Spinifex

The newest pattern in Helen Stewart’s Handmade Sock Society is called Spinifex, named for a sturdy Australian grass that appears as a starburst when looking down on it.

(c) Helen Stewart

No yarn in my (growing) stash would work so I gathered a bare skein of Knit Picks Stroll fingering weight yarn, my Crockpot, vinegar, and food coloring for another dye session. This time I used green, yellow, and black for some soft greens that turn into deep greens. The yellow happened with one or two drops directly onto the hot yarn in the dye bath. The black broke into red and purple and added a nice contrast to the greens. I don’t really follow a recipe for the colors as I only dye one to two skeins at a time and it’s so random that I’d never be able to reproduce any of the colors again.

This pattern has a toe-up construction and that is new for me. All of my socks have been knit from the cuff down. But I was interested in learning something new. Judy’s Magic Cast-On took me over two hours to get right while reviewing written instructions and numerous videos and another hour to knit the first round! Of course, I was using double pointed needles and not circulars as suggested but I used what I had.

Not bad for my first attempt, well, my first foray into this technique as I attempted it many, many, many times!

Then came the actual textured pattern that is on the top of the foot and up the leg. After two pattern repeats I’m not liking it. Not liking it at all. The “star” in the reverse stockinette area just looks like a mess to me. And it’s lumpy.

I don’t think these would be comfortable to wear with the lumps even though they are only on the top of the foot. Several others mentioned that as well.

The inside (wrong side) looks better.

The bottom is beautiful. I love those greens!

I’m not going to rip out that three-hour toe! I will ladder down to the star stitch on the front and do some other stitch that isn’t lumpy or bumpy. Just as soon as I figure out which stitch to do.

I’ll keep you posted.

Patti

Weekend yarn dyeing part 2

As long as I had the dye materials out, I hand-painted a skein of yarn myself.  I used the leftover teal dye my granddaughter used along with green and yellow.  The green had a few drops of yellow added to it and the yellow had two-three drops of McCormick’s Neon lime green food coloring mixed in.  I also dropped some right-out-of-the-bottle yellow down the center of the yellow sections and random drops of the neon green elsewhere just because I wanted less white yarn showing.  Could I repeat the process?  Absolutely not!blue, green, yellow hand-painted yarn

The dye was not placed in even sections around the oval on purpose.  It took a lot of rinsing to get the water to run clear.blue, green, yellow hand-painted yarn

I’m loving the end result.blue, green, yellow hand-painted yarn

I have 100 grams/462 yards of this fingering weight yarn and no idea what to make with it.blue, green, yellow hand-painted yarn

My winter coat is yellow and a triangular or crescent-shaped scarf/shawl would be a welcome addition to brighten up the dreary winter days.  Or maybe socks?  Or possibly gloves?  I’m just not sure…

Patti

 

Jayne’s sock

After last week’s yarn dyeing adventure, I balled up the yarn and began the Dorsal Fin socks for my granddaughter.

The yarn was pooling a bit in the cuff area but I soldiered on and the colors sorted themselves out on the leg.

The detail that runs up/down the back of the leg is not as visible because of the colors but it might stand out more when wearing.

The heel is turned and the gusset is almost finished. It’s just plain old knitting the rest of the foot and toe. This sock will be finished this week and the second sock started.

My progress was slowed down last week as I was digging and moving some large rocks around the deck and my hands ached too much to knit.  But that’s another story.Patti

Weekend yarn dyeing

Our 11-year old granddaughter stayed with us over the weekend.  We went to Blackwater Falls near Davis, West Virginia, and walked to the falls.  It was a crisp, sunny day.  A bit chilly for our picnic but by sitting in the sun we managed to stay comfortable.

After we got home, Jayne and I dyed some Knit Picks Stroll fingering-weight yarn using Easter egg dye and some food coloring.  We soaked the yarn in water with three tablespoons of white vinegar before we left in the morning so it would be ready for us when we came home.

She decided on teal, purple and pink dyes alternating the colors all the way around the oval of yarn.  I bought some 20ml syringes to apply the dye.  They worked much better than the cheap squeeze bottles I used before.  The syringes did not leak or drip.

Once all the dye was on the yarn, we wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed the bundle in a glass dish.  Then we microwaved it for two minutes, let it cool anywhere from 5-15 minutes, and repeated that process for a total of four times to heat set the dye. (I was so involved that I forgot to take more pictures.  Oops!)

When the yarn was cool, she rinsed it thoroughly in warm to cool water with a little bit of clear soap.  The yarn absorbed most of the dye and she only had a small amount of purple dye wash out.  By Sunday morning the yarn was ready to wind into a ball.

I’ve already started knitting a pair of Helen Stewart’s Dorsal Fin socks (her choice) for her with the yarn she dyed.Patti