A lot of firsts

August 17, 2008 @ 1:39 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: dyeing,spinning

Handspun Bockstark sw merino in
I can’t believe I dyed this!!!
Bockstark sw merino in
The before shot

OK, so the last post I had my first 3ply, and this time it’s my first handspun from my own dyed roving!!! I was SO excited to spin this up that I kinda rushed through it and it’s more thick-and-thin than I would like. I was shooting for a sport weight and most of it is right on, but it’s also thinner in some places. I also had a lot of dye runoff, but after rinsing and rinsing and rinsing, I think I got all of it out and the colors are still saturated.

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The roving was a joy to spin, and I will certainly buy more of this for the next time! I am getting better about having a more relaxed twist so that the yarn is softer and squishier.

As requested by Opal, I am including the roving shot along with the spun up shot. I think it’s nice to have both in the same place.

I am excited to spin some of my other roving up, but I also want to spread it out so that I don’t do it all at once. So for now, I’m working on another All Spun Up merino/silk 3ply (can you tell how much I loved the last one?), and then I will probably do one of the plain merinos – maybe the green/blue one. We’ll see, I always change my mind!

Fiber:
Bockstark Roving 100% superwash
Your Brain has the Shell on it
2ply fingering – sportweight
Approx. 340yds/3.8oz

Comments (18)

Of course this happened

August 15, 2008 @ 2:09 am
posted by kris
Filed under: dyeing

Dyeing in Darmstadt

So I spent the last 90 minutes on writing a super long post about my Darmstadt weekend, I press the SAVE button and it’s gone. WTF? I don’t have the energy to type it again… :( Sorry, folks.

I’ll just post a pretty picture of the rovings that I did. I named them all after movie quotes. I think this batch is mostly from Tommy Boy. I could’ve gone on and on. From l-r, top-bottom:
“Chotchkie’s”, “Your brain has the shell on it”, “Fat guy in a Little Coat”

“The Shaggin’ Wagon”, “10 in the morning”, “My pretty little pet”

“Me want wingey”, “As you wish”, unnamed yarns

I also wanted to ask those who have dyed roving before:
1. How do you keep the roving “nice” after rinsing? We had a lot of dye runoff so the rinsing process was long and because we had to squish some of that dye out of there, it created a bunch of neps, especially in the superwash. Is there a way to avoid it?

2. Is there supposed to be a lot of dye runoff? Ok, we were lazy and didn’t blot away the excess, but didn’t think there was THAT much excess. Maybe the dye just didn’t take?

3. What makes a dye not take? I think it was either – not enough vinegar and/or not hot enough steam. Is that right? We had inconsistent results, but we got carried away and didn’t write anything down, so it’s just guesses. Is there anything we can do after steaming that will help set the dye?

4. Is there any way to get rovings to dry faster??? :) We are also worried because we are planning our next session in November and it will be a lot colder then.

For more info and pictures, visit Linnea’s post about our weekend here. Thank you so much Linnea for being a great friend and hostess and letting me play with all of your toys! I had a ton of fun!!!

Oh, and I just cleared off some bobbins, so I started spinning up some of this roving tonight!!! Stay tuned for the progress.

Comments (8)

Freaking Fantastic Weekend

August 11, 2008 @ 2:11 am
posted by kris
Filed under: dyeing

Taco Bell in Germany, a dream come true
Taco bell supreme taco – a dream come true!
Hundertwasser's Waldspirale in Darmstadt
I ate at a Hundertwasser building!
Finished roving
We dyed those!!! Can you believe it???
Finished yarns
We dyed these too! Some came out great, some kinda *meh*

So, I had just the best time ever with my friend and soon-to-be-spinner-lebrity, Linnea! She and her husband, the Economist, were the best hosts and we had so much fun! I will go into more detail later (as it is 2am now) but wanted to post some highlights!

Comments (17)

My first sad attempt at dyeing

July 4, 2007 @ 1:00 am
posted by kris
Filed under: dyeing,yarn


Big felted mess

Better, but still slightly felted

Woohoo! Success!

So after getting all those kool-aid packets with Linnea, I was sooooo ready to do some dyeing. What yarn did I choose you ask? Well, I had some sample yarn of BFL that was so soft and scrumptious! And what was that? Was it superwash? Of course NOT! Yes, I am a retard.

I found it very odd that I like very bright and happy colors when I buy yarn, but when it came to dyeing, I wanted really dark, rich colors. Yeah, you heard that right. That’s what I wanted to achieve with Kool-aid. I wanted a deep red/burgundyish color. Yes, I am a retard.

I start out following the instructions on knitty.com on how to do it. I chose the stovetop method. Actually, everything went very well, no mess or whatever. By the way, I decided to start easy and just do one color. They say to use one packet per ounce of yarn for saturated colors. I found that to be way too little. So I just kept adding more. I thought I was really careful with the water temps and everything, but apparently I wasn’t and it turned into a big fat f@#*#&!n felted mess. I was very sad. But I did achieve a rich red color that was sort of dark. The sport weight didn’t felt as bad as the aran weight. Don’t you find it funny that when you are TRYING to felt something, it takes the power of a washing machine to do it. But when you don’t want it to felt, just put a little too cold water and poof – you have a felted object. I did manage to rip it apart and make it back into a skein, but what to do with it. I don’t have the heart to throw it away and I don’t want to knit with it…any ideas? It isn’t that much yardage anyways. The sportweight is probably ok to knit into a baby hat or something. I told my story to Scout (of the infamous Scout’s Swag) about my felting and she said “how did you do THAT?” I hang my head in shame.

BTW, could someone tell me what cake dyes are? Are they the icing colors? Because nowhere on wilton.com does it talk about cake dyes. I cannot find the paste type food coloring (which I heard was better than the liquid), and the food coloring that we do have is only in limited colors, say 3.

So, after this disappointment, I tried again. This time, I used superwash BFL sock yarn. I even soaked it in a partial solution of vinegar so that I could get a more “heathered” look. Because the plain one color yarn is kinda boring. But oops, soaked up the color too fast, so I let it cool and then over dyed it with straight grape, and it turned out exactly how I wanted it – a deep purple that’s not uniform. I may actually knit it up into socks!!!

I am doing an exchange with the sock/spinning/dyeing goddess, cauchy09, and she is going to give me tips and tricks with dyeing. I really want to dye with Ashford dyes (I even have the dyes!), but I’m so paranoid about the “health risks” and I would have to get a mask and special dye pots that I’m too lazy to get.

At first I thought, wow, if I could dye my own yarn, then I wouldn’t need to buy any! But then you will ALWAYS want to buy stuff, so now I’m like why even try? Leave it up to the masters. Speaking of which, my Taste of Germany idea is kind of coming together. I have emailed several dyers now and just want to test out the other two. Stay tuned! I’m thinking of making the first kit “blue” (sorry Pamela!) because I figure if I can’t sell my 5 kits, *I* will have to use this yarn!

I just saw the movie “Sicko” tonight and man, I don’t think we can ever move back to the states. The state of health care in that country is just a mess. I know NO country is perfect, but it is sad to hear so many stories of people going bankrupt over medical costs. And then you hear Violet (of L&V) talk about her health horror stories and it’s really scary. The older you get, the more important stuff like health care is. Germany is not perfect either, but we don’t worry about the possibility of going broke because someone got sick, and college costs for our boys (although we are putting away SOME money). But now, after seeing that, we want to move to France. Haha! There may be a mass migration north to Canada, I think… I’m sure there are lots of criticisms for this movie, and Michael Moore is famous for being really biased, but one thing you can’t deny is that the system IS a mess and the government needs to do something about it!!!

And shhh…I broke my yarn diet alreadyagain. Yeah, I know. I hang my head even lower. I blame it on Elem, Sabi and Andrea. And hey, I gotta test out the yarn I’m sending right? right?

Comments (7)

What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.