By Tanya

This is a site to catelog, track and share all the various projects I create. It is intended to share and log successes and failures of my various craft projects. Soon you will see Handmade Cards, Knitting projects, Scrapbook pages, and Quilting projects, to name a few.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dying for Vacation

Yesterday I had a vacation day and the only thing I had planned for the day was to get out the dye I bought months ago!

Back in November I received some Knit Picks Bare sock yarn from Tammy for her Blogaversary winning package. I had wanted to try dying so this was the perfect opportunity to get some dye and try it out. I went and bought the dye, a cranberry color, and was all set. Unfortunately my fear of the unknown got the best of me and I was intimidated to attempt the dying of this yarn.

Two weeks ago I received some natural Superwash merino fiber from a fellow spinner friend (Thanks Manon!) and this set me over the edge. It was now time to try dying and my vacation day was the perfect time for it.

I started out with the yarn because I figured the fiber may be more difficult and have a higher risk of felting.

Yarn soaking

and two colors made up in mason jars. One on the left was 1 tbsp with 1 cup of water and the one of the right is 1/4 tbsp with once cup. They basically looked the same in the jar (keep in mind I only have cranberry dye).
Dye stock made

My plan was to pour some of the light on randomly then some of the darker pink randomly. This in my mind was to make a varigated yarn of sorts.

Here is the pink poured on:
Lighter dye poured on

Now with the dark poured on:
Darker dye now poured on

That is how I wanted it to look but alas, all my planning was for not. They blended together due to either the temperature, acidity or maybe just too much dye. I'm yet to determine which.
After simmering for 10 mins

All in all, even though the colors bled together, I'm quite pleased with the end result.
Finished dyed merino
Hand dyed Merino yarn

Next was the fiber. I split it in half and dyed one half a darker pink and one half a ligher pink. Again, I poured these colors on randomly in the pot.
More dark poured on fiber

I thought I'd ruined the fiber and felted it when I removed it from the water.
Light and dark pink superwash

Luckily, after a spin in the washing machine on the spin cycle, both turned out just fine and are still fluffy. No harm done.
Superwash merino drying

My plan for this fiber is to ply the two colors together after spinning them into singles. I love the blend of the two pinks.
Hand dyed Superwash merino

Time to get more colors!


Friday, July 27, 2007

Hot and Steamy

WOW, It's so hot! I think it got up to 40 degrees celcius today, and I'm in the maritimes, that's just not right.

Never too hot for knitting though. Yesterday at lunch I found myself a park bench and brought out my newest project, the baby shrug from Simply Baby by Debbie Bliss.


I'm knitting it in Rowan Cashsoft DK in Sweet which is just to die for. It is extremely soft but keeps it's shape quite nicely. It was hard to go back to work after this very enjoyable break from the office.

In other news, we held the first annual Line and Tanya Retreat last weekend in Shediac. Thank you to Line for suppling our home away from home (the trailer).


We knit, carded wool, weaved and listened to podcasts all weekend long. It was like paradise. We also made some interesting discoveries. The holder in the foldout chairs is not for cups but for yarn balls! Of course!

Line has offered to make me a wrap on her new Knitter's Loom. We got up bright and early on Saturday morning and warped it. It fit perfectly from table edge to sink edge.


When I got home on Sunday I finally sewed together a secret project I've been working on. It's not really secret, just I haven't spoken of it on my blog at all. I was in Fredericton one weekend and saw this cardigan in the window that I thought was just perfect for those cool air conditioned days at the office. When I saw that it only required 4 balls to complete I was sold. It knit up very quickly and easily. Only tricky part was the edge lace but after a few attempts I managed to get it right. And it fits me (that's a rare occurance when I make sweaters for myself).



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tizzie Episode 2: Getting Started

Tizzie's fleece is well underway to being prepared for knitting. I've continued with the washing and completed a sink full of each of the colors: mixed, dark, and white.

Here is the white drying.
Whitest fleece drying

And here is a basket full of the dark. Believe it or not this is the 'dark' but when dried like this there is a lot of lighter grey in it.

Darkest in a basket ready for Carting

Before continuing with washing the rest of the fleece, I decided to spin up a sample of each of these colors to make sure I had washed to get the best spinning enjoyment I could. Since this was my first time washing fleece I didn't want to take any chances and ruin the WHOLE thing.

Most of the staple lengths are about the length of a pen as seen here. There are few sections that are about half that lenght (not many) and I'm putting those aside and will card them later.
Staple length

I carded with dog slickers from the dollar store. I only recommend this if you are stubborn like me and don't want to purchase the really nice big cards that would probably make this job so much easier. I do enjoy the carding though, even with the dog slickers. I wouldn't be surprised if I gave in and bought real cards before I've completed this project. It could get tiresome, but for now they have worked well enough.

Here's a sneak peek at the yarn to come...

Tizzie biege on the spindle


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Raverly here I come!

I have received a account! It's been a long wait but completely worth it. They have done the best job on this site, right down to the smallest detail.

If you are on Raverly please add me as a friend. My username is byTanya.

One of the projects you will see there is Hughie's Birthday socks. His birthday was last Friday and I only had one sock ready for him (typical of me). And it was half an inch too short as well. Anyway, they are both completed now, and are half an inch longer coming in at 11 inches from heel to toe. I really love this yarn. It is a 50/50 blend of wool and cotton from Lana Grossa called Meilenweit. I can't pronounce that at all but it's made in Italy just like my favorite wine.



Thursday, July 05, 2007

Episode 1: Introducing Tizzie

I have recently purchased my very first Sheep Fleece!

It comes from London Wul farm off a Shetland/Jacob sheep named Tizzie. She is about 5 years old and I'm looking forward to meeting her. Hopefully I'll get a picture of her to go along with her memerable fleece.

This is the fleece in it's entirety. It's 3.5 lbs after it was skirted.
Tizzie's whole fleece
Isn't it just beautiful! I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but it has a carmel color to it, which is what made me pick this particular fleece. There were many beautiful ones to choose from. I had first pick this year because Heidi is so very thoughtful (might have been because I kept harassing her, hehe). This one just called to me.

I decided to try to separate the colors as best I could. I started with taking out all the darkest bits, then all the whitest bits, and bundled up all that was not the darkest or the whitest. I will blend those together to make the main color then I'll have dark grey and beige to use as accents. I'm hoping to make a sweater (someday!).

Three bags full

I'm going to make sample skeins and swatches of each of the colors to see how they spin up and knit up. I started with the mixed bag and picked out the vegetable matter and washed it up in my sink. I dried it on a sweater drying rack after running it through the spin cycle of the washing machine. That worked really great!

Mixed fleece drying

Stay tuned for the next episode of Tizzie!


Remember this?

Remember this?
Merino custom blended

It's turned into this...

And remember this?

Spun, plied Merino/Silk

It's turning into this...

Tuscany shawl from the terrific book "No Sheep For You" by Amy Singer. Of course I'm knitting it with a merino/silk blend but I need to have a little sheep. I highly recommend this book for non-wool and wool lovers. It is very educational and it's fun to mix up different fibers in your knitting. I will never be a no sheep kind of gal, but it's nice to have options; and the patterns are terrific!