Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kureopatora's Snake and the Skeining Frame

Kureopatora's Snake is the real name of this pattern, but considering, I didn't use that yarn, nor can I spell it, or pronounce it, I call my rendition Snake Trumpets.

Project Specs:

Pattern: that K-word Snake can be found here.
It calls for that K-word kind of yarn that is a) discontinued, and b) has loooong color grades
I didn't have either of those in my stash so I dyed my own.
Finished measurements: 5.5 inches wide 98 inches long. I followed Kim's suggestions and worked the scarf in the style of a seaman's scarf. The center ribbing is 14 inches and each end is 42 inches long (7 pattern repeats). I used approx 360 yards.

The yarn I used is reclaimed lambswool. I used McCormick food colorings both regular and neon. To get the long color grades I began with a 54 foot long skein. Making a 54 foot long skein can be a challenge sometimes when you have too much help the likes of which I have around here. IdaMae and Ben are of the four legged variety and running around a few chairs, in circles, with yarn trailing behind me looks too much like play time, so I don't wind my long skeins that way. I do my long skeins with this:

No tools required. It's the slate frame from a needlework floor stand. Sorry I don't have link for you, but I have found they have since changed the design of these. Not surprising really cuz this was an estate sale find, but I have seen this style regularly in thrift stores and such. There really is no reason why the newer style couldn't be used and it would be a snap to make these pieces on your own.

The drilled sides measure 30.75 inches, the shorter sides with the slides measure 24.5 inches. The rest of the stuff laying there are the 4 blots with wing nuts and washers, a handful of ten-penny nails, and a roll of masking tape.

Assemble the frame as if you were going to use it for a piece of needlework. (technically speak that would be turned so the holes are on the side but you get the drift)

Here I made it as big as the pieces allow. Turn it over, wing nuts up, then just start dropping your nails through the holes. I chose to use all the holes this time because I wanted a really long skein (54 ft. remember) When all the nails the are placed run a strip of masking tape over the nailheads.

Note that there is a nail also in the top right corner, bottom right, and bottom left slides. Now just skein your yarn.

Here I began at the bottom left by tying a knot around the nail in the first hole, went up around the first nail on the top and then zig zagged my way across. When I reached the nail in the furthermost upper right I took the yarn around the nail that it in the upper slide, down around the nail in the lower slide, across the bottom to the nail in the lower left slide. (one round completed) The next step would be to continue up to the first nail on the top.

After winding the skein, I tied it off at the center and at both nail heads. Then I dyed it.
pale green is approx 2 yds 6 inches
grass green approx 3 yds
sky blue approx 2 yds 20 inches
red 1 yd 14 inches
yellow green 3 yds
turquoise 2 yds 20 inches
yellow 1 yd 13 inches
purple 2 yds 25 inches

I dyed a total of about 800 yards so I've got some left....maybe some fingerless gloves or a hat.

I'm not totally thrilled with the colors this time, but they are OK. It's too "United Colors of Benetton" for me. The red really bothers me, I wanted pink, but I grabbed the wrong bottle of food coloring...those caps looks so much alike to these old eyes.

I'm clean out of dyestuff right now, dang it. I want to dye another with fewer colors, even longer repeats and much more in my comfort color palette.


  1. Well that was fast, and I quite like this scarf. I HAVE to knit one myself. You are so adventures with everything, and so handy! I think I'm a very lazy person. Right now I'm crosseyed because of hours of plying. Sigh. Looking forward to your next adventure.

  2. Awesome! I want to see more pics next time you do this - pics with the whole frame loaded up with yarn, and then pics as you apply the color. Also, can you give us your recipe/technique for the dye? (And, in case you haven't guessed, I think this would be an AWESOME DIY tutorial for CROQ Zine...) - Heather