Battersea Doggy Blanket 2

I finished a second blanket! Wahooo!

This time I used up some of my purpley pinky yarns and made a simple granny blanket. 

I used up another 160g of yarn, which now puts me at 660g of yarn used up this month. I sure am going like the clappers!

For those of you who work in distances, I have used up 2083 yards – thats 1.18 miles! I am chuffed with myself! Its amazing what a bit of incentive can do for you! 

Battersea Doggy Blanket 1

And its finished! Yaaaaay!
I already blogged about it in my first WIP wednesday post, so I wont waffle on too much.

I started it whilst I was on holiday. Mostly whilst chilling on my balcony in the sun. I finished making the squares whilst on nights a week ago. The sewing up was the most boring part, but now it is finally done!

More importantly, I am sure you are dying to know, this blanket used up a total of 425g of yarn. So if we add that to the 75g of yarn from my sandals, we reach the magical 500g! And since I have started a new blanket before finishing this one, I believe I am now closer to the 600g mark! And you know what that means? NEW YARN! YAHOOOOOO! I am off to oogle at the yarn on wool warehouses drops yarn sale! I will pop in to share with you my haul as soon as it arrives!

Sunny Sandals

So I finally made some sandals! 

I had been toying with making sandals for a while, and I had been collecting flip flops so I decided, before I went on my holiday.

Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take any pictures of them. I am kicking myself! I totally could have had some beautiful sandy shots of them. But alas, all I can offer you is these boring shots.

I started by piercing holes every 1cm around the sole. Then I did a single crochet into each hole, then for the next row I Sc twice into each Sc. 

Unfortunately, as these were a sort of trial, I forgot to write down a full pattern, but as I have large feet I do not know how I would write the pattern to allow for different sized feet. I guess a bit of experimentation is required. Perhaps I will have a pattern to share with you soon. 

I am definately pleased with them but I can tell you there are a few issuss that need ironing out before they are perfect and wearable for every day use. 

Regardless, this project used up around 75g of Drops Lima. So thats just 425g to go to meet my target allowinh me to buy new yarn! Yahoooo!

For Little Baby Elkhana

Popping in today to share with you another blanket I have made for another friend who recently had a baby! 

I used 17 and a half balls of Drops Eskimo, so its super squashy! Lovely and warm and its the perfect size for a baby right up to a toddler!

The blanket its self is just simple c2c, to add a little extra cuteness, i added a squashy scallop border! 

Finally, i made this tiny little hat! Isnt it sweet? It should fit him perfectly by the time winter 2017 rolls round! 

For Little Baby Harley

I made this little blanket over easter bank holiday weekend using 2 of my Caron Cakes for a friend of mine who had just had a baby! I loved how quickly it worked up – mainly as I had an uninterupted period of quiet with no cat to interfere! I was working nights that weekend and covering in reception (normally I am working security). Now, normally, reception is fairly busy over night – there are many regular contractors coming and going about their work who need to be signed in and given the correct permits to work. However, on bank holiday weekend, there were literally no contractors as most of the companies are unwilling to pay bank holiday rates as well as night rates, so I basically did no work for about 6 hours… and it was glorious! I sat watching Police Interceptors and Cops, drinking copious quantities of tea and eating bags and bags of mini eggs and crocheting like the clappers! 

As for the caron cakes – i wasnt expecting there to be quite so many imperfections. The yarn is quite cheap for the yardage so I wasnt expecting wonders but i just have to say this particular colourway was a little bit speckly for my liking. Having said that, as it was like this the whole way through each cake it gave an interesting texture so its not all bad! And i did love the fact that it has many stripes but no ends to sew in! Is it possible for yarn to be motivational? I found myself so much more motivated to continue so I could reach the next colour! 
It does have a slight curve to it which i wasnt expecting. I was annoyed with myself to start with but i have come to terms with it now. On researching it, i have found that this is a common issue with crocheting in the round in this way. It is suggested that to counter this problem you could turn your work at the end of each row, which is fine in general, but i dont think it is really suitable for variegated yarn. Hey ho. These things happen.

Overall I am very pleased with the way it has turned out! And It has really helped me move toward my targets for the year! 

Yarn Dying Experiment No 2. – Wilton Gel Food Colouring

I think I will call this colourway Moorland Heather…

I dyed this yarn using Wiltons gel food colour. 

We also dyed this. This is Drops Lima – I thought I could get my partner involved – allowing me to try 2 different methods using the same base ingredients!

We started by soaking the yarn in luke warm water then submerging it in a light dyebath (which consists of water, food dye and a liberal glug or 10 of vinegar).

We soaked the chunky wool in a dyebath on the hob.

We soaked the lima yarn in a dyebath in the slow cooker. 

Once they had soaked up all of the dyel we took them out and pressed out any excess liquid. We made up a couple of little pots of dye using the wiltons food colouring. 

This is where the process changed a little for the 2 yarns. 

For the wool yarn, we laid it out on a sheet of cling film and dropped the dye directly onto the yarn. 

We then wrapped it up into a parcel and placed it into a steamer basket and steamed it for around 45 minutes. 

For the lima yarn, we drained the water from the slow cooker then added just enough water and vinegar to cover the yarn. We then used a pippet to apply small amounts of dye all over. Once more, we let it sit with the lid on until the liquid in the dyebath ran clear. 

Then all that was left to do was rinse and lay out to dry.

Review:

Pros: As with the turmeric a big benefit to this method is how food safe it is! I only have a very small kitchen so I dont have the space for extra pans and utensils just for dying. Another pro is that there is no horrible smell left on the yarn after.

Cons: There arent too many cons to this method. The only one that I can really think of is how badly it stains your skin and your surfaces if you arent careful! Also, you may be able to see in the picture that my moorlandy yarn has a little bit of dark blue in it. I did not use blue dye. This is actually the black dye – so I guess if you wanted black, this wouldnt be the dying oprion for you. 

Yarn Dying Experiment No.1 – Natural Dyes

As you may remember a few blog posts back I shared with you some scrummy Welsh wool that I had bought on etsy from the lovely Charlies Angel Fibres.

Well, here is my first attempt at dying a skein. I was actually planning to try dying with Kool Aide, which I had purchased back in October, but when I got down to business, I couldnt find them for the life of me, so I decided to try one of my other planned methods instead. Natural dying, using Turmeric.

First of all, you need to soak the yarn. As it was wool, I had to be careful not to agitate it too much. I dont want it to felt after all! 

Then its time to make the dye bath. As I was dying a chunky 200g skein, I made up a larger dyebath, using 6 tbsp of turmeric, a good glug of white vinegar and 6 pints of water. You could probably half that if you were only dying a 50g or 100g skein.

First I placed the turmeric and vinegar in a pan. The amount of vinegar used should be enough to form a soft paste with the turmeric. 

Then I mixed in the water and brought to a boil. After that I dropped the temperature and let it simmer for around half an hour. 
At the end of the half hour I turned the hob off, allowed it to cool just a little so it was no longer bubbling, then placed the yarn in the pan. If it was a cotton yarn, I would suggest leaving the hob on when you put the yarn in, and continuing to simmer for a half hour before you turn the hob off, but as my yarn is 100% wool, the movement of the simmering bubbles would agitate the yarn too much amd felt it.so for wool, you need to wait until the liquid is still. 
After you have placed the yarn into the dye bath you should just leave it until the liquid is cool. A couple of hours is great.
Now it is time to rinse. Again, as I was using wool I had to be quite gentle at this stage. Rinse it until the water runs clear. Then squeeze it to release and evess water. To get the most water out, you can lay it down on a towel and roll it up then press it or stand on it. 

Finally hang to dry!
Now it is time to admire my newly made yarn! I dont know what I want to do with it but its beautiful. 

Review:

Pros: Being food safe is a big pro! I love that it is just natural ingredients, because it means I am not putting agressive chemicals into the water supply. I also love it because it is a very cheap and easy option.

Cons: The smell. It has dissipated but it hasnt gone away. Plus its dusty – by which I mean you have to let it dry then shake the life out of it – I shook it in the kitchen and in minutes my kitchen floor was yellow! Also, it kinda dyed my fingernails yellow, so I looked like a chronic smoker for a few days!