Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Miss Elle plays with kool aid part 2!

Yes, I've been playing with kool aid again! This time I had the lovely Mini Jumble as a helper (and also Laura S, but she'll write her own post about this :P). I had 5 skeins to dye (Laura stole one though!), and MJ had 3.

We used the knit and natter room at Jumble Jelly for our fun. We lay out a huge piece of oil cloth, and set up our supplies. This was after the boring part of soaking the yarn, in which we went out in to the town and bought snacks and paintbrushes and vitamin D.

We chose our first colours and yarn. I picked green and red to go on a sparkle yarn, and MJ chose orange and purple. When we mixed the colours the ladies on the workshop in the next room came round to see what the incredibly sweet smells were! I do believe we were intoxicated by the kool aid as things got a little silly.. MJ and I were skipping down the street (or was that before we started?!) to get more snacks later...

I had a bit of an accident with the red... and tipped it over a little bit :P But I think they are looking very effective don't you?

Here are some of the others we did:

I forgot to take pictures of all them!

But this one is awesome... its a sock blank! (What's a sock blank?! Its two strands of sock yarn knit together in a rectangle, you dye it, undo it into two balls and then you knit matching socks :D)

First I dunked it into pink kool aid, and then I dropped blue splodges on it :D Fun fun!

And finally, here they all are after cooking, cooling and rinsing!

And I've enjoyed dyeing so much... I bought some big girl dyes (ie acid dyes) so watch out for my adventures with those soon!

Now Laura... its your turn to tell the story of your skein!


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Miss Elle plays with kool aid...

So I'm a little crazy obsessed with Harry Potter... And I'm a member of the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. We all get sorted in to houses, and then a three month period counts as a whole year, with classes running for a month that we craft for and earn points. There are also OWLs which run for three months, and NEWTs which are four months.

We also play Quidditch, which are little challenges that we can also take part in. Whilst one class a month is compulsory to maintain your sorting priority (you sort every "year" in case you want to try out a different house), Quidditch is optional.

I'm a 7th year Slytherin now, and I occasionally dabble in Quidditch. This year I've decided to take part in as much as I can because they are fun, and challenge me to do things I haven't done before.

Such as dye yarn. Whilst I have assisted the wonderful KnitCave in dyeing her yarn, I've never done it all by myself. And so when the last Quidditch challenge of dye yarn with food safe dyes came along... I took the plunge.

Kool aid is weird. Americans drink it! Crazy right?! It dyes yarn and they drink it.

So I gathered my materials, and started with soaking the yarn.

After letting it soak for about 30 minutes I gently squished the excess water out, and then lay it on my counter, on top of kitchen towel which was on top of cling film. I mixed my kool aid together (3 sachets of mixed berry and 3 sachets of lemon-lime), and then used my sucky up squirty needle thingies to suck up and squirt the kool aid on to the yarn.

After squishing the dye into the yarn (remember to wear gloves... this stuff will dye your skin too) I wrapped it up in cling film, and popped it into the microwave for about 4 minutes.

I checked the water was running clear (this means the dye has taken on the yarn), and then left it to cool.

After it was nice and cool, I rinsed the yarn, just in case there was any colour left to come out, and then hung it up to dry. Once it was dry I reskeined using a swift and my niddy noddy (such funny words for crafting tools!) and this mixed up the colours very nicely to give me this gorgeous skein:

Ta da! And now I can't wait to knit up some fabulously bright socks. Which still smell faintly of that sweet kool aid drink.


PS: I may now be tempted to buy some acid dyes and play with grown up dyeing. Eeep!

PPS: Here is a picture of green fingers oooo!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Home comforts.......

After months of wanting an armchair in my lounge I finally decided to make my own. Having created a mini chair prototype it was easy to increase the measurements to create a pattern for the full size chair. I also thought I would have a go at piping for the first time and although the amount I needed was a little difficult to manoevre I'm glad I did it as it looks lovely!

Thank to the lovely 3 bears for the ENORMOUS bag of beans they gave me for my birthday! And a big thank you to the lovely Debbie at Jumble Jelly for letting me have a first go on her new overlocker! I can't wait for the long winter evenings now.......xxx

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Miss Elle learns to sew

Probably about a year ago now, I embarked on the journey of learning to sew. I bought a basic sewing machine (Brother X-5) which was on sale, just to see if I liked it.

I did. I loved sewing.

Ok, so it took me 5 months to make my first skirt (but that was interrupted by a bad thing happening and having to move and being sad and things), but I did it. I made a garment I could wear.

I then took a course with the gorgeous Alexa Gibson at Jumble Jelly to make an A-Line skirt.

There is my fabric and my pattern. Alexa is an amazing tutor, and when my sewing machine had a hissy fit and refused to sew in my zip, she calmed me down, and got me back on track (there may have been a few tears of frustration).

I was incredibly impressed because I had a gorgeous skirt at the end of the day! Look look!

So probably about a month ago now, I upgraded my sewing machine to the one you see at the start of this post. I've named her Madeline, and I wrote a post about our first project together on my personal blog.

Alexa recently offered her A-Line Skirt workshop again, and I asked if I could sit in on it. I felt very nervous and shakey doing zips, after the disaster of the first time, and just really needed a little hand holding and a push in the right direction to get going.

Madeline and I went off to Jumble Jelly, armed with fabric and the pattern from before. Mmm cherry goodness!

Alexa guided me through the parts I needed a little help with again, and especially with the zip. But this time all went well, and I think its because Madeline is a much easier machine to control. She has speed settings, which is basically the best thing ever for me! I could go as fast or as slow as I needed, and it made the skirt look so much more professional in my eyes.

 And here is my finished skirt! I love it so much, especially matching my socks to it :D

I can't wait to have more sewing adventures with Madeline, especially with the whole no buying new clothes thing for a year!