Seeking Ravenclaw

I just couldn’t find the right yarn, so I dyed my own. My co-worker asked me to make a pair of socks for her daughter for Christmas, made in the colours of her Hogwarts House, Ravenclaw.  I was heading to Toronto last week and thought, since I’m on Queen Street, I’ll take a trip to Romni. Surely, they should have some self-striping yarn in blue and grey/silver. Romni has rows upon rows of yarn, but I couldn’t find the right yarn.  I found something close, though:

IMG_0902

This is Regia 4-fädig, and I think it was part of a sports-team/college colours line, but it was a blue (check) self striping (check) sock yarn (check). It just wasn’t grey.  Halfway between buying it and walking to my car, I thought it could be fun to try and dye it, making the white grey and hopefully making the blue a little deeper.  If it works, awesome! If not, it was an experiment and I’d have a blue and something self-striping yarn that could become socks sometime down the line.

Unfortunately, grey is a really challenging colour to achieve with food dyes as most grey/black colours are comprised of many different colours to look black.  Example, when I dyed yarn for my Captain America shawl, they grey looks great in the slow cooker, but when it dried, it became obvious the colours broke, giving a variegated purple/green look.

img_0011

It was pretty, and it looks great in the finished shawl, but this certainly wasn’t what I was trying to achieve.

As the Regia soaked, I experimented with a few colour combos. Ultimately, I was happiest with the look of Americolor Soft Gel Paste in ‘Slate.’  You can test your dye by dipping paper towels into what you’ve prepared.  All the Wilton tests were giving off too much green, but this one looked like it would be a muted grey with a hint of green/blue halo. I held my breath, added the dye to the slow cooker, and walked away, lest I compulsively checked the crock pot every three minutes or so.

IMG_0904

To prepare the dye, I used 1 cup of water, 2 tbsp of vinegar, and about 1/4 tsp of the Americolor gel (fun fact, I had to type ‘color’ about four times to spell it the American way). Ultimately, I prepared the dye twice, so it had about 1/2 tsp of the colour added.

The finished skein?

thumbnail_IMG_0909.jpg

I am rather pleased! There’s only the hint of a green hue, but overall, it’s grey and blue and oh-so-Ravenclaw!

Advertisements

ASSEMBLE!

So, unless you’re living completely off the grid, a certain movie came out a few weeks ago, and I was SUPER excited to see a lot of super heroes hitting things. Okay, so maybe I’m over simplifying the new Avengers movie because OH MY GOODNESS what a movie! So much happened in that 2 hours and 40 minutes, and there is still so much to happen in Part 2! I had so many different feelings throughout the movie, but I won’t get into specifics, because, spoilers.

I did get the chance to debut my new Captain America shawl:


Quite a bit went into the making of this shawl: the yarn was all hand dyed, it was my first time trying beading, and the cast off involved casting off over 1500 stitches using the Jeny’s Stretchy Bind Off method. When I was around the one-third mark, I messaged a friend and asked her to send either help or vodka. Casting off really was a test of patience, but totally worth it.

img_6534

As well, I faced yet another instance of not paying attention to required yardage. One would think I’d learn my lesson, and this one hurt.  All of this yarn was hand dyed, and when I was about to start the second red stripe, I realized rather painfully I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish it.  Did I mention it was hand dyed?? I was able to dye another skein, and I was pretty impressed at how close I was able to get the colours! In the picture above, the original skein is on the right, already caked and almost half used, and the newly dyed skein in on the left, waiting to be wound.  When it came to knitting the final red stripe, I blended the two colours, alternating skeins every row. Seriously folks, pay attention to yardage.

I have to add, I’m kinda loving this designer. Lalíe Roque has five patterns available FOR FREE on Ravelry, and all three relate somehow to a fandom. Right before Avengers Part 1 came out, she released a new pattern: a pair of fingerless gloves designed in the style of Thanos’s gauntlet which holds the infinity stones. I’d highly recommend checking out her designer page on Ravelry because I am simply inspired by her creativity.

Maybe I’ll make the gauntlets before Part 2 is dropped.

A Little Old Fashioned

I’ve made good progress on my  Captain America shawl.  I’ve been working away at it, row by row and bead by bead, all the while watching any Marvel movie available on Netflix.  I truly thought it would have taken far longer than it’s seeming to right now, but I’m happily watching the progress take place.


The yarn, as I explained last week was all hand dyed. The grey finished with steaks of mint green throughout, a result of the black I used for dye breaking, and after receiving encouraging comments from a Ravelry group, I decided to keep it as is.  The green isn’t bothering me nearly as much as I feared it would at first glance.


The most challenging part of the shawl has been the beading, as this is a new technique for me. Like with all new things, at first it felt like such a foreign motion, but after over 300 beads, muscle memory starts to form and progress got faster.  The beads are adding a lovely weight to the shawl, and I’m just excited to see it taking shape.  That I get to re-watch any Marvel movie I can get my hands on, well that’s just an added bonus.