Purls and Knit

Musings from an Environmental Engineer who tends to be full of knit.

Mordants and Onion Dye November 10, 2009

Filed under: Fiber Working,Yarn and Dyeing — knitbee @ 4:47 pm

I have been experimenting with some natural dyes. I have done coffee, walnuts, onion peels, etc.  I have not needed to work with mordants until now due to the color fastness of these dyes. I had three skeins of merino burning a hole in my yarn closet so I busted them out to get dyed with the onion peels that I have been accumulating for the last month. They are still soaking overnight but here is a picture of the dyes with their respective mordants.


I will post pictures when the yarn is done 🙂


Hybrid Mittens Take 2 October 14, 2009

Filed under: Fiber Working,Knitting Patterns — knitbee @ 6:15 pm

Hybrid Mittens in the Round

I have had requests for the Hybrid Mittens pattern in the round.

I have decided to make Alex a pair of mittens to go with his hat that I made for him. These are knit on larger needles and slightly larger since they are for men and I plan to felt these.

Using Worsted weight yarn and US size 9 needles

Cast on 36 st. Place marker to show beginning.

Join in the round and work desired Cuff length ( I did 2.5″ in a 1×1 ribbing)

Work Mitten Body

Knit two rows

Knit 14, KFB, Knit 4, KFB, Knit 14(38st)

Knit 1 Row

Knit15, KFB, Knit4, KFB, Knit 15 (40)

Knit 3 Rows

Knit 16, KFB Knit 4, KFB , Knit 16 (42)

Knit 3 Rows

Knit 17, KFB, Knit 4, KFB, Knit 17 (44)

Knit 2 Rows

Knit 26 st, place 8 st (the 8 you just knitted) on stitch holder, knit 18

Knit 18 st, CO 2,  Join with other section and Knit 18 (38)

Work in stockinette stitch until the stockinette section measures 5″

Work Opening (first hand)

Knit 1, BO 17, Knit to end of row.

Knit1, CO 17, Knit to end of row.

Now you have the opening for the fingers.

Continue to work in Stockinette st  until desired length minus 1 in.

Decrease for Shaping:

  1. K2tog,K17,K2tog,K2tog,K17,K2tog (34st)
  2. K
  3. K2tog,K15,K2tog,K2tog,K15,K2tog (30st)
  4. K
  5. K2tog,K13,K2tog,K2tog,K13,K2tog (26 st)
  6. K
  7. K2tog,K11,K2tog,K2tog,K11, K2tog (22st)
  8. K2tog,K9,K2tog,K2tog,K9, K2tog (18st)
  9. K2tog,K7,K2tog,K2tog,K7, K2tog (14st)
  10. K2tog,K5,K2tog,K2tog,K5, K2tog (10st)

Cut a 5″ tail and pull through remaining stitches to close top of mitten.

Finish Opening:

  1. Pick up 17 of the bottom st.
  2. Work in 1x ribbing for 17 st.

Work in pattern for ½ in, BO in pattern

Work top portion in the same manner.

This will create an opening that will have a slight overlap.


  1. from inside center of thumb, PU 3, K8,PU3
  2. P
  3. K

Work in Stockinette St for 2 in

Decrease for Thumb

  1. K2tog,K2tog,K to last 4 st, K2tog,K2tog
  2. P
  3. K2tog x4

Please remember to knit the second mitten for the opposite hand. All you will need to do is follow the pattern except use this for the second hand. Everything else stays the same.

Work Opening (second hand)

Knit 18, BO 17, Knit 1

Knit18, CO 17, Knit 1.

Now you have the opening for the fingers.

Continue to work in Stockinette st  until desired length minus 1 in.


Cross Stitch Neckwarmer September 29, 2009


I finished this a while ago but just now got around to putting up the pictures.

Neck and Ear warmer


I got through 12″ of this pattern, which is about half of a neck warmer so I am going to have to go buy more yarn…oh shucks another trip to the yarn store 😉


So I made these great mittens and I wanted to make a neck warmer to go along with them. The yarn that I had left over was perfect and should be the right amount.

I found this great stitch a long time ago call the cross stitch. A lady had made some beautiful wash cloths out of it. I had forgotten all about it until I got my “101 Designer One-skein Wonders” book. They have a lovely pattern for a cross stitch scarf. I decided to combine what I had learned from all these patterns and decided to make my own for a lovely neck warmer.

The cross stitch pattern turned out to be quite confusing so I decided to make a video sharing what I learned with you all.


I am Dyeing! September 27, 2009

Filed under: Fiber Working,Yarn and Dyeing — knitbee @ 8:05 am
Tags: ,

So I have been branching out in my fiber working lately. I will do a series of posts on how this is true so look forward to that.

One of the ways that I have been branching out is I have been experimenting with dyeing my own yarn.  I have purchased a few undyed skeins from the yarn store here in Rolla and have been experimenting mostly with dyeing yarn using coffee. The yarn I have been working with is 100% merino wool and is quite nice feeling and I am looking forward to working more with it. I dyed the first skein a couple of weeks ago and was very successful in getting  a uniform beautiful caramel color from the coffee. I gave this skein away in a yarn swap and started missing it so I decided to do another today with my friend Sara.

Cotton Pastels

We got really adventurous and decided to try our hand at  Kool Aid dyeing some cotton yarn that we acquired in a unique way. ( See this post) We went to the grocery store and bought all the pretty colors of Kool Aid that we could get our hands on.


We decided to experiment with some small practice skeins that we put together before using our big skeins that we extracted. Some things that we learned were that cotton is not terribly good at absorbing color from the dye. Next time we will use something besides Kool Aid for the cotton.  We did get some really great pastels out of this little experience and my second try at coffee dyeing the merino was super successful.

Big Skeins

I left the merino in the wrapped up skein form so it left a variegated look to the yarn with some spots a litgher caramel than others. I am really really happy with how it turned out 🙂

Coffee try 2


Sanibel Beach & Lighthouse August 15, 2009

Filed under: Fiber Working,Florida Vacation,Other Sweet Stuff... — blitzvergnugen @ 9:36 pm
Tags: , , ,

Rachel ask me to do at least one guest post for her blog while on vacation, so I decided to do it on our visit to Sanibel Beach and Lighthouse.

This was our farthest drive from the house yet, so we headed out and settled in for our journey.  We’ve used Google maps for all our directions and the GPS on my phone (Samsung/Sprint Instinct) as a backup.  Haven’t had any major It was a pretty straightforward drive with only one snag, and I attribute that more to poor signage more than poor directions.  We had to go over a toll bridge.  The bridge itself was pretty cool, we were at least 200 feet above the ocean on the bridge, but tolls are never fun.

Sanibel Lighthouse

We decided to check out the lighthouse first and then cool-off in the ocean/at the beach later.  The lighthouse was a very disappointing experience.  I was hoping to be able to climb up the Lighthouse and check out the awesome view.  Turned out that you couldn’t go up in the Lighthouse and it was little more than a frame, with a tube that had a latter and a gas pipe in it, then a 3rd order Fresnel lens at the top.  Definitely the lamest Lighthouse I have ever been to.  I guess forgoing the climb to the top is sort-of a plus, but I would have preferred the view.

We headed back to the beach and got our sunscreen on and got in the water.  The water was cooler than it was at Lover’s Key, so it was way more refreshing.  We got to see a small school(?) of dolphins swim past us.

We had heard on our flight and from the Kayak guide that Sanibel was an excellent place for shells.  So we started out walking along the edge of the water looking for some good ones.  We didn’t really find much, so we got in and started feeling around with our feet.  I went back up to the bag and grabbed a pair of goggles so I could dive down and bring them up.  We started finding some really cool shells, so we kept at it.  We were having some issues with the cheap goggles we got from Publix, but I found a way to cinch them down enough to work.

Things started to get interesting soon after the goggle situation was remedied.  It started with Rachel bringing up a shell with her feet,  that happened to have a hermit crab in it with.  She freaked and gave the hermit crab a free ride to the moon.  She calmed down quick and we started looking again.  I dove down to find a shell she had at her feet and saw a soft-shell crab scurrying away from her foot.  I surfaced and saw a RP original eww-icck dance freak out in process.  I got her calmed down again, but was beginning to get wary of the ocean.  I was half-way down for another shell and saw a big crazy looking fish swimming past Rachel.  I decided it was time to try out Rachel’s new dance.  We had enough ocean wildlife for the moment, and headed back in to lie out.

After a few minutes, we decided to try and find some more shells.  The first outing was mildly successful, but this time the shells practically lept into my hands.  Almost every time I went down I came back up with a small conch shell.  I also switched pairs of goggles, and they were working 1000% better.  We saw another beach-goer who found a dead-spineless sea-urchin shell. It was kinda intense staying down long enough to get the shells.  Quite a workout for the shoulders staying in the same spot and digging up shells.

Just as I found a really, really great spot, it started storming a few miles away.  We stayed until we saw lightening and then headed back home.  All in all, it was the best beach day yet.  I hope to get some better goggles and get back to Sanibel to find some more awesome shells.

Anyways, that’s enough of my prattle.  I’ll return the blog to Rachel.


Shrimp Destin August 11, 2009

Filed under: Fiber Working,Florida Vacation,Other Sweet Stuff... — knitbee @ 8:49 am

While on vacation I made some yummy shrimp pasta…Enjoy!

Shrimp Destin

1/4 C Butter

1 C White Wine ( We used Bogel Vineyards Reisling…YUM!)


1 lb Shrimp

1 Clove Garlic

1/2 Box of bow tie pasta

Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter on a medium heat. Add  raw shrimp and white wine. Simmer until the shrimp are lightly pink and add dill sprigs. Cook for about another minute until shrimp is done. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over pasta cooked al dente.


Alex’s Zip Hoodie August 6, 2009

Filed under: Fiber Working,Knitting Projects — knitbee @ 10:02 am
Tags: , ,


Zip Hoodie is still going well. I have been mostly working on the Cross Stitch Neckwarmer but now I am out of yarn for it so I will refocus my attention to the zip hoodie. I measured today and I have about 12″, I have used four skeins of yarn so far (~500 yds) and I still have another skein and a half before I even start shaping for the arms. This project is turning out to be alot bigger than I originally planned. It makes a big difference when I knit on size five needles versus size 8 and 10.5 that I used on Taylor’s Wedding Afghan and on the Santeney Vest.


I have been working on this project for about a week and a half. I have gotten about 10″ into the basic pattern starting at the bottom. The jacket is knitted as one piece until I reach the arm pit so I work the bottom section for 16″, I figure that I will get to the arm pits by this weekend. This will be my first experience in working sleeves and setting them, so that will be interesting. I will update you all on how that goes.


Copyright @ oldsoulknits'

Copyright @ oldsoulknits'

I have become addicted to knitting big projects.  This is the fourth in a line of larger projects. I guess that means that I am become a more comfortable knitter.

Alex loves his zip hoodies, he has been collecting them for a few years now. I had been trying to decide what to get him for our four year dateaversery, I found this pattern on ravelry and couldn’t help myself from buying the yarn from knitpicks and casting on. The pattern is Hooded Alpaca Parka by Michael del Vecchi from a cute book titled “Knitting with Balls”. Thomas giggled when I let him open the package from amazon.

Needle and yarn


US 5 / 3.75 mm

Knit Picks Swish DK
How much: 16 skeins = 1968.0 yards (1799.5m)
Colorway: Mist
Purchased at: Knit Picks
Purchase date : June 11, 2009