Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Making My Own Supplies

Thanks for all your comments on my last post!  Looks like a lot of you are interested in plant dyeing yarn so I hope to show you my progress after I assemble all my materials and begin actually dyeing.  Today, I purchased a single electric burner to use outside in the garage for heating up dye baths instead of taking over my kitchen as I did last time around.  When you have a son who likes to snack all day it simply doesn't work to use your kitchen for dyeing.  Even natural dyeing does not mix well with food prep.

I also needed some potholders in which to handle the hot pots of dye solution which brings me to the above photos.  See, I found some more use for the plant dyed yarn I used for knitting my stuffed toys - felted potholders!  The pattern is called Out of the Frying Pan and it is very, very simple.  The hardest part is waiting for the oven mitt to felt to the proper size.  In my case it took 4 long wash agitation cycles (I would reset the washer each time before it got to rinsing until the mitt was the size I wanted, then I let the full wash cycle run.) in my top loading washing machine.  I mention that my machine is top loading because it is best for felting to have your item submerged in hot water while agitating.  You probably still could felt in a front loading machine, but my guess is it would take a lot longer.

One of the best things about felting is all your knitting mistakes shrink up and disappear as the wool tightens and felts.  My "mistakes" in this case are the "ladders" I always get when knitting with double pointed needles.   Experts all say to tighten up your knitting, but I already knit pretty tightly and get the ladder affect not between the 2 end stitches, but in the middle of the knit V of each end stitch.  Make sense?  The join between is tight but the stitch on either side of it is loose.  I loosen, I tighten it simply doesn't seem to matter - I get ladders.  Thus, now I knit my socks and other small circumference items using the 2 circular method, but I would love to one day conquer the double pointed needle technique. 

The colorway I used on the bottom of the oven mitt was one of Judy's experiments which she gave to me with one of my larger orders as a gift.  It was so sweet, but sadly I didn't really care for it and so it languished in my stash for some years until now.  I didn't have enough for a pair (yes, I am currently knitting the second one) as I wanted so in comes the canary yellow I used for knitting rainbow teething rings.  This mitt is very bright which probably means I won't lose them!   And since they are just going to be for dyeing it simply doesn't matter how they look  They will do their job keeping my hands protected being super thick and just the right size to easily slip on without being too big that they become clumsy.  Hmm, seems I have a lot to say about oven mitts!

Joining in with Nicole for Keep Calm and Craft On and Ginny for Yarn Along.


  1. Beautiful, I love the colours! You have a lovely blog, very pretty background, too. :)

  2. I love your oven mitt. You certainly shouldn't lose it. Happy dyeing.

  3. Great oven mitt! I enjoy felting things like that. Good idea to have an outside burner for your natural dying. It has a tendency to stink sometimes (nothing terrible - just plants cooking) so keeping it outside is convenient.