My first adventure in yarn dyeing!

I’ve wanted to dye some yarn for a shawl design I have in my head.  I’ve been watching YouTube videos from ChemKnits and tried to replicate the yarn in her Easter Egg pellet dyeing experiment.

I started out with a hank of yarn from KnitPicks called Bare fingering weight yarn composed of 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon.

What I love about this technique is seeing how the bare yarn sucks in the color.  Now, I had watched another of Rebecca’s tutorials on the differences with dyeing a loosely wound cake of yarn vs. a regular cake of yarn.  I probably should have re-wound the cake so it was looser but I kept an eye on the yarn and poked around the inside and when I saw lots of white, I let the dye soak into that section and I moved around the inside of the hank.  I also made sure that the my cake of yarn was completely submerged because I didn’t want a lot of white.  Once the yarn was cooling, I put a little clear Pyrex glass container to keep the cake submerged.

Here are the pictures of the progress.

Just submerged

Just submerged

Cooling down

Cooling down after simmering approximately 40 minutes to get most of the color in.

Niddy noddy

Beginning to wind the cool wet yarn onto my homemade niddy noddy.

Middle of the cake

Middle of the cake of yarn. I’d put a blue and purple tablet inside the cake.

Drying now

All wound up and drying

Leftover dye

Leftover dye that I’ll use to make a tonal color

Wound up

Wound up into a hank

First Day of Spring color way

I am so excited to introduce my first color way, “First Day of Spring”.

As I write this post, my second hank of yarn in a turquoise tonal color is outside on my porch in the 42 degree Fahrenheit weather, cooling down so I can wind it on my niddy noddy.  I’d told my husband that I needed another one so I could have more yarn drying at the same time.

Uh oh…..do you know what that means?

I think I’ve created a monster — I might be addicted to yarn dying!

 

 

Advertisements

Road Trip!!

My friends from the Yarn Garden in Charlotte, MI and I had a blast on our road trip to Ft. Wayne, IN.  We visited Simply Sock Yarn Company and Knitting Off Broadway.  My friends are such great enablers!  I stocked up on “sheep” and my husband asked me how many sheep’s worth of yarn did I buy!

I was so excited to go into the Simply Sock Yarn company building that I forgot to take a picture.  We spent quite a while in the store squishing yarn hank after yarn hank.  Here is a sampling of yarn:

IMG_3113

Afterwards, we went to lunch at Acme.  Burgers and BBQ – Yum!

Lunch at Acme

Lunch at Acme

After lunch, we drove to Knitting Off Broadway and bought more goodies.  I even bought the needle I required for my 3 color Cashmere cowl project so I could cast-on while we headed back home. Here is a link to the pattern on Ravelry.

Here is a picture of my “enablers”!

My enablers

My “Enablers” and I –

Left to right: Jean, Susan, Kassie and myself.

On the way back, Kassie suggested we stop off at DeBrand Chocolatiers.  Oh boy was it good.  We had a pecan caramel dessert and we were glad they had water to wash down all the sugar!

IMG_3106

Well, it’s time for me to get to some knitting!

Can’t show you….

I am working on a twisted stitch design for top down socks. I started one sock and got half-way done using my standard needle size of 2.25mm. Since the design has a lot of stitches, I increased my stitch count from 64 to 72. HOWEVER….silly me, it “looked” like enough stitches to fit my foot. I bet you can guess what I am going to write next huh?  

Well, the sock doesn’t fit. Since my design is pretty set to use the entire front half of the sock, there really wasn’t any logical way to modify the pattern for additional stitches. Plus, I really liked the design as it was.  So, I started another sock using 2.5mm DPNs. The fabric that is created is less stiff and I’m pleased with it. 

I would show you, but my goal for this year is to submit the design to a magazine and I can’t have any pictures posted online so for now, you will have to wait to see!

Twisted Stitches fascination

I’ve realized I’ve fallen in love with twisted-stitch designs! I’ve been trying to understand how they work and found a lot of examples in the April 2015 Sock Knitter’s Anonymous thread on Ravelry. From there, I started looking at various patterns to see which stitches are used to create the various types of designs. In my on-line travels, I ran across a set of German books detailing typical Bavarian/Austrian designs and motifs. One problem though — I can’t read German! So I continued to look for images and websites for information on the technique. I ran across a reference to this book, Twisted-Stitch Knitting, which was a translation of the German ones.

It’s arrived at my doorstep and I’ve gone through the book a few times, tagging various pages and the ideas are flowing!

Knitters jewelry idea

My best friend, Michele, is very creative. My birthday was last month and I was joking around that I play with sticks and strings. Guess what?!  

She made me this pendant for my birthday!

  
She is also selling them in her Etsy store, Chelster’s Creations, here.  

More butterflies!

i wanted to share my next project with you. It is another pair of my latest design, Split Butterflies.  I gave my first pair away to my best friend, Michele, so I needed to have a pair to keep for me. The yarn I am using is Malabrigo in the “Color of Love”. 

  

Latest sock pattern – Split Butterflies

It’s been a busy month at home with a son having tonsil surgery, him and I having respiratory infections, work, regular home stuff and me designing this latest sock pattern. Whew…..

These socks make me think of spring, which is on it’s way, but not getting here soon enough! I’m eager for fresh air, walks in the warm sun and time outside.

This sock pattern features a non-standard heel flap pattern. It’s basically a ribbing with the center stitches from the design carried down into the heel flap. I love the k2tog and ssk lines that form the “wings” and carefully placed yo’s make the body of the butterfly.

This pattern was test knit by fellow Ravelers and is free on Ravelry for all to enjoy!

Split Butterflies - top view

Split Butterflies – top view

Split Butterflies - side

Split Butterflies – side

Are you frozen yet?

I wanted to share with you my newest design, called Frozen Flakes, to celebrate winter. Hmmm.. there are a lot of us lately who’ve been dealing with sub-zero temperatures lately. Brrrrr……

Use coupon code FROZEN for 50% off until midnight on Sunday, Feb 22nd EST.

Frozen Flakes - side view

Frozen Flakes – side view

Frozen Flakes - top view of crown

Frozen Flakes – top view of crown

Thanks to my Ravelry test knitters for testing this pattern.  You can see their projects here.

Video Resources:

Old Norwegian Cast on from Joan Laws

Latvian Braid

Facebook post from Cascade Yarns

My friend just texted me to tell me that Cascade Yarns updated their Facebook page with a link to my pattern and photos! My design is still in the top 5 this afternoon.

I’m not trying to “brag” but I’ve been dreaming about having a “famous” pattern on Ravelry and to me this is so cool. 😃

I made it!

I’ve been working on a new design since the fall. I’m proud of it and it’s recently gone through a pattern test on Ravelry so I’m very confident in the pattern’s technical details. I published it last night and it’s free until February 1st. The pattern is called Hexylic Socks because there are six columns of cables on the leg of the sock. It was neat to watch the number of downloads increase through the night and I was secretly hoping to make it into the Top 20 Hot Designs in Ravelry.

When I woke up this morning, my pattern had been “favorited” by 106 people and made the Top 20 list! Happy dancing ensued and I’m smiling! It’s not the first pattern I’ve released, but it’s the first sock pattern so there were many more details in the pattern to get accurate. I included two different sizes as well.

Lace design on top

Lace design on top

Side view of sock

Side view of sock

There is a Ravelry thread about designer moments, which I can’t find right now, but seeing my pattern in the Top 20 is such a good feeling.

Hexylic sock pattern listed in Top 20

Hexylic sock pattern listed in Top 20