Papillon/Butterfly

I love butterflies. They are colorful, graceful, almost ethereal. Because I like them, I have used them in my craft projects, such as:

Quilting:

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Butterfly Art Quilt
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Butterfly Pillow

Fabric Dyeing:

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Images from backing of Butterfly Art Quilt

and Fused Glass:

Butterfly Glass
Butterfly Wall Art
Butterfly Glass2
Butterfly Garden Art

 

Butterfly Necklace
Butterfly Necklace

Recently, an email from a yarn store featured several new patterns. The Butterfly/Papillon shawl pattern by Marin Melchoir caught my eye. Later that same week, while shopping a a local yarn store (Three Kittens, Mendota Heights, MN), the owner was wearing the shawl.  Written for fingering weight yarn, this was the weight of yarn she had used for her shawl.  I really liked the pattern, so I purchased it.  However, I wanted the shawl to have more “movement”.  So, instead, I knit the shawl in lace weight yarn, using the indicated needle size.  This created a softer, lighter version of the shawl, but the same size as the pattern. 

I really like how the shawl turned out.  However, I’m not sure whether I will make another.  This shawl took about 40 hours to complete!

Black / Red Hat & Scarf Set

IMG_2944While organizing my craft room, I recently came across some left over yarn from one of the scarves I posted about last year.  Many of the scarves I have made were done to use up yarn that has been in my craft room for years.  Since I really don’t need any more scarves, this past year I have been putting together matching winter wear sets to donate.

Having found a small bit of the black boa yarn, I looked on-line to see if I could find the red that I had used when making the scarf last February.  I was fortunate to find some on eBay.  With shipping, it was less than $5 for the skein that I needed.  So, I ordered the yarn and made a hat to match the scarf.  I will be adding a pair of black waterproof gloves to the set before I donate them.

IMG_2943Since the yarn had lots of texture, these were easy to make – simply just knit stitches. If you want to make a set for your self, I would suggest knitting the hat first.  This will minimize the amount of yarn left over. Because the yarn is very slippery, I would recommend plastic needles rather than metal.  In my experience, the metal needles allow the stitches to slip off the needle too easily.

Materials
1 skein black boa yarn
3 skeins red yarn
Size 9 circular knitting needles (24” length)
Blunt-end Tapestry needle

Gauge:  14 sts and 17 rows = 4”

Hat:

Using black yarn, cast on 76 stitches and knit 17 rows. Switch to red yarn and knit one row. At the end of the row, making sure that the black section is not twisted, continue knitting in a circular fashion. Knit a total of 45 rows with the red yarn. Cast off, leaving a long tail of yarn. Using the tapestry needle, thread the yarn through each of the cast off stitches.  Gather up the knitting to form the crown of the hat and tie off. Using the black yarn tail at the beginning of the knitting, join the edges of the black band.

Scarf (approximately 72″):

Using a full skein of the red yarn, cast on 250 stitches. Working in circular fashion, knit until the entire skein is used. Switch to the black yarn left over from knitting the hat and knit until that skein is used up. Switch to the other full skein of red yarn and knit until about 250 inches of yarn remains. Cast off.  Weave in all ends of the yarn.

If you do make a hat and/or scarf with the pattern, please post a picture of your results in the comments – I would love to see what you make.

Swirl Scarf and Flowered Shells Hat

Several years ago, my mother made a lovely swirl scarf for me.  The scarf was one that she made without using a written pattern.  At the time, I asked her to describe the pattern.  It’s  fairly simple, just remember to relax to keep your yarn tension very loose.

img_2567Knit Swirl Scarf

Materials:
Color A: Tan Worsted Weight Yarn, 100 yards
Color B: Variegated Worsted Weight Yarn, 50 yards
Color C: Fur style Yarn, 50 yards
US Size 9 circular knitting needle
US Size H crochet hook
Pattern:
Using color A, cast on 100 stitches.
Row 1: Knit across, keeping tension very loose.
Row 2: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (200 stitches).
Row 3: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (400 stitches).
Row 4: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (800 stitches).
Row 5: Knit two in each stitch, keeping tension very loose (1600 stitches).
Row 6: Attach color B and knit across (1600 stitches). Cast off all stitches.
Edging: Attach color C with slip stitch.  Sc in each stitch along edges of the scarf. Weave in all yarn ends.

Yesterday, I decided to make a hat to match the scarf.  The pattern I used was one I have had in my pattern collection for a while. However, I revised the pattern by removing two of the 5Shell rows in the white section of the pattern and completing the the final SC row with fur style yarn.Shell Hat

Pattern: Flowered Shells Hat

Designer: Melissa Frank

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flowered-shells-hat

Together with the scarf, it makes a nice set.

Hat & Scarf

 

Two weeks in three trips = four scarves

Living in Minnesota, the thought of hopping a plane on the weekend to go someplace warm is very inviting.  This year, I planned two trips to get away to warmer weather.  These trips, one to Clearwater Beach, Florida and one the San Francisco, were on two consecutive weekends.  Then a few days after the planned second trip, I had to make an unexpected trip to Houston.  So, that meant that in fifteen days I had three trips, including seven flights (totaling almost 2,000 miles) and numerous hours in airplanes and airports.

For me, this was a bit more travel than I would prefer.  To pass the time, I brought along some knitting and crocheting.  As a result, I was able to completed four scarves to donate.

Scarf One – Queen Anne’s Lace Crochet Scarf

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Trip One – Clearwater Beach, Florida

Scarf Two – Eyelash Yarn Knit Scarf

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Trip Two – San Francisco

Scarf Three – Cashmere Knit Scarf

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Trip Three – Houston

 

Houston

Scarf Four – Varigated Yarn Knit Scarf

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I am looking forward to a few weeks with no need to travel!

Ombre Dyeing (Gradient Dyeing)

Ombre dyeing gives a nice subtle, ethereal look to fabrics.  It looks harder than it actually is.

Supplies:
Fiber Reactive dyes (MX dyes)
Soda ash
Salt
Buckets for dye bath
Rod to hold fabric
Chairs or some sort of support to hold your rod
Rubber gloves
Pins or clamps

Technique:
1.  Wash the fabric in Blue Dawn (unless using PFD fabric).                            Note: Some instructions say to presoak the fabric in soda ash solution.  I prefer not to do this to avoid too much color wicking up the wet fabric.


2.  Use pins to mark increments along the length of the fabric.
3.  Pin the fabric to plastic hangers for easier handling.  
4.  Mix up 20 ml of dye at a concentration of 100 mg/ml in Urea water
5.  Place 2000 ml of warm Soda Ash solution in a plastic container.
6.  For the lightest shade in your ombre pattern, add 2 ml dye concentrate to the soda ash solution.
7.  Wipe the inside of the dye tub to prevent unwanted dye marks on the fabric
8.  Dip fabric to the farthest pin and move up and down several times.
9. While holding the fabric above the dye tub, add 2 ml of dye concentrate and mix well.
10.  Dip  the fabric the the second pin and move up and down several times.
11.  Repeat steps 9 and 10 but adding 2 ml of dye concentrate each time until ten sections are dye at increasingly darker color.
12. Pull fabric out of the dye tub and hang over a container to collect any drips.  Allow dye to batch for 2 hours. 
13. Rinse the fabric in cold water, wash in Blue Dawn, dry and iron.










Some of my earlier posts included scarves that were ombre dyed.  Here are some images to show some additional samples of ombre dyeing.

 

 




Katazome – Stencil dyeing

Katazome, is a Japanese method of dyeing fabrics using a resist paste applied through a stencil. With this kind of resist dyeing, a rice flour mixture is applied using a brush or spatula.  Pigment, or dye, is then applied by hand-painting, immersion or both.  Where the paste mixture covers and permeates the cloth, dye will not penetrate. One of the biggest attractions of katazome was that it provides and inexpensive way for an over-all pattern.
Traditional katazome is quite labour intensive.

Traditional Katazome Stencil cutting

Stencil:
In traditional Katazome, the stencil is made by bonding multiple layers of mulberry paper together and waterproofing with persimmon tannin, resulting in a strong, flexible brown colored paper.  The intricate designs are then cut by hand with a knife. The resulting stencil is stabilized by overlaying with a fine net of silk.
This seemed way too complicated and time consuming.  So, I decided to use an existing plastic stencil for my first trial. For additional stencils, I used my Cameo to cut custom designs.

Nori Paste applied through a plastic stencil.
Far left shows Elmer’s School Glue drawn on.

Paste Resist:
Traditional Katazome paste is made using a complicated process (John Marshall has a very good description at http://www.johnmarshall.to/H-Resist.htm). While checking on-line for easier methods of making the paste resist, I found that Amazon carries a type of glue called Nori Glue that is made from rice and is water soluble.  I purchase some and found that it was an inexpensive, easy and satisfactory paste resist.
I also tried Elmer’s school glue.  This works well as a resist for drawing but was not a good stencil resist.

Resulting fabric after dyeing with Purple Procion dye.

I liked this technique.  So, I decided to try making some scarves.

Custom Stencil cut with Cameo

 

Technique:

  • Rayon gauze  12″ x 90″.
  • Tape stencil and apply Nori Paste
  • Dry overnight.
  • Dip in dye (Lilac) to create Ombre effect.
  • Rinse, wash with Blue Dawn and dry.
Dyed Fabric

 

Resulting Scarf
Green Scarf

 

Magenta Scarf

Color Magnet

This stuff is amazing!  That’s how the description of the Jacquard Color Magnet starts on the Dharma Trading website.  After reading that, I was intrigue and wanted to find out more .

Color magnet is a dye attractant that magically attracts more dye where it is applied, creating a unique, two-toned effect. The more dilute the dye, the greater the contrast of color. The color magnet has no binder, so it washes out completely after dyeing, leaving your fabric nicely colored but unchanged in how the fabric feels.  The color magnet comes in two forms.  A roller ball pen form that can be used for drawing or stenciling detail.  And a one pound container that can be used for screen printing, painting or stenciling larger areas.

Fabric recently splattered with Color Magnet

My first attempt:

  • Combed cotton fabric 12″ x 12″.
  • Splatter the color magnet across the fabric
  • Dry overnight.
  • Soak in Golden Yellow dye (200 milliliters, 0.5 mg/ml) for 24 hours. 
  • Rinse, wash with Blue Dawn and dry.
Fabric after dyeing with Golden Yellow

 

My second attempt:

  • Combed cotton fabric 6″ x 18″.
  • Tape stencil and paint Color Magnet using roller pen
  • Dry overnight.
  • Spray with dye (Golden Yellow, Mixing Red and Turquoise, 50 milliliters each at 0.5 mg/ml
  • Cover with plastic and allow to batch for 24 hours.
  • Rinse, wash with Blue Dawn and dry.

My latest endeavors:

  • Rayon gauze  12″ x 90″.
  • Tape stencil and paint Color Magnet using roller pen
  • Dry overnight.
  • Dip in dye (Lilac)
  • Cover with plastic and allow to batch for 24 hours.
  • Rinse, wash with Blue Dawn and dry.

 

More on the actual dyeing tomorrow.

Knit Lace Infinity Scarf Pattern

A while ago, I had an idea for a knit infinity scarf. The lace pattern idea I thought would look nice. And, since I live in Minnesota, we have plenty of days when scarves are needed.

Close up of Scarf #1

Materials:
Paton Lace Yarn, color Porcelain (35129), 2 skeins
Needles: US Size 3 circular needle
Gauge: 24 stitches and 38 rows/4 inches in stockinette stitch
Cast on 560 stitches and knit 38 rows following the pattern below.

Since I was using my own pattern, I wasn’t sure how the scarf would turn out. As I was finishing, the completed scarf appeared that it would measure 5″ x 100″.  As I was binding off the stitches, I realized that this was too long for an infinity scarf.  So, before binding off the entire scarf, I dropped some stitches in two areas to allow me to unravel a few sections.  I then cut the unraveled sections into two pieces, 22″ and 72″.  The longer piece was made into a scarf by tying knots at the edge of the knitting at each end.  The ends of the shorter section were sewn together and lined with polar fleece to make a headband.

On a recent trip to New York City, I decided to try this pattern again with another skein of yarn, but using fewer stitches to be able to create a true infinity scarf.

Materials:
Yarn Bee Lace Yarn, color Meadows (100), 1 skeins
Needles: US Size 3 circular needle
Gauge: 24 stitches and 34 rows/4 inches in stockinette stitch

The completed scarf measured 5″ x 62″.

Directions:

Cast on 400 stitches and join for working in rounds.  Make sure that the stitches do not twist when joining the first row.
Rows 1-8. Work ribbing, K1, P1 across each row.
Odd Rows 9 to 33. Knit across.
Row 10. (K2, K2Tog, yo, K1, yo, SSK, K3, K2tog, yo, K4) repeat 25 times.
Row 12. (K1, K2Tog, yo, K3, yo, SSK, K1, K2tog, yo, K5) repeat 25 times.
Row 14. (K2Tog, yo, K5, yo, SSK, K1, K2tog, yo, K4) repeat 25 times.
Row 16. (K1, K2Tog, yo, K3, yo, SSK, K1, K2tog, yo, K5) repeat 25 times.
Row 18. (K2, K2Tog, yo, K1, yo, SSK, K3, K2tog, yo, K4) repeat 25 times.
Row 20. (K3, yo, slip 1, K2Tog, psso, yo, K3, K2tog, yo, K5) repeat 25 times.
Repeat Rows 9 -18, ending with an odd row (knit across).
Rows 34-41. Work ribbing, K1, P1 across each row.

 

It’s hard to see the lace pattern on this yarn.

 

But the infinity scarf is lovely!