Monday, February 25, 2008

Ahhh Tools!

I was once lucky enough to have been gifted with a knitting machine. It was a thoughtful donation to my collection, although, I must be honest.....I do not like the idea of machine knitting taking the place of my individually hand-formed stitches! But, as if in a dream, but probably more like a memory from bits that I have read and seen, I thought of a use!

I searched my library and found an article in Fall 2006 Spin-off Magazine about machine knitting for dyeing. Now the hard part...getting through the jam-packed fiber room and up the ladder to where the machine had been hiding out. Of course, I don't really know how to use it, but it couldn't be that hard. After all, I was thinking "rectangular blanks" not sweaters!

I read the knitting machine manual, (yes, I do that,) and proceeded with the set up. Not too difficult. The bad part starts when things go wrong. You know the things, the yarn jams the machine and starts to break the little hooks. Or maybe something simple like the yarn gets wound under the machine and when the part that rides over the hooks starts to UNHOOK the yarn, essentially dropping all of the stitches at once!

I persevered, and wound up with some good blank knitted bits to dye. The dyes were not in the place that they should have been, so I used some textile ink instead. A good start, good idea, bad ink. Once the results shown were set with the iron, they lightened slightly. Once washed.....almost gone. Think Spring pastels (yukky---unless you like that, I don't.)

I am getting the idea. The colors are garish, but the idea is what I am playing with for now. My plan is to unravel the dyed pieces and reknit them as socks or fair isle patterns. Think Noro with it's long color changes. I think I can do that.

So, for now, the pics tell it all, and when the yarn is re knit, or redyed, I will show that too! Wish me luck and send my your experience!!! Please, I need a bit of input.

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