Saturday, December 31, 2005

Flashes of Autumn

Here's a picture of the finished skein and the start of my sock. As you can see from the picture, the autumn colors are pooling together, one on top of the other. I couldn't have done that any better if I'd planned it - which I didn't. But I'm going with it. And because the colors are pooling or flashing together I'm changing the name of this colorway to "Flashes of Autumn."

I like the colors and the variations in the green. It's like real leaves, lots of variation.

I learned several lessons. First, next time I will test the spacing of the colorway before I commit all of the yarn. I'll make a small skein, dye the yarn and knit up the sample to make sure it works the way I want it to. I just bought 2 more skeins of dye your own wool. One entire skein will be set aside for testing colorways. Maybe in the end, the test colorways will be run together to make one colorful sock.

The second lesson - one round on my size sock is a 36" piece of yarn (cast on 60). In this case I should have put at least 30" probably more between autumn colors to ensure they wouldn't flash together. My skein was 20ft. Here's the formula I used.
11" yellow
25" green
11" red
26" green
11" orange
36" green
11" red
26" green
11" yellow
25" green
11" orange
36" green

As you can see the 25" and 26" even up with the 11" to make 36" repeat which lands the colors right on top of each other. For someone with a different size leg this would yield a different pattern. Hmmm - now that's a thought.

Going back to the variation in the green, I got that by adding some yellow to one of the green pots. I also sprinkled the last packet of lime koolaid directly on the yarn and then quickly rinsed it or dipped it back in the dye bath. I really like how that turned out.

Bottom line, I love the colors and I love the way the fawn colored yarn added color depth. I will definitely dye more of this yarn.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dyeing my Autumn Walk Colorway

To create my striping pattern I needed a 20 foot skein. Fortunately that just means you have to put the chairs 10ft apart. You can't see it in this picture but the tape measure is laid out on the floor for positioning the chairs. After the skein was measured, I used floss to mark the color sections. And you can see, I have my handy dandy notebook to make notes.
I bought way too much orange, yellow and red kool-aid. It only took one packet of each to get to the color depth I wanted. After I was finished with the fall color sections, I dumped the water out and used the same jars for the green. I didn't rinse the jars any tint left went into the green. I figured it would add variety. I was amazed at how quickly the larger yarn sections soaked up the green coloring. I had 13 packets of the green and used it all. The last packet I sprinkled over the yarn in a pan for a dappled effect. We'll see how that works.
Not a very good picture, but this is the yarn in the backyard drying. It's a litte windy outside. I hope it dries in time to take it to knitting tonight. I can't wait to see how this knits up.
As I mentioned, the yarn really soaked up the green color. Look at all those lemon-lime packets. I thought I was going to have to make a run to the store.

It took only an hour for coloring process. I've read several descriptions of the stove top method and it said you had to soak the yarn in the dye for 45 minutes. Mine did not take that long, that could be because of the striping I'm creating.

Now I just have to get the yarn into a ball without it turning into a rats nest. I'll post a picture when that's done.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Second Pink Sock

I finished the second pink sock yesterday - I didn't need a week after all. Actually I got up this morning and kitchenered the toe. The gauge is a little off from the first sock so it fits a little big. Not a deal killer and the good news is I am working the kinks out my sock process.

I did swatches of the kool-aid on the fawn colored yarn so I'll be ready tomorrow. I'm going with lemon-lime for the main color (green) and lemonade, orange and cherry for the dashes of color. I'm going to call the colorway autumn walk.

Because fawn in the base color the other colors will be deeper fall colors. Not necessarily the popping colors of New England. That is a later project when the knitpicks dye your own comes in.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas

Since I won't get to see my sister until mid to late January, here are her Christmas yarns. We did at least wait until Christmas day to tell each other what we got.

This is a squiggle yarn. It reads cool on my screen, but trust me it is red hot.

This is a colorful self-striping yarn with a black fur stripe everyonce in a while. The name on the label is Schulana Incanto.

This is a recycled sari silk yarn. Lots of rich color.

Oooh, this is chinchilla. It's made by Peluche and it is lovely. Looks like a fur when you knit it up. I can't wait to see what my sister does with this.

The next picture was a dyeing experiment we did at knitting last week.

The light green color is knitpicks dye your own fingering weight wool. The dark green is the superwash wool sock yarn base color fawn. The two yarns were put in the same cup of lemon-lime kool-aid for the same amount of time. It was test to see how the base color affected the dyed color. I like the deep richness of over dyeing the fawn color.

I'm off this week and dyeing the fawn sock yarn is definitely on the project list. Since my stripe pattern requires a rather long skein, I'm glad it will be nice outside. There isn't enough space in the house for a 40ft skein. I forgot to take pictures of the entire process last time. I'll remember this time.

In a final bit of good news, the second pink sock is moving at lightning speed. Yesterday I created the heel flap, turned the heel and started the gusset shaping. I'm really thinking it could be done in a week or so. DH got me a green shirt for Christmas that matches the green stripe in the sock. I can't wait to wear them.
Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Teresa's Purse

This is a purse I did for my friend Teresa. It's the hobo bag from the Pursenalities book. I used a single strand of Knitpicks Sierra coal and bud. I tossed in some black fun fur for show. It felted very nicely and created a thick fabric. I love the handle on this purse. I think it looks nice and I don't think it's going to have a stretch problem like some felted straps do.

The brilliant finish is the pin we used for the closure on the side. It adds just the right amount of bling-bling. I know Teresa is going to love this.
A huge thanks to my friend Connie for bling-bling suggestion and for making and sewing in the lining.

I wish the picture did better justice to the purse. You know how that goes.
I'm through with the top part of sock 2 on the pink kool-aid socks. It was a short top so it went fast. I just started on Sunday and I'm ready for the heel flap on Wednesday. That's pretty fast for me.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Pink Sock

Today is the day I will start my blog. And it starts with a single pink sock. I have it done and I think it looks pretty good. I call it my almost Martha Stewart sock. Because we all know she would raise the lamb from birth, sheer the wool herself, spin and dye the yarn. She would whittle the knitting needles from bamboo she grew in her garden...
Well for me, I kool-aid dyed the yarn myself and then knit the sock. I started sock #2 today so as not to suffer from second sock syndrome. This will be my second pair of socks.
This is actually a pretty gutsy shot. My kitchenered toe is right out front for the world to see. And don't worry about that thread on the right side of the picture. I guess that was laying in the floor.