Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some of this, and some of that ....

and I'm really feeling the need for more hours in my days and weeks just to play with all the things that I want to play with. I spent some time knitting and some time dying this week, and even started on a new and tempting hobby activity. 

The knitting is fairly monogamous right now, just the Banjo blanket, and pretty much going round and round and wondering when is a good time to stop and add an edge. Of course that involves making a decision about the edge, either the one from the pattern, or a side-knit band that matches the corner increases. And then there is a decision to make about proportions, I'm thinking twice as much burnt orange and brown is a good proportion for the edge colour.

Thursday little cub had friends around, and I wanted to leave them to their own play as much as possible. I like the idea that they are old enough not to need an adult to direct their play. Doing that mean I wanted to sort something for me to do, nothing so interesting that they would all want to join in, so stamping was out. I just knew any use of stamps with owls and flowers and frogs and colorful inks would result in requests to join in. So I opted for dying, I worked away for most of the day, worked is very much an overstatement as my dying involves leaving the pot for 20-30 minutes between different dyes being added, and not stirring or mucking the fibre about to much. Pretty much walking a short distance away and doing something else like knit. A whole day  and this is the result, four 100g merino top plaits, and two 150g perendale top plaits.

I had been inspired by the fibre dyed by Fibre Optics, the gradient dyed top is stunning, and I love the idea of a yarn that shifts from one colour to another. Her shop was bare, at the time I was there so I played. There was much play and a lot of learning and I found that whatever she is doing -- it was not what I was doing, as I had to return fibre to the pot and add more dye. Almost every batch had undyed patches when first removed from the pot. I suspect that her dye vat is larger than my dye pot, and that there is room for the fibre to be spread out a little more. Perhaps I should try 50g batches? And one day I might perfect more subtle colours ... something with less punch?

Some weeks ago I picked up a Paper recycling kit, and this week the cubas and I made paper. We used printer waste and two sheets of the deep purple tissue that VP yarn comes wrapped in. I was pleasantly surprised, we were successful. One side is smooth and the other has the mesh pattern from the screen, and the pale purple is rather pretty. The tissue didn't dissolve as I thought it would, instead resulting in deep purple feathers,  but did leak a huge amount of dye. All up this took us slighlty less than an afternoon, involved two cubs and I, and  was heaps of fun. So much so I'm looking forward to doing more of this. I've already had to stop myself pricing deckles, and I really had to stop myself pushing the buy now when I found a set that had not only A4 and A5 sized paper but an envelope shaped deckle as well to make matching envelopes with. I don't have enough room for the stuff I have now .. so really shouldn't be adding more on a one afternoon whim. Besides we already have a perfectly good  kit and it works just fine.

Which brings me back to where I began, wanting more hours in my days and more days in my weeks just to play with all this fun stuff.  If any one has answers please share.
Take care ...

na Stella


KathyR said...

Maybe not the same as Fibre Optics dyeing but very nice even so! I wish my forays into dyeing were quite as successful. I think I'm inclined to be too tempted to have a wee stir now and then!

Love the paper making, too. It is just too easy to fall victim to the siren call of yet another craft. ;)

Knitting Linguist said...

I wish I had an answer to that question! But it keeps coming down to winning the lottery, and as I don't buy tickets... :) The fiber is just lovely - I can't wait to see what you spin up with it. And I like the banjo blanket. Lots of good things going on!