Saturday, November 24, 2018

Karen B's Latest Projects

Although the color looks different in the photo, this is a detail of the sweater just above

Hand-dyed and commercial yarns

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Our Youngest Knitter Wins Prizes at the Southern New Mexico State Fair and Rodeo

This is some very impressive handwork--all done for others--for someone who has just entered middle school!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Indigo Dyeing at Clair’s House

Indigo Dyeing at Clair’s House
Friday, November 23

You will experience the miracle of indigo dyeing in a vat--your fabric gets dipped into the dye, comes out pea green, and slowly turns indigo blue as the air hits it. 

This session will be an introduction to the process. My current dye vat can probably handle a total of three more pounds of material. Once you see how it’s done you can make your own vat at home and dye up to five pounds of your own fabric or yarn. 

Please bring a small piece of cotton, silk, or wool cloth OR a small skein of wool or cotton yarn. Wash the fabric or yarn, using Synthrapol fabric detergent or good old blue Dawn dishwashing detergent. Rinse well. You can bring your project dry or damp. 

Sample technique using marbles, rubber bands, and stitching

We will further prepare the cloth here.I will show you some of the shibori (Japanese manual resist dyeing) techniques I have learned so far. Here is a good tutorial if you’d like an intro to shibori:

I use small blocks like these for clamping

I have some rubber bands, some marbles, and a few small wood blocks for clamping that I can share. I also have lots of vinyl gloves for everyone. You can bring more rubber bands, clamps or clothes pins, small pieces of wood (see above photo) and some strong cotton string or twine if you have some on hand. 

A short piece of PVC pipe (or even an empty wine bottle) can be used for bomaki shibori (pole wrapping). You can see what that looks like here:

Get creative: I use these coffee pot parts for making designs on the clamped cloth. Just remember that any tools you use will have to be dedicated to dyeing from now on and can no longer be used for food preparation.

We will do the dyeing in my kitchen sink. You can wear old clothes if you are worried about getting the dye on you. I’ve had pretty good luck so far, having only dyed one of my hands when the glove leaked. I'll do the messy part--the dipping--to be sure that no air gets introduced into the dyebath. I've been practicing.

My first indigo projects

We will soak your cloth/yarn in water before dipping it in the vat. After dyeing, it will hang outside to drip dry. Please bring a plastic bag to carry your damp project home. You will be able to complete the rinsing and washing steps there. 

When you get your project home: Let it air for 24 hours then wash until no more blue comes off. Rinse well, then neutralize by soaking in a vinegar bath (1 tablespoon vinegar per quart of water) for at least 10 minutes, then rinse well. See

I've given you a lot of information here, but it's just the beginning. It'll be fun. It's grown-up tie-dyeing!

Cathy's Mystery Fudge Cake

Cathy wowed us all recently with a deliciously moist chocolate cake containing... wait for it... green tomatoes! Although she sent me a photo of the recipe, it is kind of hard to read.

However, I was able to locate a recipe for Green Tomato Brownie Cake on a blog called Watching What I Eat. It seems to be based on the same recipe as Cathy's, but the good news is that the blogger, Vicki E., has reworked the traditional version into a far lighter one. Even better, the blog post includes both versions, so you can choose either the traditional cake, made with margarine, three eggs, and white sugar; or the lighter version made with just one egg, less sugar, and oil.

Here you go, just click this link to see both versions:

And if you want to continue in the mystery cake mode, here is one made with beets and another that is a spice cake, rather than a chocolate one.

Mystery Chocolate Cake (made with beets):

Green Tomato Cake (no chocolate):

Note: You will find links to all the knitting group's favorite recipes by clicking on the Recipes tab at the top of the blog under the header photo.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018