Thursday, July 28, 2011

Black Lodge Mitts

Black Lodge Mitts

My favorite Ravelry group, Knit Knackers, holds knitting swaps fairly regurarly. The swaps are generally themed but in this last one we got to pick our own theme! I was lucky enough to get Mary for my swap and she chose the theme Twin Peaks. After looking at knitting patterns that would incorporate this theme, I was disappointed. So I decided to make my own pattern. Fingerless mitts based on the Black Lodge in the television show Twin Peaks.

This pattern is easy and fast! It's a great way to use up scraps as it requires less than 50 yards per color- red, white and black. The mitts are worked identically so there's no designated left or right mitt.

Black Lodge Mitts

You will need:
size US 8 (5mm) needles for working in the round.
3 colors worsted weight yarn
stitch marker
darning needle to weave in ends

Size: Women's average to large hands.

Guage: 5sts per inch in 2x2 ribbing.

Zig Zag Pattern:
Row 1- knit all stitches
Row 2- *kfb, k3, sl1, k2tog, psso, k3, kfb* repeat for all stitches- 4 repeats total
Repeat the two rows alternating colors each time you start Row 1.

With red yarn, CO 44sts. Place marker, join in round.
*k2,p2* rib for 2 inches from CO edge.

Switch to black yarn.
Knit the Zig Zag pattern above, switching between black and white yarn. Stop when there are 14 striped rows (28 rows total) ending with white yarn.

Thumb opening:
With black yarn, do not join in round. Turn your knitting instead and start purling:
Row 1- purl all stitches
Row 2- *kfb, k3, sl1, k2tog, psso, k3, kfb* repeat for all stitches- 4 repeats total
Continue working Zig Zag pattern flat for a total of 5 striped rows (10 rows total) ending with black yarn.

With white yarn, join in round.
Continue the Zig Zag pattern in the round switching between white and black for a total of 4 striped rows (8 rows total) ending with black yarn.

Switch to red yarn.
Knit one round.
*k2,p2* rib for 1 inch.
Bind off loosely in rib pattern. Weave in ends and block.

Make 2. Wear them while eating cherry pie and drinking a damn good cup of coffee.

Black Lodge Mitts

Pattern is property of Maiya Becker. Do not sell pattern or sell projects made from pattern. Be cool.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kool Aid Popsicle Dyeing

I came across a DIY post on Tumblr that showed how you can freeze watercolor paints in ice cube trays and then use the frozen paints to "draw" on fabric or paper. I instantly thought I could do that with Kool Aid and yarn! I just had to wait for my Oregon "summer" to cooperate. I needed it to get sunny and warm enough to melt the ice cubes.

NOTE: This technique will NOT work on cotton. Kool Aid and food coloring will only dye wool, silk or other animal fiber/hair.

Remember to wear your gloves! I took one packet of Kool Aid and mixed it with just enough water to fill 3 ice cube sections (do not add sugar! Just KA and water.) Then I froze them.

I used:
Kool Aid grape
Kool Aid strawberry
Klass brand pineapple
Klass brand hibiscus

Klass is a Mexican version of Kool Aid that I picked up at a Latino grocery store.

I soaked my WOOL yarn in warm water and vinegar for about a half an hour. I gently squeezed out the water and then laid it into a glass 9x13 baking pan. I put the frozen dye cubes on top and set it outside in direct sunlight.

When I first put the dye cubes on the yarn.

After an hour in the sun.

Once it was completely melted- in my case about an hour and a half- I covered it with saran wrap to help raise the heat and incubate the yarn. In hindsight, I could have just covered it when I first put it outside to melt. You need the yarn to reach about 180 degrees Fahrenheit (really, you just need it to be HOT!) to set the dye in the yarn. You could also cook the yarn in your oven or microwave it for a few minutes but I wanted this to be a solar project. So I covered it and left it outside all day.

Yarn steaming in the sun.

You'll know it's done when your baking dish is hot and the liquid in the yarn is clear- that means that the yarn has absorbed all of the dye. Bring yarn inside and let it cool down to room temperature. I then gently washed the yarn in warm water with some Eucalan (again there should be no dye washing off- your yarn bath should be clear. If it is running color, stop washing immediately and put back outside to cook some more. Or wrap it in saran wrap and nuke it in the microwave for a few minutes.) Gently squeeze the water out and then allowed it to air dry.

I'd say this was a total success!

Name: Summer Popsicle
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Peruvian Highland Wool
Weight: Bulky
Yards: 137 yards

Update! See more Kool Aid Popsicle yarn that I dyed with notes and tips on this post.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Silas turns two!

My younger son Silas turned two! I've compiled my favorite photos of him from the past year- one from every month going back to his first birthday.

Silas on his second birthday.

Silas on his first birthday.

Inspired by Katie Aaberg.