Monday, March 29, 2010

Medieval Fair of Norman 2010

Well, another successful weekend at the Norman Medieval Fair. I went over to strap up ladies in my friends Michelle's beautiful corsets for the weekend. She is the Owner/Designer/Goddess of Damsel in This Dress. I wish I had some pictures, but to tell you the truth, I was so busy working, I didn't even make it out of the booth. : ) Oklahoma weather played nasty tricks on us yet again. This year, however, we got a reprieve with a warm Sunday at least.

My favorite comments of the weekend were:

3. "OMG, I have a waist!" - Corset = instant waist (nuff' said)

2. "She (Michelle) really made all these?" - Yes, Michelle is really that good at what she does. In a world of mass produced, low quality items, it really shocks people that you can make anything, but better, if you just put a little thought and effort into it.

1. "I bet you don't have anything in my size." - Really? These aren't imported corsets from China, but handmade works of art ranging regularly from a 21" waist to a 45" waist. Even if there wasn't a corset on the rack in your size, Michelle, being the best seamstress ever, can make one that will fit you perfectly.

I find it really amazing just how many issues women of all sizes have with their bodies. I swear, it doesn't matter what the size, women in general find something about themselves to pick on. I'm here to tell you know though, stop focusing on the negative, and realize you positives, whether it be your tiny waist, lean legs, beautiful eyes. . . every person has some feature that makes them stunning and we just need more people to tell them that. Hint, hint everyone out there.

As for myself, I have a corset as well as fun memories of cold dreary rains, painted poodles that look like they were hit by a can of spray paint, herds of interesting non-medieval costumes, and friends that keep me coming back.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Coffee and Tea Dyeing Sock Yarn

Today was a successful experiment in dyeing naturally using tea and coffee. I have a lot of different types of teas. Yes, I love tea, but there is now way that I could drink all that I own. I had heard of coffee dyeing before and had wanted to try it. Lots of people have dyed successfully using coffee. So why not give it a try?

I had heard before that tea actually stains your teeth worse than coffee. I thought if this were true, it would make a great dye as well. With my unlimited supply of different varieties, I grabbed a couple of bags and went at it using this BLOG POST as a guide to get me started.

I used 10% WOG alum and 5% cream of tarter for each yarn that was soaked in bottled water. (The water here in town is very hard and I didn't want any surprises from it.) After squeezing all the water out, I put them into my tea and coffee solutions to set in my oven at 170 degrees for an hour. Then, after a thorough rinsing, I placed them outside to dry. They aren't very dark, but that's okay. I love the colors. Oh, and let me add it took a lot less tea to dye the yarn than coffee. I used 4 tea bags for 2 hanks versus 4 cups for 3 hanks.

The first photo is coffee and the second is my tea brew experiment. I personally love the tea version. It looks like a granny apple to me. I plan to explore more varieties of tea and see what happens. So stay tuned!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dark and Lavender Leaf Knit Pattern

Dark and Lavender Leaf
By Dawn L.E. Riden

Inspired by Georgie O’Keeffe’s “Dark and Lavender
Leaf” this simple knit simply showcases the beauty
already found in nature. Knit it up to use on hats, bags, as
an ornament, or even sew it onto a shawl pin back for a
nice accessory.

Length: 4 inches
Width: 3 inches

Light Brown Hare Jackrabbit Fingering Yarn
[100% Superwash Merino; 400 yd/m per 50g skein];
color: Sunken Treasure; scraps ~10 yards

Recommended needle size:
1 set US #3/3.25mm straight/circular/double point

Row 1: CO 1
Row 2: KFB (2 sts)
Row 3: K across
Row 4: KFB (4 sts)
Row 5: K across
Row 6: K1, yo, k2, yo k1 (6 sts)
Row 7 and all odd: K2, Purl to last 2 sts, k2 (6 sts)
Row 8: k2, yo, k2, yo, k2 (8 sts)
Row 10: K1, kfb, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, kfb, k1 (11 sts)
Row 12: k5, yo, k1, yo, k5 (13 sts)
Row 12: K6, yo, k1, yo, k6 (15 sts)
Row 14: K7, yo, k1, yo, k7 (17 sts)
Row 16: k6, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k6 (17 sts)
Row 18: k6, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k6 (17 sts)

Divide sts into 3 sections of 8, 1, 8

On the right side:
Row 20: K1, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1
Row 21: K2, p3, k2
Row 22: BO knitwise

To make matching bind off on the left side turn work over:
Row 20: P1, p2tog, p1, p2tog, p1.
Row 21: K across
Row 22: BO purlwise

For the stem st, k the st 4 times.
BO and weave in all ends reinforcing stem and sides.

Copyright 2010. Dawn L.E. Riden. These patterns are for personal and non-profit use only. You may not sell items made from these patterns. You may make them for yourself, as gifts, or for donation to charity sales or auctions. And these patterns love being used for knitalongs or other organized knitting events that are free of charge.

Merchants may not download or print these patterns for sale, free distribution, or class use without prior written permission from the author (that’s me, Pam). If you received one of these patterns directly from a yarn store, or are taking a paid class using one of these patterns (even if you downloaded it yourself), please verify that the store has written permission from the author.
Printing or downloading a pattern constitutes agreement with these terms.