torsdag 27 september 2012

Dyeing yarn with Jeaba cold water dye

Last Sunday I dyed yarn by using Jeaba. Under the guidance of Liisa the group had a very nice time and produced lots and lots of colourful yarns.

It is quite messy (in a rather nice way) and I do not know if I would do it at home. You pour the dye liquid on to the yarn (the yarn is not soaked first) and there can be a bit of a problem getting the dye evenly distributed. I think that this method is far better when you want to give the yarn many colours letting your artistic side free.

It was interesting to try out a new method for dyeing yarn. It was very "hands on", and since it is a cold water dye method there is no risk of burning yourself.  

I stuck to blue for all my yarn. I am planning to use it for a shawl, and too many colours can distract from the lacy pattern.

After dyeing the yarn you squeeze as much of the fluid as possible out and wrap it in a plastic bag. Leave it for 24 hours. Rinse thoroughly 5-6 times and hang it to dry.

söndag 16 september 2012

Hat with five colours - Tunisian crochet

My next project discovering Tunisian crochet in the round is a hat. I chose my favourite yarn from Wålstedts to get god quality. It is a two-ply, z-plied yarn. I was curious to see if the z-ply was a problem when making Tunisian crochet (it was not).

I chose to use five different colours/nuances from light blue to black. Black being the only colour used on every row throughout the whole project.

For the beginning I used dark blue and black, alternating the basic stitch with purl stitches. For the rest of the hat I used the basic stitch and alternated the blue colours for every row.

An easy and fun project - I think that Tunisian crochet can be quite addictive ...

söndag 9 september 2012

Tunisian Crochet (in Swedish: "krokning")

This summer I had signed up for a class in Tunisian crochet. Unfortunately the course was cancelled. I then decided to see what I could learn on "my own" - I was especially intrigued by Tunisian crochet in the round, since I had been told that Tunisian crochet usually was not done in the round. I always prefer to work in the round when knitting, so I found this very interesting.

With  the help of books, internet and Youtube -  I started a "learning swatch" to try out the technique and various stitch combinations that I found. The new double-ended crochet hook  is a  genial solution enabling working in the round.

Trying out two simple stitches I made a pair of wrist warmers:

I also tried to find out something of the history behind Tunisian crochet, which is called "krokning" in Swedish, but soon found, that that was not an easy task. The following is a brief summary of information gathered from the internet, encyclopedias and my book-shelf.

Tunisian crochet is known by many different names. In Swedish "krokning",  in English "Afghan stitch", in French "tricot Eccossais" and some strange American ones: "Idiot stitch", "fool stitch" and "railway stitch"....

Some sources state that it is an ancient technique, but there is no reliable evidence supporting this, other than that Tunisian crochet is described as a mix of knitting and crochet and therefore could be the predecessor of them both.

Tunisian crochet was popular during the Victorian Era, only to be almost forgotten in the beginning of the 20th Century. In 1859, in USA, Tunisian crochet was described as an addition to crochet under the name of "Princess Frederick William Stitch" in "The Lady´s Manual of Fancy Work" by Mrs Pullen. 

In Sweden Tunisian crochet had a revival in the 1950´s, but has since been almost forgotten. There was some interest during the "knitting -boom" in the 80´s, but it never came close to the interest shown in the 1950´s.

Today there seems to be a new interest in the technique, books and workshops are becoming more and more frequent. Could it be because the double-ended crochet hook makes working in the round possible, thus facilitating making mittens, hats and even bigger garments, such as sweaters?

More about Tunisian Honeycomb Stitch in this post:
Tunisian crochet - Honeycomb Stitch