I've spent the last week and a half dyeing all the yarn!
I'm learning lots of stuff. It has definitely been a fun/messy experience. After hank #2 I realized I needed to move my dye situation outdoors because I was going to have a rainbow kitchen if I kept it up. I set up a little Crock Pot and table outdoors so I can dye my yarns without painting my kitchen! So far so good!
"In the case of acid dyeing, a low pH helps to form the hydrogen bonds that attach acid dyes to protein fibers, such as silk and wool, as well as nylon."-Paula Birch. I'm experimenting with using Vinegar or Citric Acid to lower the PH balance of my water for dyeing. So far I'm on team Vinegar, but I'm not done experimenting!
On to the the yarns;
For my first hank I used Wool of the Andes Sport Bare yarn from KnitPicks (100% wool.) I started out with a hand painting technique. I soaked my yarn in a vinegar/water mixture for 30 minutes before getting started. I then got out my very brightest colors (so I could see all the mistakes) and got to work. I started by filling up squirt bottles with Red, Orange and Yellow. I squirted/painted half my hank Yellow, then blended the Yellow into Orange dye and finished it off with a good patch of Red on the other end.
He turned out alright for a first try! I did end up getting some unintentional smudges of Orange in my Yellow and my Red turned out a little splotchy but I'm pretty happy with it. I totally don't dig these colors so I don't know what's gonna happen to this guy but I'm learning stuff!
For skein #2 I used Bare Stroll Sock yarn (Wool/Nylon) from KnitPicks and an immersion dyeing technique. I used Citric Acid to soak this batch. I mixed a little Turquoise with a bit of Navy and immersed my entire hank in the Crock Pot. I didn't realize that I needed to move my yarn around in the pot while it was dyeing, so all the spots that had ties on them ended up staying white! That would have been great if I was Tye Dyeing but I wasn't!
I moved the ties and dip dyed the hank in a darker Navy blue. It covered up the white patches brilliantly and left the yarn with a fantastic variation of colors.
Unfortunately I didn't use enough Citric Acid so the skein did not rinse true at the end of dyeing. Then it got into a big 'ol tangle because I didn't tie my hank up correctly, so I got to spend an entire evening untangling it while my hands turned blue! Whoops!
I ended up giving it another vinegar soak and another steam session to set the yarn then all was well.
For hank #3 I used Bare Gloss yarn from KnitPicks (Wool/Silk.) I used a hand dyeing technique for this hank too. I started with mixing a Light Pink, Light Purple and Light Turquoise in separate cups. I laid the yarn out then splashed and squished the dye into random areas of the yarn. Then, chaos struck! I opened the purple dye pot to add more color to my dye and purple powder flew everywhere! (Don't worry, I had my mask and gloves on) but my yarn was covered! My only recourse was to sprinkle more purple dye powder over the yarn to even out the damage. But then my yarn was drenched in dark purple, purple everywhere! I wrapped it up quickly and steamed it before it could get completely immersed and hoped for the best.
Luckily, it turned out alright!
Plus I got to see a really cool process called "color breaking."
If you know anything about the color wheel you know that Secondary Colors (Purple/Green/Orange) are made up of Primary Colors (Red/Blue/Yellow.) When you dye with vibrant Secondary Colors, especially a powder or food dye, you can sometimes get them to break down to their pure components; in my case Blue and Red. You can see here that the Purple powder dye broke down in places to show Blue and Red. How cool is that!?
I am happy with how this skein turned out. It's most likely sloppier than anything I will make in the future but it looks like this will be the first finished skein of yarn for sale in my Etsy shop! I still need to design some labels before I can list him but that shouldn't take much time since I've already got my sweet logo to use.
I'm definitely enjoying the messy, unpredictable world of yarn dyeing and I've already ordered more naked yarn to play with. I haven't yet decided if this is the direction I want my Etsy shop to head in but I'm having fun for the time being.
What do y'all think of my latest dyes? Which technique is your favorite!?
Thanks for reading all about my trial and error yarn dyeing fun!
Guess who's gonna be dyeing some yarn!?
As a fun Birthday gift to myself, I got a Dye Kit from KnitPicks.
(This is just the book and yarns, there's dye too, I promise!)
I've read through my new book a few times now and hopped on Amazon and grabbed some of the supplies she suggests using. (Things like gloves, masks, measuring spoons, a salad spinner, etc.) I'm waiting on my delivery and hopefully will be dyeing like crazy come Monday.
I've been on the YouTube watching hand painted yarn tutorials. So far my favorites are from ChemKnits, they're clear and easy to follow. Still, I'm a little nervous to get started; I could make ugly yarn, I could dye my kitchen counters blue, I could use the wrong amount of Citric Acid and have all the color rinse out, I could steam the yarn wrong and have all the color rinse out! Anything could go wrong! Luckily my supplies won't be here 'till next week so I have plenty of time to watch 1000 more YouTube tutorials.
My eventual goal is to start selling hand dyed yarn on my Etsy site. I'm not 100% sure that is something I will end up doing, I mean, I could be a terrible yarn dyer. We'll see how it goes.
I'll be back with an update next week to show off my work. Keep your fingers crossed that it all goes well! I'm super excited/nervous to see what I come up with!!
Thanks for stopping by!
I'm starting a new top!
Isn't it magical?
Photo by Caitlin Hunter
The pattern is called Tegna and it's by Caitlin Hunter.
It's a fingering weight crop top with quarter length sleeves and a fun lace panel at the bottom hem. It's knitted in the round from the bottom up then separated at the top for the sleeves.
I'm just getting started on mine. I desperately wanted to participate in the Knit Along online but I have so many Summer commissions piling up on me that I had to abstain. I have started on a few swatches and gotten the first couple rows knitted.
The yarn I chose is the most amazing stuff ever. It's a single ply 70% SW Merino and 30% Silk yarn. It was custom dyed just for me by Maria Tusken from TuskenKnits on Etsy. The colorway is called Goldberry and I'm totally in love with it. I'm crossing my fingers that it will work with my pasty complexion.
So far I've got a few rows done but it's looking a little larger than I would like. I think I'll need to put it on a string and try it on to get an idea of how large it will be.
Moonunit was very excited to help with my Tegna Top photo shoot;
I'll most likely have to put this project aside for the next month and a half or so but I am totally pumped to get more work done on it. I'm hoping it becomes a garment that I can wear with everything. And given the mustard shade, I think it'll transition nicely into a Fall top.
I'll report back with more progress when I can!
Thanks for stopping by!
I'm nearing the finish line on another fun sweater project!
My latest creation is called Mazzy Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith AKA The Brown Stitch. It's an open front cardigan that features mock cable ribbing on the front panels. It is knitted from the bottom up in one piece.
Photo By Elizabeth Smith
The yarn I'm using is KnitPicks Swish Worsted Merino yarn in the colorway Lava.
This is my first time using Swish yarn and I'm really enjoying it. It has a tendency to be a little splitty and, word on the street, is that it pills like crazy but it is SO soft! I blocked up my swatch and it magically transformed to be even softer than the yarn in the skein.
So far the pattern has been easy to follow and very straightforward. I am a little concerned that the sleeves are too narrow but I should be able to take care of that during blocking.
At this point all I have left to do is finish the collar portion, sew my pocket seams, underarms and weave in a million ends!
The collar portion does call for a bit of three needle bind off action, which is not my forte, but I'm gonna do my best!
I'm hoping to have this guy done by the end of the week. It's a special gift for a lovely friend who recently helped me prep for a very important interview (which you will hear more about if I get the job!)
I will have more knitted goods to share with you soon! I've been working my fingers to the bone on Birthday and Wedding gifts lately and they're all about ready to go to their forever homes so I can finally share them with you!
Bonus cute kitty cat pic;
Moonunit loves to "help" in the garden. : ) She's such a cutie pie.
Have a good Monday!
Thanks for reading,
I finally finished Jakson's Tweed Socks!
These guys took forever! I was a little distracted by a few super top secret projects I've been working on. I also suffered from a bout of Second Sock Syndrome which made it tough to get sock #2 off the needles. I've since solved this problem by getting myself a new set of circular needles for Magic Loop Two at a Time Socks. (As long as my cat doesn't eat these ones too, I'll be good to go!)
The pattern I used was Nice Ribbed Socks by Glenna C. on Ravelry. (You can read more about the pattern details in my previous sock post.)
The yarn is KnitPicks Stroll Tweed in Garnet Heather. The Fingering weight yarn is 65% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon and 10% Donegal Tweed. In my opinion, socks knitted in Stroll seem to turn out a little floppy, when using this yarn I try to incorporate ribbing, use smaller needles or add a few rows of elastic thread inside the cuff to keep them nice and snug. (When in doubt just do ribbing for the entire sock! Problem solved!)
They are a little large on my model but these socks are intended for slightly larger tootsies.
I'm glad they're all done and I'm excited to see them shipped off to their forever home!
I've got some updates coming up on a new sweater project! Plus I have two secret projects I'm hoping to share with you sooner than later (really fun stuff, guys!)
Keep tuning in more exciting adventures in knitting!
Thanks for reading!
Quick post for y'all today! I've been super busy knitting on Jakson's Socks (and powering through a big mystery project which I will reveal later this Summer) so I decided to whip up a quick "instant gratification" knit. I've had my eye on Jane Cochran's pattern Thirty Eight for ages, so I decided to grab some skeins from my stash and just go for it!
The pattern is titled Thirty Eight because this cowl whips together in only thirty eight rows! I was able to complete it in two nights of bing watching Legends of Tomorrow!
It is knitted as one long loop starting with seed stitch for 26 rows and ending with ribbing for 10 rows. I added an extra stitch to the cast on (141 instead of 140) to make the seed stitch completely seamless, then reduced that stitch to make the rib stitches even.
It was such a quick and fun knit, I definitely see more of these guys in my future.
The yarn I used is Biggo by KnitPicks. It is 50% Superwash Wool and 50% Nylon. It's wonderful to work with, it's very light and fluffy. I could feel the Nylon more than the Wool so (in my opinion) it has a little bit of an acrylic feel to it. Also, reviews on the KnitPicks site do claim that it pills a lot with wear. I will be selling this cowl on my website so I don't have a review as far as the longevity of the yarn.
The final product blocked up really nicely. It stretched out to be perfectly long enough to wrap around the neck twice and the stitch definition is wonderful.
Overall, this is a product I'm proud of. I have listed in my Etsy shop HERE if you would like to own it yourself. I definitely see a few more of these in my future. I have a few gorgeous skeins of mustard Billow Cotton yarn that might turn into the same cowl...we'll see!
I will have updates on Jakson's Socks soon! I'm nearing the finish line on those puppies! (Men's socks always take forever, why are their feet so huge!?) I also have a super secret Birthday project I want to share and a knitting book review coming up!!!
I hope you dig my fun, purple project!
Bonus photo of Moonunit helping me with each and every stitch;
Thanks for reading!
It's done! And it's more magical than I could've ever imagined!
My April Showers Sweater has been a fun and relatively quick knit. I used the top down raglan sweater tutorial from the Fringe Association to guide me on my way. It really was an invaluable resource while creating my first raglan sweater from scratch.
I was definitely worried about picking up stitches for a V-neck sweater since I had never made one before, but it actually came together pretty quickly. I cheated a little and looked up free V-neck sweater patterns on Ravelry and checked out how a few other people had done their designs using 1x1 and 2x2 rib, and worked from there.
Eventually I would like to publish some of these sweater patterns I've been designing. I think that'll have to be further on down the line though, since I will need to write them up, knit them again, then have some test knitters try them out for clarity. And even then, I'm not sure how to adjust for multiple sizes so most likely they will only be sweaters with Ashley size measurements! I'm new to designing, I still have much to learn.
I couldn't wait to get one of my brand new, fancy silk labels sewn into this guy! So posh!!! (From NakedLabelsUK on Etsy.)
I have already listed this magical gem in my Etsy shop. Some details; it is made from Drops Air yarn which is 70% Alpaca, 23% Polyamide and 7% Wool. It's a size medium, or a Women's size 10, and measures roughly 40" around at the bust with flattering waist shaping. (If you order before May 8th you can get 20% off during my Mother's Day Sale!)
What do you think? Is this a style you would wear? Should I make a few more of these for the shop? I'd love some feedback!
Thanks for following along with me on another sweater journey! If you want to see more progress shots from this project you can check them out here or follow along on my Instagram to see up to the moment project pics and info.
I'll see you soon for another update on Jakson's Socks and a Birthday Surprise gift that I'm pretty pumped about.
My sister was so pumped about her Birthday Socks that she immediately ordered a pair for her husband! Fortunately, I'm a bit of a yarn hoarder, so I just happened to have a pile of sock yarn handy. Heh.
I gave him two tweedy color options and he chose the Cranberry Tweed.
The yarn is KnitPicks Stroll Tweed in Garnet Heather. (The green is the same yarn in Dill Heather.)
The pattern I'm using is A Nice Ribbed Sock by Glenna C. on Ravelry. The pattern is a basic sock with the addition of ribbing to add extra snugness to the fit. While it is a quick knit (as far as socks go) it's definitely not a beginners pattern. She does not go into detail on the shaping techniques so if you're not familiar with the basic structure of a knitted sock this might not be the pattern for you. As for me, it's just about perfect, one small page of instructions without a lot of process pics cluttering up the works.
I was hoping to have them done by the end of the month but my April Showers Sweater keeps distracting me!
So far I'm almost done with sock #1!
My sis says that these socks will be replacing a well loved pair that just bit the dust. I hope this pair will be just as loved!
Sock #1 is off the needles and sock #2 will be flying onto the needles tonight!
I'll be back soon with another update on these lovely Tweed sock and more progress shots of my April Showers Sweater!
Thanks for reading about my current yarny adventures!
I'm designing another sweater!
I found this fabulous Drops Yarn online, it's called Drops Air and it's 70% Alpaca, 23% Polyamide and 7% Wool. It's a "blown" yarn which, according to the web site, means "Its construction is exclusive, made with the most recent spinning technologies, where the fibers of baby alpaca and merino yarn are pressure air blown into a tube, that makes the garments created with this yarn approximately 30-35% lighter."
How cool is that!
It's magically soft and very nice to work with. It doesn't split at all and it's very easy to frog (which, not gonna lie, I've been doing a lot of!)
I decided to challenge myself with a top down raglan style construction. I have been using this tutorial from The Fringe Association as a guide. I'm using my own measurements as my base for this pattern (just to make sure it will fit an actual human) which should result in a medium sized sweater once finished.
This latest sweater design features a low V-neck and and subtle waist shaping. For the V-neck I will be picking up stitches and adding a nice, ribbed collar. I think I'll be using this tutorial to do so. I've never picked up stitches for a V-neck before so wish me luck!
So far I've got one sleeve down and one to go! After the neckline is finished she'll get one of my brand new custom silk labels (from NakedLabelsUK on Etsy) and I'll pop her up in the Etsy Shop.
^How cute are those guys!!!? ^
I'll give you an update on the completed sweater soon. I've also got a fun commission I want to share with you. What could it be!?
Thanks for stopping by!
This year, I've decided to try out more hand dyed yarns from independent retailers. My latest obsession is Tuskenknits yarn by Maria Tusken. I found her on Instagram and totally fell in love with her style. I signed up for her Beauty & the Beast Yarn Club recently and this was the second skein she dyed for me.
(If you're not familiar with "yarn clubs," it's usually a subscription based "club" where you purchase yarn with monthly payments. In this case it was a surprise club so we didn't have any idea what the color of the skein would be!)
As soon as I saw this yarn I knew it would be perfect for my big sis. I immediately set to work knitting Jeanne some sweet Birthday socks!
The pattern I used is My Cup of Tea Socks by Robin Lynn. It features a fun crocus pattern down the front which I thought would be just perfect for Spring.
The yarn is Tuskenknits Fuzz, which is 20% Kid Mohair, 55% SW Merino and 25% Nylon. It's the perfect consistency for socks; the Merino is soft, the Mohair gives it a very light halo and the Nylon leaves the blocked project with a perfect amount of elasticity.
The yarn color is just fabulous, the yellow flecks knit up almost looking like little patches of gold! The colorway is titled "Something There" and Maria has been hinting that she will be putting more of it up in her shop in a few months, including the other colors from her Beauty & the Beast Yarn Club.
I love her yarn so much I might have *accidentally* signed up for her Scotland Yarn Club which is running right now! If you are interested you can sign up for the May subscription on April 22nd.
Jeanne got her Birthday socks in the mail last week and loves them! This is her second pair of hand knitted socks and I think she's getting hooked!
I've got more projects in the works that I will be sharing with you soon! I also just ordered some custom labels for my hand knitted sweaters that I can't wait to show you!
Hope you're having an awesome Friday!
Thanks for reading!
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