Monday, May 30, 2011

Drawstrings in 3 minutes or less!

Sometimes the i-cord or twist string is the only thing standing between me and a finished project. For some reason I just hate working on the cords as they seem to take so long. One day I thought of using the drill to speed up the process and the results were fantastic!

So what you'll need for this tutorial is: yarn and a drill. You will also need some sort of a peg, like a door knob, or a chair knob; anything that you can loop the yarn over.

Step 1: Cut a strip of yarn, about 6 times longer than your desired drawstring length.

Step 2: Fold yarn in half and tie off the cut ends.

Step 3: Wrap the center fold over a door handle, peg, or chair top. I like to use the top of my son's rocking chair.

Step 4: Stuff the tied off end into the tip of the drill. Make sure the drill is open all the way.

Step 5: Change the drill into forward direction and support yarn and knot while you close off the chuck. This will ensure that the yarn doesn't come out while twisting.

Step 6: Take a few steps back away from the chair/knob so that the yarn is gently stretched. Step up on the trigger and let the drill do all the work. I let mine go for a good 30-60 seconds. The yarn will start to twist on itself.

Step 7: Free the yarn from the drill. Pry the ends open to create a loop, and loop this over the same place where the other end of the cord was looped.

Step 8: Starting with the the end of the drawstring that is looped over the chair begin tugging and pulling on the two cords and help them twist onto each other. Due to the twist in the strings they "want" to do this on their own. So just guide them to twist neatly onto each other.

Step 9: Hold cord with one hand while with the other pull the loops off the chair. Tie off the two loops together and cut off excess yarn. To make the ends match, tie the off the other end of the drawstring and cut the tip.


To make a thicker drawstring you can add several strands together.


I am taking dyeing to the next level (for myself). I started experimenting with mixing custom colors!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

They can't all be winner....

I ruined my first dye job. Really, majorly, ruined it. I want to cry. It was a whole pound of yarn too.
I'm going to over-dye it black and make some sweaters for the boys. But it doesn't take away from the sadness, especially since the yarn was for a customer.

But to make myself happy again I'm going to post of some pretties from earlier this week.

aaaaahhhhh I feel better already!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Low Immersion Dyeing

Busy morning. The kids are in school/childcare and I finally have a whole morning to focus on doing what I love best; low immersion dyeing. At first I wasn't a fan of kettle dyeing. My first experiments ended with terrible results and lots of brown and black over-dyeing to salvage the disaster.
But when I discovered the low immersion off-shoot of the kettle technique I was hooked. You might think to yourself, how hard can it be? Fill a pot with water, throw some dye, and voila! But learning how to control water levels, dye application, distribution and concentration, as well as yarn placement is a real form of art.
As much as I enjoy variegated colorways, I find much greater freedom of expression when using some form of an immersion technique.

Can't wait to see how all of these skeins get wound up!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Secret Garden

We built an elf house today under the old grape vine. I can't wait for the leaves to grow in and cover it up. The boys are going to love hiding in there when the summer finally comes.

Working in the garden and getting my hand dirty inspired me to create a 'Secret Garden' colorway. I really love how the colors distributed and how well the cloud cashmere (MCN) took the dye. This MCN is from a different supplier and I am trying to make sense of how I could carry both lines of cashmere in my store. They are different enough that I can't just call them both Cloud MCN, but on the other hand I just don't know if it makes any sense to carry two different types of a luxury cashmere base.

In other news KnitPicks accepted one of my patterns to their IDP program. The pattern is almost written and I just need to finish my final sample.