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

I dyed

Helen Stewart released the third pattern in the fourth season on the Handmade Sock Society early and that’s OK with me. This is called Wild Bees Socks. The stitch pattern looks like bees and she chose a honey color of yarn.

I’m trying to use stash yarn for as many projects as I can but I didn’t have any color that would work. So I decided to dye a hank of Knit Picks Stroll Bare yarn in a Crockpot/slow cooker using food coloring and Easter egg dye. I’ve tried the microwave method before with great success, however, Mr. Aitch doesn’t like the smell of hot wool and vinegar thus the Crockpot technique. On the deck. Because it was a warm, sunny day.

I didn’t take any pictures of the dyeing process but I added water and vinegar with the yarn and turned it on high. My Crockpot is a small one (3 1/5 quarts) so I only had room for one skein. I added the dye (in three, four, or maybe five batches) while the water was hot. The yarn grabbed the dye as soon as it hit the water.

I got some great golden-yellow tonal yarn. Exactly what I wanted.

You can see the various tints, shades, and hues ranging from pale yellow to golden yellow to pale apricot and a bit of brownish yellow.

I couldn’t wait for the yarn to dry to cast-on this sock pattern.

Here are two repeats of the pattern already. Blocking will be key to this pattern to even out the yarn-overs so the “bees” stand out more.

I love how the plain back shows off all the tones of the yarn.

I think I have 15-20 more skeins of yarn I could dye. So many options. Plus Easter egg dyes should be on sale after Sunday! That’s a great time to snag some great deals on non-toxic dyes.

Have you dyed before?

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