Earlier this month I posted about my sons dyeing yarn with Kool Aid and food coloring using the sunshine and heat for solar energy. I told them when they picked out their colors that I would knit them hats. I just finished today!
Tomorrow, I will be one of six competitors to run for Slug Queen 2012. My Queenly name is Sadie Slimy Stitches. I've been campaigning and working towards this title since April 2011. I love Eugene, love its people and want to help encourage community art. In the competition tomorrow, I will be judged on my costume, 3 minute talent and my answer to whatever wacky question I get asked. My costume is my crowning achievement. I thought I'd break it down for you.
I started knitting my gown in May of 2011. I was inspired by the Emerald City gowns in the Broadway musical Wicked. Wicked had toured Eugene in April and I thought those Emerald City gowns would make great Slug Queen costumes. Being a textural knitter, or an unconventional knitter to say the least I had the idea to knit a gown. Thus the creation of Sadie Slimy Stitches.
My gown took 418 days to knit using 43 different green yarns. I made the pattern myself. Just knitting and fitting it as I went. A couple of friends of mine donated green tshirts that I cut into "yarn" and knit myself a train. Christina knit me a bunch of little slugs. I sewed 30 onto my train to represent the 30th year of Slug Queens- one for every queen! I added silver organza ribbon as 'slime trails.'
My little top hat fascinator was knitted by one of my Slugettes, Vicki. It's knit and felted. She also make a beautiful sparkly green veil to go with it. I finished it off with sparkly ribbon and a peacock feather.
My leggings are one of a kind by Allihalla. Alli makes the best swimsuits and I commissioned her to make me some Slug Queen leggings. I bought the spandex online and told her surprise me. They're perfect!
My shoes are Vans slip-ons that I commissioned my friend Candice to paint. What a great job! Yarn, a royal slug, knitted stitches and slime? Perfect!
I knit my purse as part of the Ravellenic Games on Ravelry. I knit then felted it. I needle felted for the first time to create the image of a slug carrying a bouquet of heart balloons.
Lastly, my parasol. Hands down the most difficult thing I've ever knit. An Herbert Niebling pattern, I knit it with lace weight and stretched it to fit over a parasol frame. You can read more about it on my past post.
To finish it all off, Sarah Clifford created my hair and make-up. Curled and teased and sprayed, my hair is HUGE! Sparkly eyes, bow lips... She did an amazing job of helping me to create Sadie's character.
Melissa Mankins at Paper Moon Studio took these amazing photos of me. I wanted photos as a keepsake. I've worked so hard to get here I want to remember it always. I couldn't have done any of this without the help and support of so many people. Thank you all. ♥
Last night was Eugene's annual Stitch N Pitch. Hosted by Soft Horizon Fibre, a bunch of knitters get together and knit at a baseball game. Why? Because it's fun, yo! This is the second time I've attended, I wrote up last year's experience here. At the game, I chose to knit on my Aquaphobia socks with yarn I dyed with food coloring.
The Eugene Emeralds played against the Vancouver Canadians. We lost unfortunately. However, I had a blast! This year, quite a few of my yarn bombing group, The Knotty Knitters got to go! We got a picture with Sluggo, the Em's mascot.
The Knotty Knitters knitting.
Drink holder makes a great yarn cozy for knitting, didn't you know?
Remember my tutorial from last summer? Yesterday, my two sons did some more dyeing using this method. They chose their colors, helped make the ice cubes. They arranged their popsicles on the yarn and waited not so patiently for the sun to dye it. I told them I would use their yarn to knit them new winter hats.
NOTE: This technique will NOT work on cotton. Kool Aid and food coloring will only successfully dye on wool, silk and other animal fibers/hairs.
My son Bailey chose McCormick yellow food coloring, Kool Aid Mixed Berry, Kool Aid Cherry and Kool Aid Black Cherry for his yarn colors.
My son Silas chose McCormick green food coloring, Kool Aid Lemon Lime, Kool Aid Mixed Berry and Kool Aid Peach Mango for his yarn.
Here are some things that I did differently from last time.
As soon as my boys were done arranging their ice cubes on the yarn, I covered the glass dish with saran wrap. I didn't wait like last time.
We did this in the morning when it was 68 degrees out. We laid the covered yarn in the shade. After a couple of hours (we ran errands) we came home and saw that the ice cubes were all melted but the yarn was still in the shade and still relatively cool.
Once I saw that the dye was all melted, I peeled back the saran wrap and gently flipped the yarn over. A lot of the dye was on the bottom and now it's on the top and will slowly drip its way through the rest of the yarn.
I recovered the yarn and put it in direct sunlight (It got up to the high 80s in the afternoon.) We went to the park after this for a few hours. When we got back, the saran wrap was all steamy and the glass was hot to touch! I brought it inside and pulled the yarn out. It was really hot too. Perfect! The water dripping off the yarn was clear, all the dye was absorbed into the yarn.
Including shade and sunlight time, the yarn was outside for about 6 hours. I thought by letting the ice cubes melt in the shade, it would melt slower. Giving it a less spotty, polka dot look. I also think turning the yarn over was a good idea. Their yarn is more uniform. Yay success! Feel free to ask me any questions below.