I was having some issues with my wrist and couldn’t knit for several days. Whatever it was went away.
The overdyed green yarn was calling to me so I decided to cast on a toe-up sock. I’ve knit two pairs of toe-up socks and once I get through the first 4-5 rounds of the toe, I’m good to go. No picking up stitches at the gusset and no Kitchener stitch at the toe (though I don’t really mind that part).
First sock progress came to an abrupt halt when I had to untangle a huge knot. This picture was taken after fiddling with it for 40 minutes.
Another 15 minutes and it was all untangled and I could get back to knitting the leg.
I know some people who would have 1.) cut the knot out of the yarn or 2.) chucked the entire mess into the wastebasket. My grandmother was thrifty/frugal and salvaged many a ball of yarn in her lifetime so I channeled some of the Emma-untangling superpowers and managed to extricate the yarn from its prison.
This sock is now waiting for its mate and I am having a heck of a time starting the toe.* I’m using Judy’s Magic Cast-on and double-point needles as I don’t have any US#1.5 circulars longer than 24-inches. Any tips, tricks, or techniques that will get me through this part are most welcome.
* I figured out what I was doing wrong so the toe is coming along just fine now. 😉
I’m going to show you two of the other skeins of yarn I dyed last year.
This one is called Blueberry Smoothie. I used food coloring and Paas Easter Egg dyes. Kid (and adult) friendly and as far as I know, colorfast.
I love the blues and touch of purple.
There are a lot of light blues and undyed yarn. Nothing planned for this skein…yet.
The second dyed yarn is a red tonal, also using food coloring and Paas Easter Egg dyes.
I already knit a pair of socks and didn’t get any pictures of the skein beforehand. This is what I have left over.
The sock pattern is from Helen Stewart’s Handmade Sock Society: Scribbly Gum Socks. Once knitted up, the yarn appears as a tonal stripe that is only noticeable on the plain stockinette stitch on the back.
I dipped a plastic fork into some black liquid food coloring and touched various areas of the yarn to give add that speckled look. It’s not as pronounced as I wanted.
I’m still experimenting with dyeing my own yarns and once the weather warms up (again), I’ll try some other dyeing techniques.
This post is picture heavy. It might take some time to load.
I decided to rip out that sock and redye the yarn. It was one of three 100 gram-skeins/hanks of yarn that I dyed in the crock-pot last year (and never blogged about). The other two turned out great and I’ve knitted one already into a pair of socks.
I was cleaning out parts of the basement last summer and lo and behold I found packets of dye! Sunshine Crafts Batik dyes. Let’s just say I acquired these a long, long, long time ago in a place far away. Along with my fantastic find, I also bought some professional Jacquard dyes in some basic colors.
This is my first foray into using dyes other than food coloring and Easter egg dye and it was a great experience. In the future, I will reread the ratios of dye to water. I just winged it when I mixed the dye and the two colors were VERY concentrated giving deep, intense hues.
My original plan was to use Azure blue and Brilliant blue. I swapped out Jet back for the Brilliant blue as the Azure was blue enough.
It was warm enough last week to set my amateurish dye station on the picnic table outside. Mr. Aitch does not like the smell of wet wool and vinegar so all my dyeing is now done either in the garage or outside. And no microwave dyeing either.
I soaked the yarn in a water/vinegar solution overnight. In the morning I twisted the yarn so I would retain some of the lime green colors and the blues and black would blend together into a navy blue with some teal areas.
Then I placed it in my cold crock-pot with enough water and a slog of vinegar to cover. The acid in the vinegar helps the fiber to absorb the dye. It took over two hours for the water to get hot enough before I could add any dye!
Once everything was ready I loaded up syringes with the blue and black dyes and squirted it into the twisted skein. The dye struck almost instantly as I probably had too much vinegar in the dye mixture.
I played with adding dye in various places for about an hour. Mr. Aitch helped photograph with yarn when I checked it before untwisting it. Too much lime green was still visible so I kept squirting dye onto those areas.
The yarn sat in the dye bath until the water was clear. Then the impatient me had to wait until the yarn was cool enough to rinse. Because the dye was so concentrated, it took a long time to rinse out the extra dye…(no showers for me for at least a week! Just kidding)
The finished product.
Even though it’s not what I planned, I still love it.
The colors are so rich and varied.
Socks for sure! It takes about 65-75 grams of yarn for a pair of knit socks. I will have some leftover to use as an accent toe/heel, add with another yarn for striped socks, or the slipped stitch socks I love to knit.