Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bit by Bit

 April 2009 tapestry 001 April 2009 tapestry 002April 2009 tapestry 003

Cochineal Dyeing… I think if you click on the first photo you can just barely see the color of the dye with the little bugs in the pan.  I used distilled water to simmer the bugs for releasing the dye, and according to Michelle Wipplinger’s recipe (which I got through Deb Bramford), after extracting the dye with distilled water I could use tap/well water for topping off the liquid.  This did not work for me as I believe my well water is the source of what turned my bright red dye into plum/purple yarn.  It’s a lovely color, but I wanted red!

April 2009 tapestry 002

Three dyebaths…not much change between #2 and #3.




Hudson River Tapestry 002 April 2009 tapestry 004 My progress on Hudson River from last week to this week.  I’m done with the boat (yea!) and can now focus on the trees/cliffs/water/sky.  The trees are a bit fiddly but once I work out a system I hope I will at least be able to make steady progress. 

Now I’m  finally going to take a photo of the ‘Arwen Cardigan.’  I don’t know when I’ll get to frogging and fixing.

April 2009 tapestry 001

Some big collar, right?  Anyway, the rest of the sweater fits well (better on me than my svelte dress form on which it hangs badly!), and I like the zipper!  Of course, I have to take out the zipper and completely frog the collar since it was knitted sideways onto the neck opening.  I picked up a stitch from the neck edge every other row, but when I re-do I will either:

A.  Pick up a stitch from the neck edge every 4th row


B.  Knit the collar separately to a length I like and sew it to the neck edge, easing it in to make it fit.

I’m leaning toward “B.”


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Wow, lots of ambitious projects that are all beyond me!

Valerie said... have been busy!! The tapestry is looking wonderful.

Don't you hate having to redo things like the collar on Arwen? Getting those "picked up" edging just right on knits is such a trial. The rest of the sweater looks lovely.

OzWeaver said...

Yes, I hate re-dos. That's why I haven't gotten to it yet. I have to get psyched up for it! What I need is another deadline for wearing it! I finished in the wee hours of the morning, hoping to wear it later that day...only to discover that the collar is hideous!

Life Looms Large said...

Your tapestry looks beautiful so far!! Definitely an inspiration!! The boat came out great, and I really like the cliffs and trees too! Great job!

That is a bummer about the sweater collar! I also hate re-doing parts of projects....and tend to put things aside sometimes for years. (I'm getting better about breaking that bad habit lately....knock wood!)

The most amazing thing to me about cochineal dyeing is how small the bugs are in real life. When we were in Arizona, a park ranger shows us how to find the bugs on prickly pear cactus....and they were just so small. It's amazing to me that people ever collected enough of them to figure out that they made such a great color!!

Good luck with all of these projects!!!


OzWeaver said...


Thank you so much for your comments...

I am so impressed by how much color comes out of such tiny, hard bugs! Today I'm working with madder, which supposedly loves hard water.

Thanks again!