Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mixed cotton fiber bleaching!

I just wanna dip all my wool in Kool-Aid and all my cotton in bleach! Yarn dyeing are addicting!

But I thought I should do some more research on the matter of cotton bleaching. As we allready know, bleaching works best on cotton cause it doesn't break down the fibers nearly as easily as it does with wool, cause with wool, the fibers gets destroyed. Acryllic doesn't change much at all in bleach, and lets be honest here, acryllic yarn suck anyway.

But after my test with the 50/50 bamboo and acryllic yarn that I did earlier, I decided to test out some of my other cottons that's mixed in fibers. I pulled out two skeins of Drops <3 You 1 which was a limited edition cotton yarn from Drops Design almost two years ago, 50/50 cotton and polyester micro. It sold out super fast and it was just about the cheapest cotton I've ever bought. In return, it's not THAT great to work with cause it splits way too easily, but it worked fantastic as dishcloths. I still got 5-6 skeins left in red and blue, so I decided to test with one of both colors.

The other yarn I decided to test out was Tuva from Trysilgarn, 50/50 cotton and acryllic. This is one of the most popular brands for dishcloths over here. Personally, I still prefer just about anything that's 100% cotton over these.

So I plopped two of each brand into bleach two days ago. I checked in on them every 15 minutes for an hour before I gave up and let them sit over night. There was just about no change on them, which didn't surprise me really.
I let them sit for just about 20 hours before I pulled them out and rinsed them off, and while being wet, only two showed any change in color, the red Drops <3 You and the blue Tuva. While I was rinsing them off, the red Drops <3 You bleed like a maniac! Every time I squeesed that particular skein, the water turned pink.

After I was done rinsing them all off and put them to dry, the blue Drops <3 You started to show some change in the colors too. The more it dried up, the more change it showed.

The green Tuva on the other hand, hardly showed anything. It had a slightly lighter hue on one end, but that's about it. Not even visible on camera. So just for the sake of experimenting, I poured a little more bleach, concentrated this time, and dipped the end of the green skein in. Mind you, I've been using a 1/3 bleach to water ratio so far.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crafting nook "makeover"

I'll make this a short one since it's not yarn related.

Recently I pruchased a dress that I got half off original price from a online clothing store. With it I got two decorative pillow cases and a blanket for free with free shipping. I figured that these last mentioned items would be great upgrades on my otherwise boring little crafting nook.
When I craft, I'm located in this huge, comfy and green chair from IKEA. It's actually so big that I could curl up like a cat and still have room for half my yarn stash next to me. But when I snug up, I like to stuff my surroundings with pollows, so I got in total four pillows in my chair that I use to keep my butt in place. Two for the back and one each to pop my elbows on. It's like I got a chair of pillows inside a chair...of pillows!
Not to mention that I love to cover myself up and snuggle down with a blanket, so I got this huge and fluffy faux fur blanket...that's full of cat hair mind you. But all of this seem pretty bland, don't you think? Black on grey on green? Even though the colors are great, there's not much going on there. The only kind of fun thing happening in that chair are my awesome polar bear pillows!

Let me talk about the polar bear pillows for a bit, cause they are actually hand sew by yours truly! Let's try and make this craft related at some point atleast...
So, I've had this extreme facination with polar bears since...I have no idea when... Forever it seems... And one time when my parents and I were off on a shopping trip in Sweden (cause we norwegians do that all the time), my mom dragged me to this craft store for some reason. They sold yarn and fabrics, but since this was before my yarn craze, I didn't really browse through their yarn stash. Instead I found this little piece of plush, fleece fabric with polar bear print on it. It wasn't a big piece, but because of my facination with polar bears, my mom bought me this fabric and suggested that I could maybe sew something with it.
Some time later, my mom dug out some kind of stuffing fabric thingy stuff and gave it to me along with the polar bear fabric and told me to bring it to school. Since we at that point had sewing in the art and craft class, she said that I should ask the teacher if I could use this stuff to make myself some pillows, which my teacher agreed on.
Since the polar bear fabric was so scarce, I could barely make two pillows out of it. To get the big polar bear on the front, I had to be creative with how I sewed it up. One has the seam on the side while the other got it 1/4 on the back. This may not be the biggest accomplishment for you sewers out there, but for me, this was big!
So the polar bear pillows have followed me for over 10 years now, to every dorm and appartment I've been living in.

Because of this, it's sad to see them go, but they were the only pillows that would fit these new pillow cases. It's kinda comforting knowing that they're still there, under the fancy zig zaggy pattern.

The blanket is thin and acryllic, so it's not very warm, but perfect as a summer blanket. The faux fur ones tend to be too warm during summer, so it'll be good to have this lighter one to pull over myself, even when I don't need a blanket. As I said at the beginning, I love to snuggle down under a blanket, no matter the temperature!

So what do you guys think of my new surroundings? Does it look any better? I do think so!

Monday, April 28, 2014



So, I'm working on this secret project, which has a pretty slim timelimit on it...I can't show any pictures, or speak in detail what it is, but here's what I can share about it... I am supposed to have 96 stitches on each...I'm supposed to decrease 16 of those and have 80 after a horribly long stretch of knitting... I decided to recount the stitches, now that I've done the last decrease on this first one... So I count...and I count again...a third time I count...and a fourth and a fifth...
Then I go down to the bottom, before the decreasing and count the stitches I had down there...about three times... Every time, I end up with 10 stitches too little...

I just want to cry... I've been working on this ONE thingy for over two days now...and I'm at the wrong amount of stitches...and I'd hate to rip it up again... The base of the second got 96 stitches allready... I have no idea why or how this happened... I just know that I can't deal with this and that I now probably won't be able to finish this thing in time...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Retro Marius sweater is done!

YAY! It's finally done! I spent all last night on weaving ends, but I managed to finish it up and I ran to the postoffice earlier today and sent the sweater out.

I was in a hurry yesterday cause I wanted to get pictures of it while it was some daylight outside. I didn't even care to weave in the ends before I did it, so half the pictures that was taken shows ends sticking out or the opening under the arms... Very attractive!
But I did manage to get some decent pictures and I'm very pleased with this sweater, even though it's yellow...

And ofcourse, I can't stay serrious all the way through a photoshoot...

But the sweater is done! It's sent off...even though I didn't get time to wash and block it myself, I hope my friend will do it at some point when she gets it. Right now I'm trying to work on another secret project! The one I started on...about a month ago are now done and will be revealed soon enough, so just you wait! I'm not sure if I'll have time for small, inbetween projects, so please excuse me if the blog goes quiet again...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Full speed ahead!

I'm back, the last skein has arrived, there's no time too lose! Full speed ahead and knitting on the yellow Marius sweater! AHOY!

More Kool-Aid dyeing!

I'm back baby! Hopefully, blog updates will come more frequently now than this previous week.

I'm gonna jump right into it and blog about some yarn dyeing I did before I left. I promised Pickle some Kool-Aid dyed yarn as a thank you for all the Kool-Aid she sent me. I digged out three skeins of white/beige. One of the white ones was 1/3 used up and the two others was almost new, missing less than 10 meters each. The smalles one I cut up in two equal parts and the beige I divided into four. These parts I was going to dye individually as much as I could. The last white skein, I decided to use for the leftover colors, trying to make it kinda tie dye.

Three of the parts was dyed green with Lemon Lime, two red with Black Cherry and then I dipped the last one in Mango Peach a couple of times since the color wasn't as pigmented as the other two. I also dunked half of it in the rest of the Black Cherry and it turned out pretty spiffy!
The tie dye one turned out amazing too! I'm really pleased with that one! So much that I'm gonna keep it for myself...which I ment to anyway just in case I screwed it up.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter hiatus!

*sigh* It's been a week now since my last update here on the blog. I all of a sudden left for a break over Easter with my family. My brother had room in his car last wednesday, so he asked if I would join in to spend the weeked at our parents house with his family. I couldn't refuse that, no way sir! Just look at these angles! You can't turn them down!

So I went along with him and I haven't done THAT much knitting since I got here. The fancifull skirt has grown some. I'm not working on the second row of ochre. Took this picture while enjoying the hot spring sun out with the rest of the family.
My mother thinks it looks like a cirus, being too bright and flashy while my sister in law think it looks lovely. I must say that I'm sideing with my sister in law on this one... I need more colors in my life, and this is probably the most colorful garment I could ever pull off...maybe...

On sunday, my mother pulled out this skein of lace, ruffle yarn and told me to knit up a ruffle scarf from it, for my grandfather's ladyfriend. It was an easy and relatively fast prosess to work it up (took me but 3 hours I think), but unessesary much struggle. You got six stitches on the needles, where you've just put the needles through the holes in the lace, then knit back and forth until you're out. It's pretty much all you can do with that type of "yarn", and it makes for a fancy result, just not my style. The scarf ended up measureing about 135cm (53"). The colors variates from white to light, greyish beige with glitter. It looks more complicated than it really is...

Other than that, I've been working on ANOTHER secret project! All the secrets at the moment!

So, I'm not sure how Easter works in other countries, but over here it starts the thursday before "Påskeaften" or Easter itself...then it lasts until monday after. Schools usually have a break lasting the whole week before Easter weekend.
The days with my family has been spent with my day being turned back to normal (yaaay). My brother brought a bottle for Captain Morgan rum which we've been drinking. With the help of my other brother, we managed to empty it out on friday while playing my home town's variety of Monopoly, Oppdal så klart!

We've also been playing some card games (not sure if ya'll know about Skip-bo?) and some other games we usually drag out when we're all together. Fun quality family game time!

I'll be going home to Bård and Pepsi on wednesday night, back to speed knitting, cause I need to get my friend's sweater done! The last skein has arrived, but it's back home...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fibi and the swing skirt!

Since I'm currently just waiting for the last skein for the retro Marius sweater to arrive, I'm at a bit of a loss what to work with. I'm always like this when I finish a new project and I don't have a backup or parallel project to go with it. I figured I could go back and work on some UFO's that's floating around here in my crafting corner.

Right after I ran out of yellow yarn, I worked up a tablet cover and then I moved on to Fibi, the Lalylala amigurumi doll I've been talking about countless of times. It took me a couple of days, but I managed to finish up the body and I also sewed on the arms, head and hood! I'm super proud of myself on this one! Never in my life did I think I could make something like this with crochet! It's far from perfect, I did run into several problems, but I'm dawg gone it proud! Imma brag this one till I die!
 I'm still missing the ears, tail and scarf though. The ears confused me a bit... I kinda understand how they're worked up, but I got problems understanding the stitches and that jazz. The tail I think wouldn't be too much of a problem, neither the scarf cause that's knit, but right now, I'm taking a break from it until Pickle can get some time to help me out, I'm in no hurry anyway. I might go on to the lamb, Lupo afterwards. That's the one I really wanted to do in the first place, but since Pickle was so nice to share this pattern with me to try out so I didn't have to buy one myself and maybe fail, I decided to wait on it.

And then we got the swing skirt! When I finished sewing up Fibi's body here, I moved back to the swing skirt I started in the beginning of march/end of february. Yesterday I decided to frog it all down. There was just a too big of a mess going on with five colors and too big of a leap to carry the yarn for each color switch, and I'm too dang lazy to cut the yarn for each switch and weave in ends...but I really loved the colors and the way I was working them up.

 So I frogged it down to the waistband and decided to do it a different way, but still keep the colorway I started with. Instead of switching colors almost every row, I decided to take one increase step per row of color! That means that I would have to repeat the color work only once down the whole skirt instead of 18. It'll make for an interesting and unique skirt, and that's all that matters for me!
Since I had to frog down a whole lot, the first two stripes doesn't look too good and evenly. That'll fix itself after wash and blocking though, so I'm not worried! The sad thing though is that I won't be using this skirt at the time I was hoping to. The national day of Norway is the 17th of may, and I was kinda hoping to use this on that day, but as it stands now, I don't have plans that day, and therefor, this skirt lives to see another occation.

Spring makeover on the blog!

It's about dang time I did something about the winter theme on this blog. I love winter, it's my favorite season, but I must admit, the theme I had going on was kinda bland and boring. Even more depressing for me since we haven't had much of a winter here at all this year. The snow dissapeared in early january and we've had spring pretty much since, which is pretty unusual in these parts of the world. But what can you do? Global warming is a son of a b***h...

For a long time now, several months actually, I've been wanting to do a spring theme on my blog here. We haven't had much of green outside until the last few weeks, but then we also had non-stop rain for about a week. I've been thinking about running out and get some pictures inbetween the rain clouds, but as soon as I've been thinking about it, rain started pouring. But today I managed to run out in time and I snapped a few pictures that I could use!

Here's a quick look back on the winter theme:
Simple and easy. Not too much going on that would be distracting for the reader, but a little too bland and boring. I like the color blue, but I get too easily tired of I kinda hated this after a month. The only thing it had going for it was the yarns. I picked out the colors of the rainbow to brighten it as much as possible, and it helped a good bit, but not enough.

Here's a look at spring:

Now I got spring going on. I figured I would go with lighter colors on the yarns on this one, give it a more spring feel, so I picked pastels instead of a rainbow. There's still not too much green going on on the ground, but I picked the place with the most dandelions and went with it. I picked up alot of green in the text and background of the blog too. I was pondering on green text on the banner, but it just felt nauseating... The white pops just enough for it to look good.

What do you as a reader think? I appreciate feedback on the design of my blog and ideas for the upcomming seasons/holidays.

Friday, April 11, 2014

How are things in the crafting section?

Time for an update! I've actually been doing some progress this time, not on one, but several projects! And seeing as I now got actual stuff to show off, I figured I'd blog about it!

First off, let's do a WIP on the Marius sweater... I ran out of yarn...not a surprise really, ever since I started the yoke, I noticed that I was short on yarn. Mind you, I ordered an extra skein of yellow just in case, even after the extra skein my friend told me to get, so with two skeins over, I'm still 10 rounds short and had to order yet another skein extra. Right now, I'm just waiting for it to arrive so I can finish this thing up.

That didn't stop me from working Marius though, no sir! Right after I finished cried over the loss of yarn and had ordered a new skein, I started a long dreaded cover for my tablet! Took me about a day to finish this thing up. Nothing big, just plain and simple Marius, minus a few rows on 4,5mm needles. I used the leftover yarn from this thing and wouldn't you know, I had just enough for it! It was like destiny! It's not my first pick in colors, but who cares? It's better than my old cover anyway...though I got a more sentimental connection to this traditional pattern than in retrospect, I kinda regret that... But I can always make more covers in the future! And for the record, my tables is a Asus Eee Transformer with a detachable keyboard, an old son of a bulldog in tablet years...

After I finished that thing up, I dug out my eternity scrap blanket again and worked in a good bunch of scraps. My little bag of scraps was starting to get really full, so I almost emptied it and got in a good 5cm (2") on the blanket! That's half a years work in eternity scrap blanket years! The good thing about this though, it's now big enough to cover and warm my cold and hurting knees while working on it!

After I cleared out just about all of my scraps, I figured I'd continue on the Lalylala doll. The last thing I did on this thing was the first boot, but since it's been forever since I worked on this thing the last time, I figured that I'd redo the boot just in case. Gonna start the second boot as soon as I'm done with this blogpost!

And as a last note, I got these adorable PBJ felted pieces that Drunk Uncle June sent me. Ever since I got these in the mail (along with a bunch of other amazing items and candy), I've been wanting to put them up on my fridge, but I has no magnets! I ordered a bunch of tiny super magnet for a buck off eBay right after I got these, and today they arrived! Didn't take me long before I glued some on the back and smacked them up on the fridge!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fair-isle WIP on retro Marius

Taking my sweet ass time on this one, sorry!

I'm kinda in the middle of the fair-isle part of the retro colores Marius sweater now. I'm kinda starting to run out of yarn, but if I'm lucky, I might be able to finish with what I have left...maybe...

The knitwork doesn't look as "clean" right now, which is a mix between the yarn and how the fair-isle is worked up. Up close it looks unprofessional and messy, but it'll be fixed and flattened out during blocking.

I've just finished the third out of six decrease rounds in the fair-isle part. I've just started the first round of the "main part" in the fair-isle, the one with the crosses and diamonds in the traditional Marius pattern.
Ps: Yes, I know I said I were to update the blogdesign a few weeks ago... I've been lazy and unmotivated lately, but I'll get around to it soon! I've just charged my camera so I really don't have much of an excuse anylonger... 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sleeves done - Marius WIP

And the sleeves for the Marius sweater are done! Sorry for giving you guys so few updates these days, but between procastinating, there's not really much to report for knitting a few more inches on a couple of sleeves.

But they're done now and here's a picture!

I'm really glad that I ordered an extra skein cause I'm about to run out of yarn...hate when that happends!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Second round of experimenting!

You may remember the experiment I did with bleaching on bamboo/acryllic yarn? And you may also remember the not so good results I got from that?

Well, now I've finished up a second round of experimenting. Over a week ago, I bought a new bottle of bleach and decided to try new yarn in a 50/50 water and bleach sollution instead of the 1/10 I did on the other experiment. I plopped in two more strands of the yarn and let it sit over night. Sad about the same result as the first round, I didn't even bother to take them out! Over the next week, I noticed small changes in the colors every day, until I took them out last night, after being soaked for one week in bleach.
It's still not white, and it takes too long for a good result, not to mention that the fibers must be very weak at this point... So I doubt I'll be able to do it with this perticular yarn.

But I still got a huge amount of this yarn lying around, so I might just knit up some kind of light sweater with it anyway.