Cat Lady Adventures in Bangkok

In case you missed it, a couple of days ago I published some yarn-searching excursions on my winter study abroad blog. Follow me!

Here are some sneak peak photos:

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Granny in the making

I love joking that I’d make the awesomest grandmother ever. Not mother. Just skip to the part when I can sit around retired and crafting for my progeny.

I finished using a majority of my scrap yarn making granny squares. It took me over a year to make 25 squares.

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There is actually a methodical rule to how I laid these out to optimize the blanket’s visual cohesiveness. Each granny square is bordered by others that share at least one common color. Laying these out was quite a challenge, but I somehow was able to make it happen.

Because I had made these granny squares at different times, I kind of messed up by misplacing the hook I was using during a break and began again using a different size. Thus my granny squares are different sizes. I combined these two techniques to start joining together my squares:

Joining granny squares of different sizes

Granny square joining tutorial

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This is my personal Facebook cover photo :D Maybe I should make it my blog banner too?

After I joined 5 squares into a row, I joined the 5 rows together.

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Weaving in the ends is going to be a pain.

I’m currently working on crocheting a border to frame the colorful center.

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#crochetselfie

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I’m also using a larger hook to do the joining because I thought it would make a larger blanket, which it does, but also causes curling. Yeah, newb crocheter status. Hopefully I can block that curling out, which will also be a challenge because the majority of this blanket is acrylic.

I’m just going to keep going around the border until I run out of this one pound skein I bought to bring this scrap project together. It may look like I have an actual plan to this project but I honestly just started making granny squares and then from there just took it one spontaneous step at a time. We’ll see where this project takes me.

 

DIP Showcase and Sky Scarf Saturday 5/10/2014

First, I’d like to apologize for missing a Sky Scarf Saturday post 2 weeks ago. But this post is going to make up for it.

Today has been an exciting day in the knitting world of GirlMeetsYarn! I was showing my work at a showcase by a new club at UD called DIP (Design, Innovation, and Positivity Club). Like I mentioned in my previous post, one of the club’s founders came across my work through a Google search. I was unsure of what to make for my exhibit. I had never displayed my work in a situation like this before. But after a bit of thought, I had a spark of genius of combining my work with technology and blogging. After all, it is what I do on here.

I decided on a photo collage mimicking the style of Instagram. I had square photos of some old Instagrammed and edited photos printed at Walgreens and painted an art board.

I was so amazed by the result! I’m definitely keeping it and hanging it up in my new apartment next year.

But after I got this ball rolling I couldn’t stop coming up with new ideas for by display. I knew I was going to demo by finishing up some rows of my Sky Scarf and crocheting some more granny squares out of scrap yarn. However, I wanted it to be interactive! So I decided that I would let observers pick the colors for my new granny squares. At the last minute I also decided that I was going to play the video of me spinning yarn on loop to demonstrate how I made my own yarn. Here’s how the display turned out.

Everyone who came to look at my display and talked to me about my work was so nice! Everyone seemed genuinely interested and impressed. I handed out a lot of business cards, so I should get this blog cleaned up a bit and update my resume! A lot of people had questions about Etsy and how I made things. It was an amazing experience. I especially loved talking to the older women and there was one really adorable little girl who helped me pick out colors for a granny square.

People were very interested in my Sky Scarf. What can I say, it’s probably the coolest project I’ve taken up in my entire 10 years of knitting. So now for your Sky Scarf update.

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I definitely want to keep doing exhibits like these in the future. Maybe it’s time for my knitting to be stepped up into more of an art form. We’ll see where this goes. ‘Til next time!

I made my own yarn! Part Two: Koolaid Dye

A couple of days ago I posted about my drop spindle adventure. After spinning my own yarn, the next step in the process was to dye it. I’ve read about Koolaid yarn dyeing for the past couple of years and I never got the chance to try it out. I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a go. Koolaid is a surprisingly great way to add color to wool. It’s safe (although I question what it does to your body if it sticks to wool so easily) and cheap. I was able to dye my hank of yarn multiple colors for under $1.

Here are some great instructions that I used as a guide.

So first I put my hank of yarn in a microwavable dish.
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I prepped my Koolaid. I used five colors. Tropical punch flavor is deceiving because I thought it was going to be blue like the package but it was actually red. I was happy with the result nonetheless.

It actually doesn’t matter how much water you use because what will happen is that the fiber will absorb the dye from the mix and leave behind clear water. It’s kind of magical. Water is just used to help evenly distribute the dye.

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I washed my wool with water and some dish soap to prep it for the dye.

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Then, I poured away. I really had no method to the madness. I used some plastic bags to cover my hands so I wouldn’t get coloring all over them to make sure the yarn was completely soaked through. Yummmm fruity wool soup…

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The amount of Koolaid I used to dye this bit of yarn was probably excessive but it really helped bring out the colors. The main difficultly with using that much color was that it took a longer microwave time to let the wool completely absorb the dye.

I covered the dish with plastic wrap and microwaved it in two minute intervals for a total of eight minutes. Once the excess water comes out clear you know it’s ready. Then I let it cool for about four hours before giving it another rinse in warm water. Apparently shocking the wool with different temperatures will cause it to felt.

I left the dish on the stove and my dad thought it was food. Awkward.

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I washed it with warm water and dish soap again, and finally I could see the result! Koolaid makes the wool smell soooo good. Not like a wet sheep at all.

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Then I took the hank and hung it on a clothes hanger on a tree outside so it could dry since we’ve been having nice weather in Delaware recently.

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It took a long time to dry and I was super impatient to see how the dried yarn would look so I tried to keep occupied by instagramming.

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The morning after I was able to roll the dry yarn into a ball and admire my first dye job! :)

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I really love how it turned out. I’ve already planned on knitting a chunky headband for next winter with this yarn.

I really want to spin and dye my own yarn again soon. This is becoming an addiction.