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Hello all,
I have been busy knitting all week, and have made a lot of progress, but have no finished knitted items to show for it.

I did however complete a dyeing project yesterday afternoon, and I want to tell you about it. When I did my first dyeing experiment (which I am learning it always will be), one of the ladies at our guild loved the way the locks took the gold color I had dyed. She asked if I would dye about 2 oz. of locks for her to use as hair on the needle felted projects she was working on this fall. She needed them by Nov 15 - our next guild meeting.In the mean time, I was fortunate enough to get to spend part of a day with my good friend, Carol, and she brought me some Leicester Long Wool to use for this little project. So, I did 1 oz. of the Polypay locks and 1 oz. of the Leicester Long Wool Locks.

Instead of being a really smart person and using the exact same forumla I did in my first dyeing experiment, I did each batch with a little bit different combination of colors, and experienced disasterour results. The first batch of the Polypay came out like this:

you really can't tell from the picture, but it is way too pink. So I over dyed it with the "good" forumula and it came out like this.

Still too pink and not what I wanted, so I did the same wool using just a little all black food coloring and am now satisfied with the dark brown locks it produced. The Leicester Long Wool also got two dyeings to make it a bit darker. This is the final result. Polypay brown on the left and Leicester Long Wool gold on the right.

I am working on two pair of socks - I know this is a bad thing, but I have made progress. I have completed the gusset decreases on both. So for the alpaca socks its all knitting from now on -

And for my Ginger Bread Socks, I will need to do two or three pattern repeats (12 rows each), and I should be on the toes.

Last but not least is my Montana Felted Tote (from Knitting Daily), which will be used as a diaper bag for my DIL. I also plan on a matching purse, which isn't started as yet. I have added the third of four colors and this picture shows the botton (all garter stitch), and one side (all knitted). The red is actually wine and the orange is Marsala - so it is darker than it appears in the picture.

Before my next blog, I expect to finish these two socks and start on the pairs and to have most of the diaper bag knitted. I will no doubt be including some spinning... but have only finished one skein this week.

Happy Knitting, Spinning, Dyeing and Felting. Susan

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Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on November 9, 2009 at 9:01am
I've alreadty learned that dyeing is "always experimental" - which is OK.
I doubt that many people make money from the alpaca fur as much as in breeding them.
I am not brave, I've done a bit of felting before and feel that all will go well. Back to my knitting. --S
Comment by Barbara Longley on November 9, 2009 at 8:38am
I love the Ginger Bread socks. The pattern and the rainbow wool work well together. The dyeing is a bit hit and miss and you don't always get what you are aiming for. The black food dye is useful to know about as even a small amount can give a better result. A must for achieving misty heathery yarns. My Isle of Man friend was telling me that in the UK a brown Alpaca costs £25,000 and a white one £50,000. I'm not sure that I believe her. That's a lot of money and I wonder how the farmers get their investment back.
Someone wrote in their Blog the other week that they had knit their grandson a jumper and wondered if fabric conditioner would stop it itching. I can't remember who it was and I wanted to pass on to her that I read that hair conditioner was bettter. I haven't tried it myself, but it makes sense. Back to Susan's knits - I'll be interested to see how the felting goes - you are braver than me!!! Barbara
Comment by banklady6 on November 8, 2009 at 1:53pm
take it slow....wouldn't want to lose youe voice too!
Comment by Peggy Stuart on November 8, 2009 at 11:34am
Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on November 3, 2009 at 7:07pm
I think Peggy is currently checking out posts, and commenting as she is able - she is using ALL CAPS - so you can't miss her. --S
Comment by cherylbwaters on November 3, 2009 at 6:53pm
Mary, Peggy has reported she is doing well. I'm glad you didn't let eeyore get the better of you!

My DH used say I hunt and peck touch type, because I would touch type but it would sound like someone hunting and pecking!
Comment by banklady6 on November 3, 2009 at 2:47pm
Cheryl-after 3 tries at sewing up DH'd eeyore, I think the hard work part definitely applies...grr..wasn't going to let it beat me though!!
Hope Peggy will be back among us soon..perhaps she can type one handed-or use a knitting needle to hunt and peck (as my mom called it).
Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on November 3, 2009 at 11:35am
Knit4, that was my first "over dyeing" experience, and I was a little afraid of the outcome, but I have plenty of the fleece and locks, so I could have done the whole thing over if necessary. --S
Comment by Knit4Many on November 3, 2009 at 8:53am
Susan: Great progress! Everything is coming out so good. I really like how you ended up with the dark brown locks. Great over dying.
Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on November 3, 2009 at 5:49am
We are all very much a part of one anothers lives! We laugh together, we cry together, but most importantly, we knit together. I love the way the long wool pieces look too. More like "real" hair than the Polypay. --S

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