Knitting the Light Fantastic

Knitting, spinning, dyeing and other crafty goodness

Archive for the ‘dyeing’ Category

Wedding Bells (but no Blues)

Posted by notthatkat on October 8, 2007


On Saturday, I drove to Calhoun, GA (about an hour north of Atlanta) for the event of my good friend Mike’s wedding to his lovely bride Rachel. The setting (outdoors at her parents house) was beyond lovely, the weather was pretty, if a bit warm, and the ceremony was short and sweet. In no time at all, the deed was done and done well.

Kiss your Bride

They are so cute together, no? As they begin the next chapter of their life together, I wish them all the best and am so glad I got to share their special day with them.

The Happy Couple

But this is a knitting blog, and as such, should include some knitting content. Rest assured, I was not idle on the knitting front over the weekend.


My Clapotis has grown a fair bit. I am about 2/3 of the way through the straight section, if I stop when the pattern says to. But I am a bit less than half way through the yarn I have, and I think I might make mine a bit longer than the pattern specifies. I won’t decide for sure until I get to the end of the straight section as written in the pattern.

The yarn I’m using is Paca-Paints from The Alpaca Yarn Company. I acquired it this spring without a clear idea what I wanted to do with it, but it called to me from the shelf of my LYS and would not be ignored. It is extremely soft and squishy and I love the way it’s knitting up. It is a wee bit splitty, but nothing I can’t deal with. My main complaint is that there have been a couple obvious splices or joins in both of the skeins that I have knit up so far. I managed to hide those sections fairly well, I think, but I’m a bit disappointed to have had them in the yarn to begin with.

Hand Painted Socks

My hand painted socks are nearing completion. I will probably put another inch or so on the leg, then ribbing.

Lattice Lace

I especially like the lace panel on each side of the leg. This is basically the panel in the Dublin Bay socks, but I reversed the direction of the pattern for the other side of the sock so they are symmetrical. I think it breaks up the striping of the yarn and adds some visual interest without competing too severely with the color pattern.

I’m considering adding some more holes to my warping board, so I can wind shorter sections of yarn. I’ll probably knit the other skein I dyed with this method before I attack it with the drill, but I’m thinking more options would be a good thing.


Posted in Clapotis, dyeing, misc, socks | 2 Comments »

Playing in the Dye Pot Again

Posted by notthatkat on September 25, 2007

This weekend, while hanging out with one of my knitting friends, I came up with an idea of what to do with the partial leftover ball which the dogs chewed on.  I have about 280 yards/32 grams left, not much of anything, really, but I have an idea….

The first step was dyeing.

Teal Laceweight

I was going for a shaded solid similar to the teal green sections of my current hand dyed sock yarn.  I love the result.  Now I have to fit the next step (the knitting) into my queue.  After the blanket is finished (4 1/2 repeats to go, I should finish tonight!)  And perhaps a few other things.

Of course, this led to the need for more dyeing, which you should expect from me by now.  I can’t seem to stop with just one.


This is not nearly so shockingly hot pink as it appears in this picture, more of a medium raspberry.  Again it is a shaded solid.  This is a full skein at 880 yards/100 g.  Enough for a decent sized project.  I have one more full skein of this yarn as well as about half of my current ball that I will probably be playing around with this dyeing technique.  The question is whether to dye them separately and have enough for a scarf and a small to medium shawl, or to dye them at the same time and have enough for a fairly large project (although not as large as the blanket.)

Then there’s all the undyed fiber in the stash….

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Dyeing for more.

Posted by notthatkat on September 10, 2007

I came to the realization a while back that epic knitting projects, in part due to their scale, do not make for great blog fodder. While I could show you a picture of the christening blanket in it’s current state, it doesn’t look significantly different from the last time I posted about it. This is in part because it is still mostly scrunched up on the needles and in part because a lot of knitting doesn’t look like very much when compared to the large portion already knit. Instead I’ll ask you to celebrate with me that I passed the halfway point for the second side. 32 repeats down, 52 to go!

I will instead attempt to distract you from the lack of knitting photos by showing you my latest efforts in yarn dyeing:


I’m calling this colorway Life Savers, because it reminds me of the colors in a roll of classic 5 flavors.  I wound this skein on my warping board and painted each section a different color or shade.  I zapped it in the microwave then let it cool, washed and dried, then reskeined.

Mean Greens

This colorway, I’m calling Mean Greens.  I dyed the entire skein light green in an immersion bath, then hot poured other shades of green, as well as yellow and a bit of turquoise.  Once the dye bath cooled, I again washed and rinsed.  I had almost no color bleed with either skein.  I wasn’t sure this one worked until I reskeined, then I was sold.

I have some fiber to dye, but this was the last of my sock yarn blanks (I have some silk lace weight, but I’m waiting until I have a bit more practice under my belt).  I’ll probably try to knit up at least some of the yarn I’ve already dyed before getting more blanks.

Now I’m off to knit more lace edging.  I’ve set a goal for myself of 4 repeats per day.  This is a bit more than I have to do to get it done in time to enter it in the State Fair, but that way I have a bit of leeway if I have a bad knitting day.

Posted in christening blanket, dyeing | 2 Comments »

Color Works

Posted by notthatkat on August 10, 2007

As I’ve said before, I have been wanting to work on techniques and methods of dyeing yarn and fiber. I’ve played around a bit, but not enough to consider myself proficient or comfortable with it. Last night, I pulled out the dyes and some natural colored sock yarn and got creative. I am rather pleased with the results. Both skeins were the same yarn, and I used the same colors to dye both, but the results are vastly different.

Hand Dyed Yarn - bright

For the first skein, I wound the yarn of on my ghetto warping board. I painted each of the sections with a different color. I wrapped each section in cling wrap separately to avoid color bleed except where the colors met. A quick trip through the microwave to heat set and then let cool. The dyes struck very well, and there was very little color in the water when I unwrapped or in the rinse water.

Hand Dyed Yarn - bright

I reskeined at lunch and it looks even better with all the colors mixed up. I now understand why so many independent dyers worry about whether to reskein or not, although if it had been in a form I could put on a swift, I probably would have gone directly to center pull ball.

Hand Dyed Yarn - muted

For the second skein, I went a completely different route. First off I dyed the entire skein light grey by immersion dyeing. Then I applied the other colors (diluted a bit to tone them down) directly to specific areas of the yarn once the temperature of my dye vat reached strike temperature and the grey dye was exhausted. It sat in the dye vat overnight and was rinsed out this morning before work. Again, there was no significant bleeding in the rinse.

Hand Dyed Yarn - muted

This picture is a better representation of the colors – It’s not as blue toned as the first photo looks. This was totally experimental, and I wasn’t sure how I would like the result, but in the end, I think it came out great.

The proof for both yarns will be in how they knit up, but in skein form, I am thrilled with both yarns. I’m looking forward to refining both techniques. Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll have time to play with the dyes again until after con time. But I also want to add some additional colors to what I already have on hand, so hopefully I will have a bigger palette to play with in the future.

Posted in dyeing | 1 Comment »


Posted by notthatkat on April 30, 2007

Hello, out there. I thought I’d give blogging another try and see if I like wordpress better than blogger.

I’ve been playing around with dyes, especially with the hot pour technique as described in The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook .

Here are my recent results:

This is a wool/mohair/silk blend that I dyed with yellow and red. The colors struck fairly quickly and didn’t blend nearly as much as I expected. There are some areas of peachy orange, but… eh, it’s a learning process, right?


This one, I thought I had ruined, but I lurve it! It is a mixture of deep midnight blues, black, steel blue/grey and purple. There was some green in the mix as well, but it seems to have disappeared into the other colors. Maybe it will re-emerge when I spin it. The fiber is Corridale, btw.

I have been doing some spinning:
pink and purple merino single
This is a pink and purple merino roving that is just lovely and squishy and soft. Such a girly-girl color.

I have not been doing much knitting lately. This is mostly due to a nasty case of tennis elbow/ulnar tendonitis. I’m not sure if the knitting caused it (it is a repetitive stress injury) but it certainly wasn’t doing it any good. I still do a couple rows or rounds here and there, but I am trying to limit myself to what I know I can do and not exacerbate this injury. And when I do knit I make sure I wear my handy-dandy wrist brace:

wrist brace

Because wrist movement and angle definitely affects me. I am having less and less pain over the last week or so, but I am trying to be good so I don’t re-injure myself before it fully heals.

What progress I have made in the form of knitted FO’s has been sadly lacking. I’ll post ongoing and nearly finished items I have in the near future

Posted in dyeing, spinning | 1 Comment »