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.

Tri-color SSSK socks

Continuing on with Dorothy’s Slipped Stitch Spiral knit sock pattern, I bring you a tri-color pair.

Yarns used: Soles & More in the green/blue colorway, Trekking XXL color 803 (orange/purple/brown), and Reggio exclusive self-striping yarn in primary colors #705.

I managed to get three pairs of socks out of the Trekking yarn and I still have some left over.  I needed ball number two of two balls of the Soles & More to complete the second sock in this pair and have plenty leftover for another pair.  One ball of the Reggio was plenty for this pattern.  I still have another one.

I love this pattern.  (Can you tell?!)  It’s interesting to see how the colors play with each other and when each color or pattern changes. Plus I’m using up yarn that I bought years ago thinking I would like the colors/patterning but realizing that that wasn’t the case.

The Reggio was self-striping and the colors were not equally divided stripes so one sock has more red than the other.  I suppose I could have cut the yarn when I started the heel so the red would be more dominant on the foot but since the stripes and patterns weren’t going to match up anyway, I decided not to change it.  Weaving in another loose end was also a factor. 

I’ve got ANOTHER pair on my needles!  Using three colors: two self striping and one self-patterning.  You’ve seen two of the colorways but I’ve added a different third one for this next pair.

Digging into my stash

After my SSSK socks, I needed something else fun and colorful to knit.  So I dug into my stash and came up with this fun yarn by Berroco.

This cotton/acrylic/nylon blend yarn, an Aran weight, is Calico in color 1829. Unfortunately it’s discontinued now but I checked on Ravelry and several people still have some in their stash, too.  I know I bought it on sale years ago with no idea of a project what-so-ever.  I just liked it.  Eight balls of 90 yards isn’t enough to make much but that’s all that was available.  The matte red and coral colors are on one side of the strand and the shiny blue, green, gold and orange colors run down the other side so when it’s knitted up, the yarn twists and makes an interesting fabric.

I searched through Ravelry for patterns as well as magazines, old books and booklets and found nothing I loved in that yarn weight and yardage.  So after swatching, I took elements from two patterns to make my own.  Lace Hem Topping and Drops 90-18.

The back is finished.    No color pooling, just fun.

Above is one side using the stockinette stitch and below is the reverse.