So far, I've knit 3.25 socks in about a month. Not bad at all! I'm loving this one-at-a-time, non-matching sock thing! Of course, I'm getting very little else done but that's alright. If I'm going to start dyeing full skeins of sock yarn, I need to know how the yarn will look knit up.
I'm learning a lot about dye placement through trial and error. I've learned that unless I want stripes, dye patches should be 3" or less. Also, the teeny tiny speckles I've been trying to make are lovely on yarn but pretty impossible to see when knitted up.
I tried my hand at some self striping yarn. So far, not happy! The stripes are sometimes only one row tall. I have a third skein to try and I think I wound that one with my swift fully open so it should have larger repeats...but even so, I think I'll only have two rows of each color max.
So far my favorite dyeing experiment is color change yarn. These 10g minis make a really pretty transition from light to dark. I'm also using larger minis to transition from one color to another.
I love how they knit up! This is my favorite sock so far (it's hard to take pictures of socks on feet and I didn't feel like blocking them). I can see a lot more color change socks in my future! Next time, though, I'm going to make the heel a different color to keep the color change from breaking at the ankle.
I have a lot of minis still to knit up so I'm going to have to take a break from dyeing for a bit. After I finish another sock or two, I might dye up a full skein. Exciting! I'm still deciding on the color scheme...there are so many I want to try!
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
It's been an odd month. It snowed one week and there were flowers the next. I've been working on projects but not really finishing anything. I've been feeling alternately hopeful and dejected. Like how one day I was super excited to start an amazing yarn dyeing business and the next I was crying because I wasn't qualified to be a national park ranger and I'd never be able to fulfill my lifelong (reality: minute-long) dream of saving a baby falcon from the side of a cliff.
Oh dear, how life is filled with unexpected feelings! I'm beginning to question what I want this little life of mine to be, where I want to go, what I want to do. And it's stressful because I just don't know right now. And I don't know when I will know or what I have to do to figure it out. Do I even want to figure it out? I think I might rather make delicious pizzas with Ian and knit socks all day long. Can there even be something better than that?
Who can even know but at least I'm trying. I'll be back later this week with some project updates...that always makes me happy so it's a good place to start.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
I did some more yarn dyeing this weekend. This time my goal was to not over-dye the yarn. I wanted mostly white with bits of color. It was really, really hard and I didn't do all that well. This burgundy/pink/green ended up being my favorite of the bunch.
I'm using my minis to knit what my friend Sara calls: Frankensocks. I start with a grey toe, then knit with a color until I get bored or run out of yarn, knit 5 rows of grey and then pick another color. I really like how they're turning out.
No two socks will match but by winter I hope to have a stack of socks that I can wear while walking to/from work. 2 miles in the snow makes for great wool sock-wearing conditions.
I still loving yarn dyeing! I just ordered some undyed tweed yarn that I've been obsessing over. It'll be my first time dyeing an entire skein. Scary but exciting!
Monday, April 11, 2016
I've been going through my stack of finished quilt tops and dividing them into two categories: quilts I for sure want to keep and quilts I could probably stand to give away. I know I can't keep ALL THE QUILTS.
Now I'm slowly, one at a time, asking friends and family if they would be interested in giving any of them a good home. Each quilt can take a few weekends to finish (and sometimes I don't feel like quilting and I set it aside for a while) so the process is slow but steady.
We had our good friends Ruth and Jason over the other day and they picked out their favorite quilt tops from the stack. And their (almost) 5 year old daughter picked out "the little one".
I started this quilt way back in 2009 with a different block layout in mind. I don't remember when I finished this top or why I changed my mind but I love how it turned out. It is little, just 36"x36".
It has some of my very favorite (and very first!) quilting fabrics. Remember Sandi Henderson's Ginger Blossom and Farmer's Market? She was my absolute favorite designer and I bought EVERY print I could find/afford. (Looks like she has a new fabric line coming out after all these years, omg!)
I like to back smaller quilts in flannel with no batting. It makes them soft and warm and easier to wrap around little shoulders. I remember the night I got that pink Folksy Flannel in the mail. 2009 seems like a lifetime ago!
I'm looking forward to finishing up a few more quilt tops over the next couple of months. Slowly, I will finish all the quilts!
Monday, April 4, 2016
This weekend I dyed up a bunch of DK weight yarn for my friend Jen who is making a granny square blanket. I was so, so happy to have an excuse to dye more yarn!
In order to get more variety in her blanket, I divided up 5 skeins into 15 mini skeins. We have some teal, turquoise and grey blues:
And purple because she loves purple. A "true" purple with speckles, a red-purple, a purple that accidentally looks kind of like Madelinetosh Flashdance and the one on the right is a color changer, from light bluey-grey to dark purple.
I love these, a nice warm grey, a spruce with olive speckles and a bright green with orange (I don't know why, I just had to try it).
Here's another color changing yarn. This was only the first step (I didn't think Jen would want the white) and the finished skein looks quite different (forgot to photograph it, of course). Actually, I forgot to photograph four of the color changers...well, you can kind of see them on the left in the top photo. Anyway, for my next batch of sock minis, I'm going to try this again but keep the white. I think it'll knit up really neat.
You guys, I just...I just can't even begin to describe how I feel when dyeing yarn. There's this little fire inside that I haven't felt in a long, long time.
So, thank you again Sara for all your encouragement and tips and for the supplies so I could get started right away. And thank you Jen for wanting my yarn and letting me go nuts and dye up tons of colors for you. I've been having just the best time!
And finally, a picture of Extra-cat because I cannot resist a cat in a basket.