Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Playtime with Yarn

This morning I "should" have been doing some store related tasks-- compiling T4 slips, entering all the mountain of bills and invoices and other mail into the ledger book, even starting the quilt sample for the shop that I want to get done while I'm here in Saskatoon for a couple of weeks.  However, I got sidetracked the last couple of days into a crochet project. ... which turned into a "use up ugly yarn" project,... which turned into a "dye the ugly yarn a new color" project.
 A couple of months ago I was experimenting with using multiple strands of wool to crochet with.  I was using all shrinkable wool, because I planned to felt the projects.   The white/grey thing, above, is one of  my first attempts at crocheting a circular flat thing. It turned out okay, although a bit lopsided where I started the new rounds.  But it is pleasingly squishy and fuzzy. 
(Around now you might be wondering "Why? Why is she doing this, with all the other fabulous things that a person could knit or crochet,...."  Well. You might remember that last summer I took on the task of dispersing the yarn from a retired weaver.  I did manage to get a great deal of the yarn out to new homes.  However, much of what was leftover from assorted sales was a bunch of odds and ends that includes older yarns that are quite rough feeling for many knitting or crochet projects,-- understandable since it was intended for woven rugs, i think,-- and also a lot of the "less desirable" colors, like weird pinkish browns, and lots of orange.   They also run the whole range of weights from lace-weight to quite a bit heavier.   I had to think of something to use all these yarns for so that they are useful, and don't spend the next twenty years just sitting on some shelf. 
 So, I started to compile them into heavier yarns. 
It can be really pretty to combine colors and it is a hobby in itself to make new combinations!
 These are temporary balls that are only 2 or three fine-weights wound together.
 For the crochet projects here, I am using about 6 to 8 strands held together, and using a 15mm crochet hook, I think.  It is pretty big, but a light plastic. 
After the test piece above, I thought it would be fun to do some hexagons, and sew them together like you would in quilting,
I made several hexagons in various colors and whip stitched them together. (  I did take photos, but unfortunately my camera has been hauled around a lot the past few days and somewhere I slid the focus from automatic to manual without really noticing, and so the photos came out all blurry). :(
Then I crocheted a few rows around the whole thing.
Then I felted it in the washing machine. 
Not all of the combinations felted to the same size, as you can see.  The purple seemed to shrink most, and the bright blue stayed a bit bigger,
This shows the rough proportion of shrinkage.  It is interesting that the color also changed a bit in the felting process, since the un-felted yellow hexagon shown here is exactly the same yarn combination as the felted one in the center of the mat. 


I really like the way the colors mesh on the green edging: 
I think that a crocheted base like this might also be a very interesting surface to embroider onto.
I decided to wind balls of the yarns, since most of it is on cones or in skeins, and pack it up and mail it to Savannah where I can play more with this process. 
However, some of the colors are really blah.... I used up most of the pretty colors already.  I don't want a bunch of ugly pinkish-brown, orange and black floor mats, No.  So I decided to over-dye some of it.  So I did. 
I came up with some nice purples, (also some bright reds, although they are sort of on the rust side, and some that are sort of navy)
 But for now, after all these explorations, I am definitely ready to do some "work"!



1 comment:

  1. sometimes the things we 'ought to be doing' can wait until we've done things we want to do! and besides, doing some of the 'want to do' things refreshes us, and makes us much more efficient at the 'ought to dos'. and also - we then have the satisfaction of having accomplished something creative! way to go, michelle!
    cheers
    molly

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