I’m in love again

*This post is loaded with photos so please be patient while it loads.*

 

With “those” socks in hibernation mode I decided to get back my sock knitting mojo with Easter egg dye.  I’ve wanted to try this for a long time and just didn’t have the inspiration/courage/chutzpah to do it.  Until now.

Easter egg dye goes on sale right after Easter and I buy it at ridiculously low prices.  Some years I can’t find any but one box in my stash was enough for this project.

I love this yarn (discontinued now, of course) but not the pastel colors so it was time to experiment. 

This is a self-striping yarn so I divided it up by color.

Using an acrylic yarn each bundle is tied up individually.  BTW this part is very time-consuming.

A large plastic garbage bag is the base, then an old white sheet, and finally layers of plastic wrap.

I laid out the yarn in a circle on the prepared dying surface to keep like colors together and decide what sections to dye.

The dye tablets.

A damp Q-tip helps determine which tablet is what color.  From this point forward rubber gloves are needed.

One dye tablet per cup and an extra one for some food coloring dye.  I followed the directions on the box and mixed each tablet with three tablespoons of white vinegar until dissolved.  Then added one-half cup of water to each cup.

Most yarn dying instructions say to presoak the yarn in a water/vinegar bath before dying to help the yarn absorb the dye evenly.  I wanted to leave some of the original colors so I skipped this step as I didn’t want too much wicking between the colors.

Since this is my first experience with over-dying anything, I over-dyed similar colors to the original.  Purple over pink, blue over green, red over pink, yellow over yellow, green over green red over cream, and orange over yellow.  I eventually added a few drops of orange to the yellow to make it more intense.

Then the yarn is dunked into each dye cup leaving some of the yarn out.

This is the result after an hour in the dye bath.  You can see that the purple dye is pretty much exhausted as the cup is almost clear.

I wrapped up the yarn with the plastic and placed it in a glass microwave safe dish.  Heat is necessary to set the dye.

Microwave the yarn on high for two minutes and rest for 2 minutes.  Be careful that the yarn doesn’t burn.  Repeat the process until any liquid in the bottom of the dish is clear.

LET THIS COOL BEFORE TOUCHING!!!  Seriously, this is hot!!

My warm yarn.

No photo of this next step but still wearing rubber gloves gently rinse the yarn under warm water until the water runs clear.

Place yarn on an old clean towel and roll up to squeeze as much water out as possible.  Do not twist.  Hang up or lay the yarn on a flat surface to dry.

Once dry it is wound into a center pull ball.  You can see some places where the yarn was tied and the dye didn’t reach that part but I’m fine with that.

Mixed with two other balls of yarn for another pair of Dorothy’s Slipped-Stitch Spiral Knit Socks!

I’m so pleased with the intense colors and in love again with my knitting.

This is just one of many ways to dye.  I got my instructions here.

Have you dyed your own yarn?  Which method did you use?

I’ve lost that lovin’ feeling…

Not yet tired of sock knitting, I decided to try another sock pattern I’ve had for many years.  Color work knitting and socks were new for me way back then so why not combine the two?

Enter Tongue River Farm Sock Collection …and a time to knit stockings publication by Katherine Misegades.

Buds and Blossoms caught my eye.  Substituting Knit Picks Fingering weight Stroll for the recommended Tongue River Sport weight yarn seemed doable to use up some of my yarn stash.  Black for the main color and red for the accent.

Everything was working out fairly well until I really looked at my progress.

I used my chart keeper and still missed a part of the color work.

A section with three red stitches should be there.

How could this happen?  Well, Mr. Aitch and I don’t have regular TV but we do stream old shows and movies through our TV.  I have a very hard time sitting with idle hands so I knit.

Obviously paying more attention to what was on the screen than what my hands were doing got me in this mess.

Working from a chart using more than one color of yarn requires more concentration than a two-row pattern using one color per row.

I’ve lost that loving feeling with this project.  It’s hibernating until I decide whether to fix it or start over.

Warm feet

I had not gotten enough use out of Dorothy’s Slipped-Stitch Spiral Knit Sock pattern so I offered to knit a very good friend a pair of socks at no charge if I could use part of my stash.  She just moved from South Carolina to a more northern climate and might need some warm socks this winter.  She really liked the slipped-stitch spiral socks that I knit (#1, #2, #3, and #4) so I sent her a picture of some of my yarn stash  She picked one variegated color and I chose something that would complement it.  Red would have been awesome (and very bright) as would purple but she is partial to blue so blue was it.  Plus I knew I had enough of it in my stash…

These two colors were very tame and refreshing to use after the flurry of patterns and stripes in the other four pairs of socks. The Knit Picks Stroll solid heather blue (Dusk) really accentuates the striping down the leg while also toning down the brightness of the Sockotta yarn.

Look at the heel to get a better idea of the intensity of the red, blue, green and purple colors.  Those would be some very wild socks!

I included two yards of each yarn for when a repair is needed down the road.

There are a lot of stitches in a pair of socks…

Another SSSK using three skeins

One more pair of Dorothy’s Slipped-Stitch Spiral Knit socks using three different balls of yarn.

Two yarns used before and a different one.

When I purchased this red, white and black yarn, I thought it was a patterned yarn instead of striped.  So I decided to add it to my available yarns for these socks.

I think I’m liking this combination.

Actually I’m loving this combination.