Monday, October 22, 2007

Swift Pics & Yarn Dyeing

At last, as promised, yarn swift pics. Woohoo.

My darling husband Paul built the swifts for me.

Yarn Swift Made by Hubby

Yarn Swift Made by Hubby

Yarn Swift Made by Hubby


Yarn Swift Made by Hubby - Detail

The sweet thing is that they are fully collapsible. The cross pieces come apart. They detach from the upright as well. So they take up a lot less space when not in use. Very nice.

Paul built me two swifts in hopes I could use them for creating a long skein. However, I am not sure it will work for that. I tried and it didn't seem to work correctly.

The long skein on the two swifts had the same issues I had when I did the two chair method. If you pull the yarn too tight, it is stretching it. If it is too loose, it is longer than the pieces around it. So it isn't even overall. There are some parts that hang down longer than others.

I found that meant that the pattern in the socks were different in different areas which was a problem with the self-patterning. Not a deal breaker by any means, but it did have some problems when I knit the Bruise socks.

I will probably try using them for reskeining dyed yarn sometime though. I heard it can work well with dyed skeins. Though I can only see the point of reskeining if I decide to sell the yarn. And I don't really see that happening. But I never say never.

Still, the single swift is great for skeining and unskeining the yarn. The cross pieces are about 4 feet long. The holes are an inch apart. So it is very adjustable. It can range from a small skein to a very large one.

It also worked well for creating a skein. I wound the yarn on it from the smaller skein to get a larger one. That seems to have gone pretty well.

I do admit, there are some modifications that need to be made still. I definitely want ends on the posts so the yarn doesn't slip off. I am thinking some wood door pulls glued to the end would work well.

Paul also suggested something about drilling through and having a piece at the back so they won't come out. Not sure how that will work exactly. They can be a bit loose and slide out sometimes.

The materials for the two swifts ran about $30. Not bad at all. The holes are about an inch apart. So it is very adjustable. Pretty cool.

I used the swift with the ball winder with my Schaefer Lola & the massive 8 oz skein of the Peruvian alpaca. They both worked really well. So much easier and quicker than wrapping it around something and doing it by hand. Pretty thrilled.

The yarn on the skein is Sarah Yarns 100% bamboo yarn. It started in the natural color. I used the Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes on it. I used the forest green. But I also mixed two other greens. I added some Azure Blue patches as well.

I should have taken some close ups of the yarn. I will try to remember to take some pics of the yarn when I get home. Though I did already make it into balls so it won't show all the colors.

I dyed this batch for my sister-in-law Jennifer. I am hoping to make her socks for Xmas. But if not, maybe her birthday. Or there is always next Xmas. *laugh* I figure we will see when they get done.

I *have* to find a better way to reskein/make balls out of the dyed yarn. This skein wasn't a long one. Still, it was super tangled in spots. I had to wind the balls by hand in order to untangle it. Took two hours to detangle it and make it into balls. *sigh* I can't think that is normal.

I do think part of it is about the fact that I tied all the skeins together. In future, I really need to separate each skein from each other. I think that should help with the tangling issues. I am sincerely hoping that will resolve it.

I got so frustrated with the tangles yesterday I was thinking about just giving up on dyeing. It is sad because I really do love the way the yarns come out when I dye them. It is so delightful being able to dye them and knit the yarn. It really is great. But the tangles are driving me batty. Got so pissy about it yesterday that I yelled at Paul. I apologized about a dozen times. But still. Not good. (Mind you, it was also the nasty PMS demon taking me over as well.)

I really do love the way the yarn looks. It is so wonderful the colorways I can create. And having it in yarns I like.

Though given I can probably wear some superwash wools, the dyeing issue isn't as critical. But I would still really like to do it. So I am hoping to figure out what to do better next time.

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