At the end of March, there were a couple more birthdays, and here is what I sent.
For my Dad, there was another Claude the Cactus. This one was made with Lion Brand Jiffy in Avocado and Fun Fur. The fun fur I used on the first Claude was probably 5 years old, and it seems that the product has changed somewhat. The new Fun Fur seems to be a single thread sticking out, where as the old stuff had 2 or three threads twisted together. This means that the new stuff is much finer and higher density, which hides the green. To counteract this, I gave Claude II a haircut. I trimmed ~1/4 to 3/8″ of fur off all over his body to make sure the green could be seen, and I trimmed even more around the eyes.
I also found some novelty yarn at AC Moore that worked perfectly for gravel and freestyled a pot for him out of some TLC acrylic, as well. I put a little bit of stuffing between gravel and pot bottom, but not much.
For my Grandpa Z, I knit a teddy bear from the Prima website. I used Lion Brand Fisherman’s wool for the body and some green mystery yarn I got at my Market class at Stitches East in Baltimore last October for the sweater. The only modification I made was to lengthen the legs. Where the pattern says to knit 9 rows of reverse stockinette, I knit 13. I used a 30 mm doll joint to connect the head to the body so that it would turn, and I string jointed the arms and legs with yarn. Eyes are onyx beads and nose is embroidery thread. I dreaded sewing the pieces together by hand enough that I stitched the head and body pieces together on the sewing machine. In retrospect, back stitching with yarn isn’t so bad, and I could have done the whole thing without too much trouble.
More recently, I tried dying yarn with Kool-Aid. I had about 67 yards of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Natural from a project I can’t blog about until June, and I decided to experiment with dying. I read a little about dying with Kool-Aid, and when I went to the laundromat, I stopped into the grocery store nearby to buy some Kool-Aid to play with. The flavors were limited, so I got Tropical Punch, Cherry and Grape. I wrapped the yarn around the dining table and chairs to make a really long loop. I then soaked the yarn for a while in a bath of woolwash and water for about 15 minutes.
I set up my 3 plastic tubs with 2 packets of kool-aid each and distributed the skein between the three. After 4 two minute heat cycles in the microwave (with ~ 10 to 15 minute breaks between) all the color was absorbed and it looked like this:
( clockwise from left: grape, cherry, tropical punch)
I then let it cool, hung the skein on the curtain rod to dry, and then wrapped it into a skein around my swift.
Still not sure what I will do with the yarn, but it was a fun experiment.
Last Thursday, I went to our Twisted Stitcher’s Meetup where we had our quarterly yarn swap. I didn’t take very much in, but I did bring a bunch home. One was this intriguing DK weight yarn of unknown composition that belonged to someone’s mother. I had no good way of knowing how much was there, so I decided I would knit a shrug. I swatched some fancier lace patterns, but they got lost in the coloring of the yarn, so I ended up choosing a simple eyelet pattern from the Barbara Walker Treasury, book 1. It is Quatrefoil Eyelet (pg 171) and I used the Lace Rib (pg 48) pattern for the edging. I used standard raglan shaping ( knit in front and back on either side of stitch marker on every knit row).
I haven’t blocked it yet, but I’m afraid it is going to grow. I probably should have separated the sleeves earlier, but it looks okay right now. I will post new pictures after I block it, but I couldn’t help wearing it today. It was 67 and beautiful outside, so Scott took these pictures.
Without posting about the project I’ve been working on as a gift for a friend, I think this about catches up my fiber endeavors.