Category Archives: Dyeing

Magnolia and Socks

Hello to you my friends.  I hope you had a wonderful mid July weekend.  (It’s hard to believe it is indeed mid July already!–WOW!)  We are enjoying lots of heat and sunshine here in northern Illinois.  It truly feels like summertime here.  I am enjoying it even though it is super hot.

First I’d like to talk about Magnolia; it occurred to me last week that I never introduced the new addition to my Warm Heart Bears collection.  She arrived about a month ago, and is a panda bear named Magnolia.  I had a panda bear when I was a baby and I loved her so much.  Below is a screenshot from a photo book I made that shows me with my panda (and grandpa).

baby me with my panda and grandpa

When I saw that Warm Heart Bears had a panda bear (which was still available 🙂 ) I knew she had to come and join my duo.  And now that I have three of Carolyn’s creations I have a collection.  (I once read that 3 makes a ‘collection’. 😮 )  If you’d like can read about Claudette the giraffe and Ivy’s arrival.  I love my little animal collection!  These three bring a smile to my face every day.  Aren’t they adorable together?… and they all get along swimmingly.

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Carolyn’s packaging and goodies are so much fun to open.

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Now for the socks part of this post…

A while back I got it into my head to try dyeing a skein of self striping yarn.  It sounded so nice and simple–not having to weave in ends every time I changed colors.  I wanted 6 stripes–each stripe being 8 rows.  It involved figuring out the yardage for one row (28″) then multiplying that number times the total rows in the repeat (48 rows).  Forty-eight rows times 28″ came to 112 feet or just over 37 yards.

Now I had to turn the original skein into a 37 yard loop!  To make a loop this large I had to head outside.  I had 4 stools arranged on the driveway at points to make a 37 yard loop and walked around and around with the yarn… ’til it was all wound into a GIANT loop.  As I was doing this the yarn blew and stretched between the chairs.  It was crazy.  I wasn’t sure it would work, but I already had time invested in this project, so I kept on.  After winding the yarn, I put figure eight ties on the gigantic skein every yard or so–lots and lots of figure eights to tie.

The dyeing involved dividing the loop into six equal sections and dyeing each one singly.  When that was done I thought I was home free.  Nope!  This mess, and it looked like a mess, needed to be wound into a ball.  I think I spent 3 hours untangling and winding, maybe it even took longer…  I should have brought the stools outside again instead of draping the loop up and down over a bunch of hangers.

The end result is beautiful though, and it was fun knitting with yarn that kept changing color, but… NEVER AGAIN, ugh.  I wish I took photos of the process just to show you the craziness, but I was not in a photo taking state-of-mind, sorry.

Now on to the fun… and calm part of my story.  Below is one sock in progress.  I used an old quilt I made my daughter as inspiration for the colors.  As always (and the only way I know how to knit socks) I used Susan B. Anderson’s Blueprint (Craftsy) class, “My First Toe-Up Socks”.  I love how they turned out.

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For the next pair of socks I plan to knit, I purchased someone else’s hand dyed yarn.  I think I deserve to let someone else do the ‘work’ this time, don’t you?  We found this skein of Spun Right Round at our local yarn store, Fiddlehead Yarns.  Doesn’t it look fun?  It’s called “Rumble in Brighton”.

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By the way, am I the only one who winds their yarn by hand into balls?  I have yet to purchase a yarn swift and ball winder.

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I hope you have a beautiful week!  Thank you so much for visiting with me today. ❤

In Progress and Other Making

Hello to you!  It’s been kind of a slow week or two around here, but I wanted to pop in and say hello.  I am still working on the hat set knitting pattern for Amelia Thimble and Pukipuki.  I think one more proofread, then it’ll be ready to turn into a multi-page pdf, and then it’ll be ready for Ravelry and for you.

I sample knit the three hats from the pattern.  It’s been sooo long since I made these little hats that I forgot the needle size I normally use (I could have read the pattern!) and used one size larger.  I found that the samples still fit Amelia Thimble (a tad big), but fit Pukipuki much better–happy accident.

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My Pukipuki Sugar claimed the basic cap with pompom, so I knit her up a little dress.  A little more embroidery and some pearl bead buttons and she’ll have her very own spring dress/hat set.

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My daughter is learning to dye yarn.  I think she took to it much quicker than I did; this is her first try!  It seems I am always overdyeing my “ugly” yarn.  I finally purchased a long rectangular pan so that we can speckle the yarn.  First, she added watercolor looking areas of lemon and pinks, then removed most of the water, so the berry speckles would stick without dissolving.  She dyed four skeins for a sweater.  She is quite ambitious!  I am hoping that there is enough leftover, so I can use this beautiful colorway to knit a pair of socks.

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dyeing yarn 283

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She is knitting the No Frills Sweater by Petite Knits.  The instructions blew my mind (doesn’t take much), but she calmly figured it out on her own, and with the help of what is out there about this pattern online.

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Her hand dyed yarn is knitting up so prettily!  It reminds me of pink lemonade with  splashes of berry.

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We’re having a sunny and breezy and coolish day today.  I don’t care about the wind or temperature–the sunshine is the best.  Tomorrow it will snow!  *ugh*

I hope you are enjoying the weekend and are getting some sunshine too.  Thank you so very much for stopping by today!  Sending a weekend hug to you!

September

Hello, September!  And hello, my friends!  How are you?

early sunrise before storm

It was a stormy day yesterday, Saturday, and a thunderstorm-y rumbly Saturday night/Sunday morning.  At times the rain came down so hard that I wondered where it would go (yes, the storms woke me up).  I was up very early Saturday morning and caught this fleeting yet beautiful sunrise before it got dark and then rainy.  Aren’t the colors gorgeous?

Yesterday I finished up Ann Estelle’s ensemble, “Tiny Dancer”.  Well, almost, I just need to make her a pair of tights.  Here’s a quick photo I took of her.  I think she loves it judging by her happy expression.  Little girls love pink and lilac—big girls too.  These two colors were my grandmother’s favorites.

Ann’s cardigan was knit from my “Light Cardigan” pattern for Patsy and Ann.  I used Knit Picks Aloft in Pennyroyal.  For embellishment, I added some delicate beadwork to the cardigan.  Ann’s dress was made with the teensiest ballerinas that I’ve ever seen.  It’s part of Lecien’s Minny Muu collection.  Ann wears a beaded crocheted headband and holds a tiny crocheted drawstring bag.

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I told you about the dyeing I did last weekend.  This past week I started knitting a Simple Yet Effective Cowl designed by Tin Can Knits.  I like long cowls and needed two skeins of DK for this one, so am combining the two blue skeins I dyed.  I am alternating between the two skeins every three rows for a sort of stripey look.  I’m not sure if I’ll like it; it looks very masculine to me, but I will finish it; it just may make a nice basic when the cold weather is here.

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Here’s the yarn before I started knitting with it.  It looks so much more colorful.  Something I’ve learned after dyeing a number of skeins is that knitting blends the yarn together so that it looks more muted.  I’ve seen this happen every time.

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These are the other three skeins I dyed last week to make the Jodi Shawl by Joji Locatelli.  I want the border to be considerably brighter than the rest, however, I’m thinking this peach won’t be bright enough.  Maybe it will go back in the dye pot for some pink and warm red speckles or splotches.

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Oh, and I mentioned trying out avocado pit dyeing.  The tank top sat in the pot for a short time and most of the dye washed right out.  I did want it pastel though.  I’m curious as to how it will wash.  I saved the dye to use again; the shade of pink is a favorite of mine.

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Well, that’s all the goings on from around here.  I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this past week. ❤