This week I'm working on something a little different from my usual fiber projects.
I've been asked by a friend to create a custom set of paintings for him using some of his favorite quotes. I've decided to approach this project from a fantastical perspective. I'm creating a set of pseudo-medieval shield paintings with nonsensical heraldry.
Here are the quotes I've been given;
"Ordinary effort, ordinary result."- Ethan Hawke
"What is to give light must endure burning."-Victor Frankl
"Happiness is not mostly pleasure, it is mostly victory."-Harry Emerson Fosdick
So far I've been doing lots of sketches and research. I'm trying to take a little sprinkle from various eras and traditional styles. So far I'm working on creating black canvases with bright shields and bold heraldry. I'm using mostly primary colors with silver and gold. The quotes will be displayed on banners below the shields.
On to some super sloppy sketches;
At this point canvas #1 (crossed swords) is set in stone since it's almost done. We're almost set on the design for canvas #2 as a chess piece with holly leaves.
I'm in the process of creating the third piece which will most likely be a compass rose featuring a shield with a torch or crossed torches emblazoned on it.
The first piece is almost done, it just needs the quote lettering on the banner.
This one will most likely say; "Ordinary effort, ordinary result." In my dreams the banner would be large enough to fit the entire quote; "Ordinary effort, ordinary result. Luck is the residue of design. Be steadfast. The anvil outlasts the hammer." I doubt it'll fit though since these are pretty small canvases (12"x 9") and I still don't know how I'll be tackling the lettering since you can see from the sketches above, I have terrible handwriting!
I've got some more messing around to do with the last image to get it all cleaned up and as polished as the first two designs are then I can get to painting!
Drop by soon for more updates!
Thanks for reading!
I've been knitting away on my Tegna Top and Kecia's Sweater but they're seemingly never ending! In order to not get completely burnt out, I've thrown in a quick, fun project to keep myself entertained.
The pattern is Kiela Mittens by Meiju K-P on Ravelry.
Photo by Meiju K-P/Tanu Kallio
So far this is an easy to follow pattern with a cable chart and written out instructions.
The yarn I'm using is Tuskenknits DK in the colorway Doune. It's a Wool/Cashmere/Nylon blend. It's absolutely magical to work with, it's super soft and has a lovely spring to it from the Nylon.
So far I'm almost done with mitten #1! I'm having a little trouble picking up the thumb stitches without making them look all sloppy-like but I'm sure I'll figure it out.
This pattern has a "do not sell items that are knitted with this pattern" disclaimer so, unfortunately, these mitts will not end up in my shop. Most likely, these puppies will end up under someone's Christmas tree!
I'll have more updates soon!
Thanks for checking out my current WIP! Let me know what you think!
Thought I'd give you a quick update on my current WIP's (works in progress.)
I've got a few things going at the moment; still working on my Tegna top. (I know, it's been months!) I started it a size too large, then ripped it out, I started it a size smaller and it was too small so I ripped it out again. Then, I started it in the larger size but at a smaller gauge and I think it's gonna stick this time!
I'm about halfway done with the front panel at this point.
I also started the Dagmar Sweater but after the short row shaping nothing made sense anymore so I had to throw in the towel. I'm a very proficient knitter and this pattern threw me for a loop! It was crazy difficult to understand. Going through other peoples posts on Ravelry was frustrating too since most notes said "and then I just had to improvise" or, "this is a list of the modifications I had to make," not a good sign! Paying 6.50$ for a pattern, then having to practically write it yourself=not worth it.
Photo by HandyKitty
In the yarn dyeing department I've been trying some super sweet Kettle Dyeing techniques. Guided by this tutorial. I tried a blue to green combo first;
Then I tried a lovely pink purple combo.
I dyed both skeins at the same time and somehow one turned out a little darker than the other!
I also finished a cute pair of stripey socks using the Rose City Rollers pattern and KnitPicks Felici yarn,
and a purple, twisty headband in KnitPicks Mighty Stitch Super Bulky yarn.
The yarns will be popping up in my Etsy shop soon. I'm undecided on whether I'll list the socks and headband or give them as gifts. We'll see!
I just got another batch of naked yarn to dye so I'll be working on that soon. I'm also on the lookout for the perfect, worsted weight sweater pattern for the upcoming chilly Fall weather. I've got the perfect, orange merino yarn just waiting to turn into my dream sweater!
Stay tuned for more exciting hand dyed yarns, and updates on both my knitted tops!
Thanks for stopping by!
Shop update today!
I've listed all my hand-painted yarns in my Etsy Shop! I've never sold painted yarns before and I'm really pumped to share them all with you!
Let's see what's happening!
There's a Wool/Silk blend;
A set of Wool/Angora twins;
And two beautiful, hand painted 100% Peruvian Wool skeins;
You guys have been so wonderful and supportive on the Instagram and FB page. I'm totally grateful for all the feedback. I'm definitely still learning something new with each and every skein of yarn!
I'm excited to see what these yarns grow up to be. Feel free to tag me on Instagram as #ashweather_fibre_arts if you do end up scoring one of these beauties.
Thanks for stopping by!
I'm starting on a new sweater journey!
My cousin Kecia has a very favorite blue sweater that has seen better days. My mission is to re-create a NEW very favorite blue sweater!
The sweater in question is 55% Ramie and 45% Acrylic. It's an oversized sweater in a fingering weight yarn. It's really big y'all; bust is 50" and length is 26.5" from shoulder to hem. It's going to keep me busy for quite a while!
I picked out two, light fingering weight yarns to knit up some swatches for this project. I chose KnitPicks Lindy Chain (70% Linen, 30% Pima Cotton) and KnitPicks Comfy (75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic.)
I checked in with my customer and it turns out she prefers the machine washable yarn over the linen. Kecia also liked the seafoam Comfy swatch so much she decided to go with the seafoam blue instead of another navy sweater.
Now that we figured out which yarn to use, I took lots of measurements of the original sweater to create a template for the new and improved sweater.
I used my test swatch to determine how many stitches I would need for each panel and got knitting!
I've started working on the front panel from the bottom up. I'm still undecided about the neck shaping, but with fingering weight yarn and another 23" of knitting to go, I'll have plenty of time for collar math.
I'll check back in with updates soon.
In the meantime I have been working on designing labels for my custom dyed yarn so I can get some of it listed in my Etsy shop. This is what I've come up with so far. They're a touch too large and I'm still undecided on what kind of paper I should print them on once they're finished. Any suggestions?
Hopefully I'll have some hand dyed yarn for sale in the Etsy as soon as next week!
Thanks for stopping by to hear about my adventures in yarn!
Have a happy Thursday!
I've spent the last week and a half dyeing all the yarn!
I'm learning lots of stuff. It has definitely been a fun/messy experience. After hank #2 I realized I needed to move my dye situation outdoors because I was going to have a rainbow kitchen if I kept it up. I set up a little Crock Pot and table outdoors so I can dye my yarns without painting my kitchen! So far so good!
"In the case of acid dyeing, a low pH helps to form the hydrogen bonds that attach acid dyes to protein fibers, such as silk and wool, as well as nylon."-Paula Birch. I'm experimenting with using Vinegar or Citric Acid to lower the PH balance of my water for dyeing. So far I'm on team Vinegar, but I'm not done experimenting!
On to the the yarns;
For my first hank I used Wool of the Andes Sport Bare yarn from KnitPicks (100% wool.) I started out with a hand painting technique. I soaked my yarn in a vinegar/water mixture for 30 minutes before getting started. I then got out my very brightest colors (so I could see all the mistakes) and got to work. I started by filling up squirt bottles with Red, Orange and Yellow. I squirted/painted half my hank Yellow, then blended the Yellow into Orange dye and finished it off with a good patch of Red on the other end.
He turned out alright for a first try! I did end up getting some unintentional smudges of Orange in my Yellow and my Red turned out a little splotchy but I'm pretty happy with it. I totally don't dig these colors so I don't know what's gonna happen to this guy but I'm learning stuff!
For skein #2 I used Bare Stroll Sock yarn (Wool/Nylon) from KnitPicks and an immersion dyeing technique. I used Citric Acid to soak this batch. I mixed a little Turquoise with a bit of Navy and immersed my entire hank in the Crock Pot. I didn't realize that I needed to move my yarn around in the pot while it was dyeing, so all the spots that had ties on them ended up staying white! That would have been great if I was Tye Dyeing but I wasn't!
I moved the ties and dip dyed the hank in a darker Navy blue. It covered up the white patches brilliantly and left the yarn with a fantastic variation of colors.
Unfortunately I didn't use enough Citric Acid so the skein did not rinse true at the end of dyeing. Then it got into a big 'ol tangle because I didn't tie my hank up correctly, so I got to spend an entire evening untangling it while my hands turned blue! Whoops!
I ended up giving it another vinegar soak and another steam session to set the yarn then all was well.
For hank #3 I used Bare Gloss yarn from KnitPicks (Wool/Silk.) I used a hand dyeing technique for this hank too. I started with mixing a Light Pink, Light Purple and Light Turquoise in separate cups. I laid the yarn out then splashed and squished the dye into random areas of the yarn. Then, chaos struck! I opened the purple dye pot to add more color to my dye and purple powder flew everywhere! (Don't worry, I had my mask and gloves on) but my yarn was covered! My only recourse was to sprinkle more purple dye powder over the yarn to even out the damage. But then my yarn was drenched in dark purple, purple everywhere! I wrapped it up quickly and steamed it before it could get completely immersed and hoped for the best.
Luckily, it turned out alright!
Plus I got to see a really cool process called "color breaking."
If you know anything about the color wheel you know that Secondary Colors (Purple/Green/Orange) are made up of Primary Colors (Red/Blue/Yellow.) When you dye with vibrant Secondary Colors, especially a powder or food dye, you can sometimes get them to break down to their pure components; in my case Blue and Red. You can see here that the Purple powder dye broke down in places to show Blue and Red. How cool is that!?
I am happy with how this skein turned out. It's most likely sloppier than anything I will make in the future but it looks like this will be the first finished skein of yarn for sale in my Etsy shop! I still need to design some labels before I can list him but that shouldn't take much time since I've already got my sweet logo to use.
I'm definitely enjoying the messy, unpredictable world of yarn dyeing and I've already ordered more naked yarn to play with. I haven't yet decided if this is the direction I want my Etsy shop to head in but I'm having fun for the time being.
What do y'all think of my latest dyes? Which technique is your favorite!?
Thanks for reading all about my trial and error yarn dyeing fun!
Guess who's gonna be dyeing some yarn!?
As a fun Birthday gift to myself, I got a Dye Kit from KnitPicks.
(This is just the book and yarns, there's dye too, I promise!)
I've read through my new book a few times now and hopped on Amazon and grabbed some of the supplies she suggests using. (Things like gloves, masks, measuring spoons, a salad spinner, etc.) I'm waiting on my delivery and hopefully will be dyeing like crazy come Monday.
I've been on the YouTube watching hand painted yarn tutorials. So far my favorites are from ChemKnits, they're clear and easy to follow. Still, I'm a little nervous to get started; I could make ugly yarn, I could dye my kitchen counters blue, I could use the wrong amount of Citric Acid and have all the color rinse out, I could steam the yarn wrong and have all the color rinse out! Anything could go wrong! Luckily my supplies won't be here 'till next week so I have plenty of time to watch 1000 more YouTube tutorials.
My eventual goal is to start selling hand dyed yarn on my Etsy site. I'm not 100% sure that is something I will end up doing, I mean, I could be a terrible yarn dyer. We'll see how it goes.
I'll be back with an update next week to show off my work. Keep your fingers crossed that it all goes well! I'm super excited/nervous to see what I come up with!!
Thanks for stopping by!
I'm starting a new top!
Isn't it magical?
Photo by Caitlin Hunter
The pattern is called Tegna and it's by Caitlin Hunter.
It's a fingering weight crop top with quarter length sleeves and a fun lace panel at the bottom hem. It's knitted in the round from the bottom up then separated at the top for the sleeves.
I'm just getting started on mine. I desperately wanted to participate in the Knit Along online but I have so many Summer commissions piling up on me that I had to abstain. I have started on a few swatches and gotten the first couple rows knitted.
The yarn I chose is the most amazing stuff ever. It's a single ply 70% SW Merino and 30% Silk yarn. It was custom dyed just for me by Maria Tusken from TuskenKnits on Etsy. The colorway is called Goldberry and I'm totally in love with it. I'm crossing my fingers that it will work with my pasty complexion.
So far I've got a few rows done but it's looking a little larger than I would like. I think I'll need to put it on a string and try it on to get an idea of how large it will be.
Moonunit was very excited to help with my Tegna Top photo shoot;
I'll most likely have to put this project aside for the next month and a half or so but I am totally pumped to get more work done on it. I'm hoping it becomes a garment that I can wear with everything. And given the mustard shade, I think it'll transition nicely into a Fall top.
I'll report back with more progress when I can!
Thanks for stopping by!
I'm nearing the finish line on another fun sweater project!
My latest creation is called Mazzy Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith AKA The Brown Stitch. It's an open front cardigan that features mock cable ribbing on the front panels. It is knitted from the bottom up in one piece.
Photo By Elizabeth Smith
The yarn I'm using is KnitPicks Swish Worsted Merino yarn in the colorway Lava.
This is my first time using Swish yarn and I'm really enjoying it. It has a tendency to be a little splitty and, word on the street, is that it pills like crazy but it is SO soft! I blocked up my swatch and it magically transformed to be even softer than the yarn in the skein.
So far the pattern has been easy to follow and very straightforward. I am a little concerned that the sleeves are too narrow but I should be able to take care of that during blocking.
At this point all I have left to do is finish the collar portion, sew my pocket seams, underarms and weave in a million ends!
The collar portion does call for a bit of three needle bind off action, which is not my forte, but I'm gonna do my best!
I'm hoping to have this guy done by the end of the week. It's a special gift for a lovely friend who recently helped me prep for a very important interview (which you will hear more about if I get the job!)
I will have more knitted goods to share with you soon! I've been working my fingers to the bone on Birthday and Wedding gifts lately and they're all about ready to go to their forever homes so I can finally share them with you!
Bonus cute kitty cat pic;
Moonunit loves to "help" in the garden. : ) She's such a cutie pie.
Have a good Monday!
Thanks for reading,
I finally finished Jakson's Tweed Socks!
These guys took forever! I was a little distracted by a few super top secret projects I've been working on. I also suffered from a bout of Second Sock Syndrome which made it tough to get sock #2 off the needles. I've since solved this problem by getting myself a new set of circular needles for Magic Loop Two at a Time Socks. (As long as my cat doesn't eat these ones too, I'll be good to go!)
The pattern I used was Nice Ribbed Socks by Glenna C. on Ravelry. (You can read more about the pattern details in my previous sock post.)
The yarn is KnitPicks Stroll Tweed in Garnet Heather. The Fingering weight yarn is 65% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon and 10% Donegal Tweed. In my opinion, socks knitted in Stroll seem to turn out a little floppy, when using this yarn I try to incorporate ribbing, use smaller needles or add a few rows of elastic thread inside the cuff to keep them nice and snug. (When in doubt just do ribbing for the entire sock! Problem solved!)
They are a little large on my model but these socks are intended for slightly larger tootsies.
I'm glad they're all done and I'm excited to see them shipped off to their forever home!
I've got some updates coming up on a new sweater project! Plus I have two secret projects I'm hoping to share with you sooner than later (really fun stuff, guys!)
Keep tuning in more exciting adventures in knitting!
Thanks for reading!
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