Let’s go on an Expedition!

Last August, I started design my first asymetrical shawl on our expedition to Stitches Midwest 2016. It’s a fairly large shape sized about 59 by 42 inches. It has very easy garter stitch sections alternating with a lace section based on the Elfin lace stitch in Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries. 


The pattern has been test knit and is available for purchase here on Ravelry.  The colors, Sugar Plum and Gray, used are my own dyed yarn available in my Etsy store

The pattern is named Expedition for a few reasons.  First, I was in a car riding to a great destitute and second, when it was done and blocked,  the stripes looked like roads or highways.  The pattern is easy to customize by stopping short or continuing on.  Solids or tonal yarns work best to let the lace design show through. 

I can’t wait to see what colorways folks use in their shawls. 

Advertisements

Fenceline Cowl

It’s been a busy few months as I have been dyeing yarn for my Etsy shop as well as preparing for last week’s Fiber Expo in Ann Arbor, MI.  It was my first fiber fest, which I shared with my friend Jean, the brains and creator behind MidMittenDesigns.  She makes wonderful project bags and her attention to detail is amazing.  She’s updated her shop inventory this week so go check it out!

I’ve just launched my latest design, Fenceline Cowl, on Ravelry.com.  It was created using a single skein of my fingering weight yarn that 463 yds per 100 grams.  It’s a smooth yarn base that is 75% super wash merino yarn and 25% nylon.

IMG_5427

The pattern is perfect for what I call “social knitting”.  It’s very simple and produces a cowl that has a lot of drape and is easy to customize.  I can’t wait to see what people make with the pattern!

To celebrate spring here in the northern hemisphere and the launch of my cowl, I’m offering a 20% discount on the pattern with the coupon code of HAPPYSPRING now through April 17th, 23:59pm EDT.  Click here to buy the pattern.

Sneak Peak at my new shawl

Over the past few years, I’ve designed socks, cowls and fair isle hats.  One thing that has been on my “bucket” list of things to do someday was to design an asymmetrical shawl. I started this in August 2016, when I was traveling to and from the Stitches Midwest conference and I finally finished it last week.  It uses two skeins of sock yarn in contrasting colors.

I was very good to take notes and a stitch count every row.  Yes, it was somewhat tedious but I’m really glad that I did because it’s making the actual writing of the pattern much easier.

Here are some photos.

I am in the process of actually writing the pattern and hope to be able to have it ready to post for test knitters on Ravelry’s Free Pattern Testers forum.  If you’re interested and are a Ravelry member, then contact me at the top of this site or private message me on Ravelry (username is mom2bsa) and I’ll contact you when it’s ready for test knitting.

 

 

Splash of Color Yarns on sale!

I know I’ve not posted lately as I’ve been busy building my hand-dyed yarn business, Splash of Color Yarns.  I have also been design a pair of socks and an asymmetrical shawl.

I have a December sale running in my Etsy store now through December 20th at 11:59pm EST.

etsyonsale_dec2016_ad

A Day at the Pond Cowl

I’ve been busy starting my hand-dyed yarn business the last couple of months.  I love dyeing yarn and one of my favorite techniques is to create variegated yarns.  Of course, then that leaves one with a beautiful hank of dyed yarn and wondering what to make with it.

The end result is that I designed this new cowl pattern, A Day at the Pond, which is free on Ravelry.  It’s basically a ribbed cowl with ribs made of Estonian 3-into-3 clusters.  I knit this with a size 5 needle so it’s a drape-y type fabric but has elasticity and stretch due to the ribbed effect.

img_3986_medium2img_3826_medium2

The pattern is a simple three row repeat and is easily customized to be worked into a longer loop but the height won’t be as high.  Another option would be to cast on fewer stitches and you’ll have enough yarn out of a standard hank of sock yarn to make the cowl taller. What I love about it is that there’s enough texture in the cowl that “shows” through the variegated yarn.

If you’d like to see what yarns I’ve dyed so far, visit my other site, https://splashofcoloryarns.com.  I’m working on getting my logo updated and working on setting up an Etsy shop for selling my yarns.

What patterns are good for variegated yarns?

I continue to dye yarn and that’s not a big surprise lately!  I go to bed at night thinking about what colors I want to use next and the next thing I know the alarm is going off.  It must be time to get up and dye yarn before I have to go to my “real” job that actually allows me to have money to purchase more “sheep”, oh, I mean wool.

I was wondering what patterns you have found that work well for variegated yarns? Feedback is most welcome!

Here’s a list to get us started with:

Cookie A’s Monkey Socks

Flecktone fingerless gloves by Susan Moskwa

The Colorist

Broken Seed Stitch Socks

Miss Winkle

Rainbow Warrior (added this link on July 1st, 2016)

Here is a recently dyed hank of sock yarn and I think I’ll try a cowl or shawl and use the variegated yarn on one row and a coordinating semi-solid on the next.  Hopefully that will prevent some pooling of colors.

IMG_3405

Plumeria on a base of 100% superwash merino sock yarn

 

Addicted or Passionate?

Did I mention that I might be “addicted” to dyeing yarn?  Well, let’s put that statement in a nicer way.  I am very passionate about yarn dyeing.  I dyed three skeins yesterday.

The first one was at 5am when I got up.  I wanted to try out Sarah Eyre’s variegated technique I learned while taking her recently published class on Craftsy called “Professional Yarn Dyeing at Home”.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a flat roasting pan but was so eagar to dye yarn that I decided to follow the process using my tall stock pot which was a little awkward but I’m glad I had recently purchased some slant tip hair dresser bottles for dye.  It made “painting” the yarn much easier.

While I wasn’t happy at the results initially, the color has grown on me.  I had been hoping for more saturation in the colors but because the yarn wasn’t soaked first, it did soak up the dye as I’d wanted.  However, the mottled effect is actually kind of nice.  So here is my result — “Cloudy with a Chance of Rainbows”.

IMG_3350

Cloudy with a Chance of Rainbows

I used Jacquard acid dyes Sun Yellow, Sky Blue and Pink.

Later in the afternoon, I wanted to see what effect I would get if I soaked the yarn first.  I also used Jacquard acid dyes of Bright Kelly Green, Royal Blue, and Pink.  I believe I had too much liquid (citric acid mixture) in the dye pot because as I painted the dye on, the excess “fell through” to the bottom and swam around the yarn.  The result is some really cool color blending.  Here is “Light Peacock”.

IMG_3369

Light Peacock on a base of Franklin Valley Cone Yarns – Superwash

After things settled down for the evening, I was so excited about the Light Peacock yarn, I wound 256 loops around my niddy noddy using the Franklin Valley Cone yarn.  For the size of niddy noddy I have, this is approximately 400 yds/365 m.  I had to do some math to calculate the amount of dye I needed for the full skein.  Initially, I was going to simply double the dye amounts but knowing I had only used about 1/2 of my prepared green dye and only 1 oz of the prepared blue dye for the Light Peacock, I doubled the pink, reduced the green and simply used about 4 oz of the blue dye.

I am very happy at the results and the colors are more vivid.  When I “thought” I was done, I used my cotton ties to pull the yarn out and inspect it.  I found some really light areas so I simply put my dye bottle up to the yarn, and drizzled the dye onto the areas I wanted to change.  Here is Vivid Peacock.  I don’t have a twisted hank picture yet because the yarn is still drying but I wanted to share the color depth!

IMG_3370

Vivid Peacock on a base of Franklin Valley Cone Yarns – Superwash

So now, it’s Saturday morning and I’m debating about what set of colors I’m going to use on my next dye project!

I’m finished!

After ten months of designing and getting my latest sock pattern test knitted on Ravelry, I’m pleased to announce my “Finish Line” socks are available on Ravelry.  These are ones that I had kept secret for so long in hopes of sending them to Knitty.com as a design submission but I’m not very happy with the yarn, which I can explain below.  Let’s get to the pictures!

red twisted stitch socks

Pair of Finish Line Socks

Top view of sock

Top view of sock

I used Plymouth’s Happy Feet yarn.  I love the color but the yarn had a light twist and after getting done with one of the socks, it had already started to “fuzz” up, which I didn’t like and didn’t feel it would be the best yarn to showcase the socks.

I continued on with the second sock and had to play yarn chicken as I wound up with a very tiny ball of yarn leftover.  Image the size of a U.S. quarter.  Or a ball slightly smaller than a ping pong ball.  I don’t like the yarn chicken game but I won!

These twisted rib socks are based on the drag racing venue at Summit Motorsports Dragway in Norwalk, OH. Various features of the drag strip are included in the stitch pattern.

Starting at the base (ankle) of the sock, you’ll see diamonds representing the starting lights. Traveling up the side of the sock, in between the “lights”, you’ll see the staging lanes where the cars line up to race. On the outermost sides of the sock, you have the service drive down to the end of the dragstrip and the middle cable design and columns form the actual racing surface. At the top of the sock, you have the finish line. I’ve utilized beads to signify the timing tower, which lights up with the winner and their elapsed time.

The sock can be modified for larger feet by simply adding some stitches at the sides of the sock. Placing the stitches on the sides will leave the main design undisturbed.

Note that the twisted stitches the fabric is less stretchy, so this sock was designed with more stitches and worked with a US1/2.5mm needle. However, this made the foot of the sock too big for me given that only half the sock at that point has twisted stitches. Therefore, you may want to drop down a needle size to 2.25mm for the heel turn, gusset and foot. This was confirmed by some of my testers.

I published this last night and see that it’s made it into the Top 20 favorited patterns this morning on Ravelry!  It’s rank is #10 right now.  I was very proud of this design as it definitely stretched my skills.

What’s my name?

I’ve dyed a few more skeins of yarn, which I may blog about, but one of my recent color ways is yet to be named.  I’m trying to find something whimsical relating to the color of the yarn and thought “Why not ask my blog readers for assistance?”  So here goes….

The picture on the left is more the true color with the deepest turquoise at the top and right part of the hank.

We can’t have a skein of yarn unnamed!  I realize that this matches four tops I have that could use some sort of cowl or shawl which, of course, would be in my projects on Ravelry at some point.

Spring Jewel

Here are pictures of my second yarn dyeing project. I used the leftover dye from my “First Day of Spring” color way and added a green and blue Easter Egg dye pellet. I absolutely LOVE the tonal coloring in the skein.  I used the same base, Knit Picks Bare Fingering Weight yarn since I plan on using the two colors, plus a third not yet dyed, to make a shawl.

Second skein - spring Jewel

Second skein dyed – called Spring Jewel

Spring Jewel - being washed

Spring Jewel – being washed

I had very little color bleed out of the yarn as I washed it with some Soak wool wash.

Spring Jewel

Here is the yarn wound into a skein

This picture shows the yarn a tad bluer than it really is but you can see the different shading.  I am ecstatic how easy it is to turn bare yarn into something so pretty!

As I was twisting this yarn into a hank, I had my third yarn simmering away.  You’ll see that in my next post.