Pat's Knitting and Quilting
June 11, 2010
I used the beautiful Polwarth Roving from April's Fat Cat's Mixed Blessings Club (scroll down a little) to make us 2 nice warm winter hats.
Mine is made using the purplish Polwarth along with some light gray corriedale that I spun for the contrast color. I made a picot edging to add a little girly factor and lined it with some Aubergine Baby Silk left over from my Swallowtail Shawl.
Dave wanted less contrast for his hat, so I chose to spin some wonderful Spinderella Thrums in "Medium Naturals" for his background color. The Thrums were a beautiful mixture of natural browns/grays in soft wool, alpaca, mohair, llama.
He was not home during the only moment of sunlight we've had in the past few days, so I am modeling his hat and taking pictures with one hand. Hmmmmm - this one fits me perfectly too :-)
Pattern: Stained Glass Hat from Green Mountain Spinnery.
I think I will line every hat I make from here on out. It is a wonderful way to use up those little bits of extra luxury yarn/fiber and you never have to worry about an itchy hat again!
I forgot to get a picture of the fun top decreases, but you can sort of see it in the pictures below.
I'm leaving next week to visit my oldest son in Fairbanks, Alaska and doubt I'll get another post in before I go...so see you in July :-)
June 2, 2010
I had planned on a "finished hat" post today, but after my natural dyeing frenzy this weekend, I had to show you this instead. I have always had a strong "gatherer" instinct - can find and pick berries all day long! So it follows that I've recently been drawn to the idea of dyeing from nature and am at the last minute planting a dye garden which probably won't be usable until next summer....SOOOOO in the meantime, I couldn't wait to at least give it a try and while on a walk in the woods this weekend, I gathered one bag full of bark, acorns, pinecones, mushrooms and another bag full of every type of leaf, fern, and flower that I came upon.
I then strained out most of the dye material and put the pots back on the stove to heat up, while soaking some Knit Picks Bare sock yarn in warm water. Bark/acorns have natural tannins and do not need a mordant for dye uptake so I just plunked half of the yarn right into that dye pot. Leaves and flowers need a mordant so that the dyestuff bites into the yarn and it remains light and wash fast, so I dissolved 1 -2 tsp. of alum and 1/2 tsp cream of tarter in boiling water and added it to that dyepot and dropped in the other half skein.
These pots gently simmered for about an hour or 2 and then sat to cool overnight. In the morning I washed and rinsed the yarn and hung it out to dry.
The finished yarn is beautiful and still has a wonderful woodsy scent...
I dropped all my other projects and cast on socks - I'm making up the pattern as I go (starting the cuff with Quill Eyelet stitch pattern from Knitting on the Edge) and will somehow incorporate both 50 gram skeins into it so I have enough for a pair of socks.
Finished hats next time :)