Welllll spinning‘s not as easy as it looks and I’ve been practicing and getting better but I’m totally hooked on it!!

Here’s what I got:

Then I was able to find some cheap wool roving at Hobby Lobby just to practice with for a while so this is what I made out of that….I was going for a Harry Potterish kind of color but I think it kind of looks like a Circus so that’s what I named it!!  There’s barely anything to it but it’s the first yarn I ever made!!  So I’m excited!!

And then I was involved in another swap that’s called and ABC swap.  Every month there’s a different letter and then you send stuff the other person would like that starts with that letter.  February was “O”!  So it was kind of hard but fun to think up things!!  I got my package from her and got some really awesome stuff in it!!

LuLu’s sweater is a little snug🙂

And then I finally made some Apple Cozy‘s like I’ve been wanting to do for forever!!  The multicolored one was the first one I made and then I’m making 14 of the red and green ones to give to the girls at work!!  They are just so cute and make a really cute gift…I’m almost halfway done with all of em.

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