Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another Adventure Dyeing Things Blue

A new colorwork project dictates that I must have the perfect colors for the pattern.  So, in advance of working on Little Birds by Ysolda Teague I have searched through my stash and decided upon these colorways from my Wollmeise sock yarn...

Nobody's Perfect Wasabi

A light blue that didn't exist until I hand-dyed it earlier in the week.  Here is the story, in photos, of it's birth.  I'm calling it bluebird.

First it was a hank of Wollmeise 100% Natur, and it was subject to trial by fire in a hot pot of near-boiling water with a bit of Ashford dye.
After the hot came the cool water phase where it began its transformation into bluebird.
And once cooled and left to dry out, it was twisted and coiled into a skein.
Behold, the little bare undyed hank with so much potential, that is now, bluebird.  Yay!  I can't wait to knit it up.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Adventures in Hand-Dyeing Yarn

I had this mystery cone of yarn that was acquired on a road trip with friends of mine.  She had it in the back seat of her car and wasn't sure she would ever use it, so I gladly gave it a home in my stash... that was last year.  I washed it to remove the machine oils and made a few swatches of it singled/doubled...

Then, another knitting friend decided to bestow upon me some dye that she wasn't interested in anymore.  I ended up with two little bottles of Ashford dye.  I've always wanted to try it, and after seeing some of the wonderful results people got with simply Kool-Aid, my imagination went wild over the potential in these two little bottles of professional dyes in teal and scarlet.  I love blue, so I began my experiment with the teal.. 

Yarn was first wound into hanks, then tied with extra yarn in a few places.  Then it was washed and soaked for a day.  Next day, I heated the water to a low boil and added the dye/vinegar mix to the water stirring constantly.  Then the yarn was added and the dye was quickly absorbed by the yarn.  After cooling and rinsing, the yarn was dried on old hangers, clamps, etc. over a pot and tarp to catch the drips.

One cone of mystery lace-weight yarn, vinegar, dye, and old pot, stinky kitchen, and drying and winding... here's what I got:

I cannot wait to knit it up. This color has made me so happy!!  Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

StitchinKnit Version 2.1- Beta Testing

I just wanted to share the latest beta test of the updated StitchinKnit font.
After several rounds of beta testing, downsizing the symbols to the top most popularly used symbols.  Refining the position of the glyphs within the keyboard... here's what I've got to offer.


 I used Open Source Calc to plot the pattern.  I formatted all the cells within the pattern to be center-aligned, and made every other row have a yellow background fill.  The cable stitches are made up of two letters as you can see in the bottom chart.  What do you think?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Simple Photos

I've been taking photos with different impromptu soft boxes... a curved piece of parchment on a chair, a box by a window and a card opposite to reflect the light...  Here are some of the results:

environmental light (a window) with items on parchment

a box with two desk lamps (yellowish bulbs) and a tissue paper filter with overhead lighting
item on thick illustration paper

Monday, February 1, 2010

DIY Product Softbox

I think I'm going to have to make one of these. Perhaps I'll make mine a bit sturdier than the gift box as the structure, but I think it's a great investment to show the best face of a small product.  The one shown is from a flickr member and he gives his light specs, etc. for his soft box.

Andy's DIY Softbox is a great option... It's another soft box done with a desk lamp that shines on the product from above... here.  We'll see what I can come up with!  I'll post photos of the setup once it's done... and I'll post the results too!