Stained glass – more adventures in dyeing

I can’t actually believe that I made this.

This is a mystery skein from the lovely and fabulous MsGusset (who quite rightly is a finalist in the Australian Etsy Design Awards – go vote for her here)

It’s dyed using food colouring and set with vinegar and heat still using the same technique as my first attempts at dyeing. I got a little bit experimental with a coat hanger to dye different parts different colours, particularly as black is a bit tricky to work with.

The ‘What a kool way to dye’ group on ravelry’s October Dye-along challenge was stained glass.
I think my submission meets that criteria. But I’ll let pictures do the talking.

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Also I made a video thing where I also gush about MsGusset and YarnvsZombies and The Golden Skein

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Imagine the stash you could keep in a TARDIS

I had so many Doctor Who and yarny related goodies in the mailbox recently I don’t know where to start.

Ok there was two. But they were both awesome that it seems like more.

First up, I managed to nab a Tangerine 8 project bag! I have been trying to get one of these for ages, but they sell out almost immediately.
One night I was lieing awake at 2am, surfing Twitter and saw a shop update. I set my alarm and then later that morning scored myself the project bag of my dreams. How could I possible not have longed for a knitting bag with yarn rolling out of the Tardis. *swoon*

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I’ve now located all of my Midnight Scribbles Doctor Who stitch markers and this did seem like the perfect place for them.

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I now have 6 of these stitch markers, one for each month of the Doctor Yarn Club by Yarn vs Zombies.
Another 2 yarns arrived in the post this week!
Australia Post hasn’t been kind to Kiki and there have been missing packages all over the place so I got two at once which was a very nice surprise.

So in the mail arrived the 12th Doctor and the 2nd Doctor. IMG_163912th Doctor Yarn2nd Doctor

Which was good timing because I just last night finished off the 9th Doctor (plus nanogenes) which I made into 22 Little Clouds.
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And have started knitting the Of The Moon using the 3rd Doctor.
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I cannot wait to see how this one turns out. I love all of Caitlin Ffrench’s patterns. (Who by the way has just released her first book! Which you can buy in PDF onlyor in hard copy book format. It also includes natural dye recipes to recreate the yarns perfectly.)

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*disclaimer- as much as I gush about these products, they were paid for with my own hard earned dollars. Although if anyone ever wants to send me free yarn please feel free, but my honest opinion can not be bought!

5 Happy Things

I’ve been using the tracknshare app for just over 2 months now.
Almost every morning I would go through the same routine of ‘have I taken x medication yet?’, with the associated anxiety of what if I did take it and I take too much or what if I haven’t and what happens then. I also wanted to keep a pain journal so I had some empirical evidence for those days when I was wondering if it is all in my head.

So I test ran a few different apps but tracknshare has really worked for me, mostly because it’s so customisable.

I’m now in the habit of ticking off my medications as I take them, but it also gave me new things to track!

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But one of the more challenging items to track is ‘5 Happy Things’. I’m finding it very easy to list all the negative things happening around me so I’m making a deliberate decision to change this. So here are 5 things that have made or are making me happy.

1. We’re picking up a new outdoor setting this afternoon. We’ve been putting off buying one for ages but with summer just around the corner it seemed like a good time. (Side note: Shay [because you read every blog post I might as well just ask you here instead of trying to remember to ask you on twitter] Have you and your lovely wife been over and tried out our beer bottle chute yet? Have I even told you about it? We now have a chute that you pop the empty cans/bottles in and it goes straight in the bin. I live with a clever clever man.)

2. I finished a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a hobby that HWF enjoys and so he started it and had finished the border. Then I had some forced time off work and so worked on it from time to time to stop me from going mad. Now I’ve finished it, he can rip it apart and make it again by his self as he really didn’t appreciate me hijacking his jigsaw. I’m to stick to my own jigsaws from now on. (But look at it I finished a jigsaw puzzle!!)

3. More dyeing! This time I experimented with semi-solids. Pretty soon I’m going to have more yarn than knitting hours left in my lifetime. I really need to find a better supplier than Spotlight though. Unwinding balls of yarn is getting annoying, and 100% DK wool isn’t really my favourite to knit with, but a 50g ball of white is $2 when its on sale.

4. All of the gorgeous knitwear in Outlander. It’s sure a visual feast for the eyes. I can’t believe there’s no more this year though. Although it will give me time to knit one of the many Outlander patterns that have sprung up on Ravelry. Like this cape, or these fingerless mittens.

5. I organised the couch and I counted up my knitting WIPs and only have 8 things on the needles that I don’t intend to frog. Hopefully by tomorrow that will be down to 7. Plus 3 are blankets so they don’t actually count so really that’s just 5 things. And 1 I can’t work on because I need to find the pattern and where I was up to so that takes it down to 4. And one of the scarves is charted and I can’t look down for that long so that’s on indefinite hibernation. Oh whoops I forgot about that one so we’re still at 4. But hey 4 WIPs is really not bad! And now they’re all organised too. Go me!

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What are you happy about today?

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Spot the dye job!

The keenest of observers would have noticed I had bleach white hair on the day that my Golden Skein delivery arrived.
#yarnselfies #thegoldenskein #yesmyhairiskindawhiteatm

And my hair was bright pink and purple when my yarn from Ms Gusset arrived.

And then all of a sudden it changed to teal. I don’t actually have any teal yarn due to arrive any time soon (I don’t think so anyway – I haven’t made too many odd codeine related purchases).
It’s football related.

There were two live football games which I went to, both against a purple team. The second one was a knock-out final so there was a race against time to remove any trace of purple!

I also promised a friend that I would dye her hair teal just for the finals. So naturally at the pre-game function I became Beks the hair dresser and with the leftovers from the bottle I put streaks in two strangers hair and a beard.

Photos either by me or David Gaudion
Photos either by me or David Gaudion
Photos either by me or David Gaudion

Other than football watching and taking yarn selfies I also participated in my first Ravelry swap.
I sent a package of yarn and yarn related goodies to a randomly (but carefully) selected swapper, and in return I received a package from another swapper.

Selfish knitters Swap box!!! So many lovely goodies.

It was so much fun seeing all the awesome mail that was being sent all around the world. Since ravelry has been available through my work computer I have been spending some of my lunch breaks and sanity breaks in the forums. I’m still not sure that this is good or bad for productivity.
On one side looking at pretty yarn and pretty patterns and chatting with other ravelers about life the universe and knitting is a very good stress reliever and a good way to break up the day.
On the other side I’m not keeping up with my blog reading. A month ago I would have said that it’s also dangerous and I’ll waste too much time, but I’m barely getting a lunch break let alone wasting time. That’s when I’m at work and haven’t been deemed unfit by my doc.

Health wise this year has been rather shit. Fortunately I have the best GP who, as well as being a very thorough, qualified doctor with 4 daughters worth of personal experience, is a knitter and so every time I go and see her we have a quick chat about knitting before getting down to the medical stuff.

Still I’m feeling like a walking pharmacy, people sticking needles in my neck, the awful and not at all attractive hospital gowns, and quite frankly am sick of talking/whinging about it.

Although it has been a good excuse to go into Typo to buy a new neck support cushion. And while I was there I may have slipped and bought a cat purse, some chalkboard paint, a pompom maker, and an envelope template.
I was also sorely tempted by their Knit Your Own Cat Kit – even though I already have all of the supplies in the kit and have already knitted my own cat. That’s just what typo does to me.

Other achievements from September have included listening to 44 episodes of Welcome to Nightvale, completing 84% of Swordigo, and purchasing a giant Eeyore pillow pet.

Oh plus my parents bought a house, sold a house, moved house, Mum got older, the Boyfriend got older, we spent a long weekend in Bunbury with his family, I figured out how to make anklets, I sent off some surprise care parcels & postcards and got a surprise one in return, and you know did some knitting as well. Phew! I think I need a nap.

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Spot the hand-dye!

My sanity blanket is completed.

I am so please with it.
Not only is it squishy and warm, but I am damn proud of the way my own hand-dyed yarn holds up against the store bought yarn.

I really think that you can’t tell which stripes are professional yarns and which ones I did. But I may be a little biased.

See if you can tell!

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Yarn Collection – Blood Red Shoes

My blanket just keeps on growing!

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It’s gobbling up yarn so quickly I was forced (at gunpoint) to go and buy some more. Fortunately it’s on special (yay!) and $2 a ball. So I grabbed all the white they had. Then I went on a dyeing spree.

This time I experimented with dyeing 3 skeins at once. It was a vague attempt at dyeing a cohesive collection.

I’ve named them after Blood Red Shoes song titles.

It's getting boring by the sea

It’s getting boring by the sea



Everything All At Once

The Perfect Mess



Night Light

Night Light


Night Light was inspired by this picture I took from the balcony one night.
We do get some gorgeous sunsets.

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I also experimented once more with separating colours using jars. There’s probably more technical ways to do this, but I’m having fun figuring it out for myself.
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Some of the yarns from my previous dyeing adventures have been knitted up and look awesome, if I do say so myself.
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My only regret is that I used two variegated acrylics that I just had in my stash and thought I could use them up.
They haven’t got the same drape as the pure wool. It’s probably something that only I will notice, but I will have to accept it. There’s no way I’m ripping back all of that work!

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I’m totally counting these as ticking off my ‘Dye a yarn collection’ goal for this year.
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More pretty yarn and a warm blanket

I’ve decided what to do with the yarn I dyed.
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This blanket fulfills two main aims.
A) it shows off the colours of the hand dyed yarn really well &
2) it gives me loads and loads of mindless, therapeutic garter stitch.

I need the mindless repetition of doing the same motion over and over like you wouldn’t believe.
There is stress coming out of my eyeballs, bruises emerging from me trying to quell the pain in my arms and legs, things to organise, things I can’t organise and the only way I’m barely sane is that repetition of knitting.

I’m vaguely working on a pattern.
Cast on a bucket load of stitches (200 odd. I did attempt to do math and make a pattern but decided to go for simple)
One row solid, 3 rows variegated.
And when I’ve finished with one colour I start with the next.

It is guzzling yarn! I’ve stopped at spotlight to buy more (Moda Vera pure wool 50g) and dyed that up, but I’m estimating I’ll need at least 9 more balls.

But the next 6 are dyed and ready to go.

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These gorgeous flowers are growing in our front garden on the tree that our passionfruit vine grows on. I decided to try and use it as an inspiration picture.
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It gave me a chance to experiment with dyeing methods. And it looks so pretty!!! I’m absolutely kicking myself for not taking a picture of it all skeined up. I can’t believe I don’t have one on my phone! I’m very disappointed with myself. Unfortunately my favourite skein has become tangled whilst winding.

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So it’s current status is sitting in the naughty corner (exactly where it is now) until I can work up the energy to untangle it. Hopefully without having to cut it. That would really annoy me.

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Mums Garden – Part 2

Almost immediately after posting what shall now be known as the first instalment of Mums Garden, I received a flow of emails with more photos. (Mum is a very faithful reader of my blog – Hi Mum!!!! love you!)

So I can show you some of the wildlife, and not so wild life that we enjoyed.

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Mum is particularly fond of birds. I am not so fond. Yesterday I was just minding my own business, reading a book on our front porch (the last book of the Grisha series by Leigh Burdugo so it was particularly tense) and there’s an unidentified noise coming from the roof. I look up and I see two eyes and a beak peering down at me. Fortunately it flew off to chase some smaller prey but it made me jump out of my skin.
I’m jumpy around birds, which makes these next three photos a little odd to be on my blog.
I’ll put them after a break for all of you who are also jumpy around birds.
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Guest post – Mums garden

My parents are moving house for the second time in my life. And while it’s a good move and a necessary one, it does mean that Mum loses her garden that she’s spent 15 years pottering around in.

Somewhere along the line Mum’s green thumb genes mixed with some recessive black thumb gene and resulted in me. I have killed cactuses.

So I asked Mum to guest post for me and show me her favourite parts of the garden.

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There aren’t many places that can compete with this view. Although living so close to a National Park does have its downsides.

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Fortunately fires aren’t too regular an occurrence.

But being that close to the National Park means native flowers and wildlife thrive. We actually do get kangaroos come up to the backyard and drink from the bird bath. [Beks note - I wish Mum had sent me a pic of that! I'm sure we have one somewhere]
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And she even sent me a pic from my old bedroom window.
It’s not quite the view I remember as there has been a few changes since I left home. But it was still one hell of a view.
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Pretty yarn

Things aren’t really so good at the moment. I’m being passed from one specialist to another to find the best way to manage the constant pain that I’m still in (seriously a fucking tablecloth!!!)

When you’re too sore for even the gentlest hug, and dealing with all the other shit going on, one can take comfort in looking at pretty yarn. (See also watching Jane Austen movies and remembering just how awesome the 1995 version of Sense & Sensibility is [what a stellar cast] and just how awesome Tilney is [especially in the 2007 version - I love the dry sense of humour]. I sometimes think he’s the best Austen hero. I mean the man knows his muslin! [but then Wentworth is so dreamy and Darcy, well he's DARCY] but I feel I’m digressing/fangirling slightly…)

This is yarn I dyed myself.
I feel like a little kid when I’m dyeing. Especially as I’m using food colouring which is typically used for cakes and playdough.
It’s a colourful and very non-scientific adventure.
Just a bit here…. ooooh I’m not sure about that lets try a bit more of this colour.
In spite of some of the skeins I actually had a plan for not turning out according to plan, I’m rather fond of all of them.

My only regret is that they’re all 50g balls with estimated yardage of 80m. I don’t know what to make with them.
I guess I could just stare and pet them.

(Please politely ignore the state of my stovetop. Having a sparkling stovetop isn’t the highest of priorities at the moment.)

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