Wednesday, 7 August 2013

results so far

I've been dyeing a bit more ... not much, just a skein here and there, to use up the pre-soaked stuff in bags that's still cluttering up the kitchen. the box doesn't seem to empty at all!
 I dyed some green (on the left) to go with the first batches of alpaca/silk blend I did at the demo. I think I can start winding them into balls soon, because my fingers itch, whenever I come close - I'll definitely start knitting that stole as soon as I get my pattern back:) I also put in two balls to use up leftovers, one is the shortest skein in the middle, the other the more purplish one to its right. the darker reddish purple skeins to the right are 4 bourette silk skeins, which took the colour beautifully, but still have an ugly smell. not sure how to get rid of that, maybe it'll go after washing it in the machine, when knitted up? and no, it's not the usual silk scent, it smells.... like a cellar:)
the skein on the right isn't dyed at all. it's thick and thin spun from ashford merino tops in purple/lilac and blues, plied with fine lace merino in very dark aubergine. and I had to hurry to get the skeins off the wall, because the neighbour's cattle became veeeery interested in the stuff on the wall - and came running over to investigate!
 those are two skeins of regia sock wool with silk that I dyed with the leftover dyes of the teeswater "moody jungle". nice colours, more blue and less khaki/green in real life. I'll start knitting those as soon as my current socks are finished. the single ball in the background has been overdyed twice. the original was a pale blue-grey dyed with alderbuckthorn berries. then I tied the skein off with pieces of flimsy plastic bags and overdyed with the leftover "moody jungle" green. but I didn't like the lack of contrast, rather boring. so I sprinkled some "crabapple" red crystals (gaywool dyes) over the skein here and there, when still damp and steamed it once again. with the addition of the red the green is far less pronounced and I also like that the red is quite irregular. I am looking forward to knitting these socks, because I have no idea how the colours will spread across the socks!
this "testing out" of how a certain layout of colours on handdyed sock yarns turns out is something that I started working on recently. every time I start a pair of socks I measure out how many cm of each colour are dyed  onto the yarn (even with commercial ones). for example with this purple/blue - yellow yarn, which I partially dyed with dahlia flowers and then partially overdyed with dark purple. about 30 cm are yellow, the rest of the 1.50 m skein is purple or yellow/overdyed purple. this has resulted in an interesting pattern: first (on 72 sts) the yellow spirals quite strongly. by the time I am down to 70 sts the spiralling has stopped - and is resumed when I decrease down to 68 sts. the rest of the leg has yellow spiralling around - but right in the middle some kind of irregular star or comet has formed! and the brownish areas (yellow overdyed) look a bit like the lighter halo around the star. I am going to keep notes for a time to eventually be able to plan a certain effect, when dyeing my yarn. if I had pre-planned this I'd have done a smaller ball just purple, so that I could have knitted the sock heel and gusset in single colour and resume the spiral pattern on the foot. unfortunately I hadn't planned the effect, so the heel has some yellow "flecks" now. the pattern isn't really one - I just purl every stitch that's yellow on the needle.
off to finish the first "starry night" sock - I have to hurry, because I can't wait to start on the stole and the "overdyed with red" socks!


Delighted Hands said...

It is funny about the cows-who would think they are so curious?!

I can't say I blame them for wanting to touch the yarns-very appealing!

The socks are going to be fantastic-the purple/yellow one is amazing! I think you are onto a great designing bend-enjoy the ride!

Elke said...

Hallo Bettina,
ich denke, das wird ganz toll mit dem Garn.
Danke für deine schöne Geranium-Geschichte. So ein Andenken kann man einfach nicht rausreißen.

Nina said...

Supposedly if you seal the musty smelling yarn in a bag or container with some ground coffee, it will absorb the odor. I've heard of baking soda (sodium bicarbinate) being used the same way. I do love the colours of yarn on the stone wall. So very pretty, like the colours of a flower garden.

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - the cows in the neighbouring field are extremely curious - as soon as they see us outside, they come running to check us out. you never know, we might be cutting down ash branches - and they love eating those leaves:) and I just finished the first "spiral comet" sock:)

Elke - ja, irgendwie ist es bei mir sowieso so, dass ich diese "wilden" im garten nicht rausreissen kann - man muss ja schon bewundern, wie sie selbst unter miesen bedingungen wachsen wollen wie verrueckt:) bei hahnenfuss und giersch hoert meine bewunderung dann allerdings auch auf:)

Nina - thanks for the tip! I'd rather knit with yarn smelling like coffee than mould! I'll give it a try, because I really like the feel of the yarn - and the colours!

Leigh said...

Very strange, for some reason my web browser had not been updating your posts! You probably think I haven't been visiting. :( I love your whole new blog look and admire how busy you've been. And I'll have to try Nina's tip too.

Judy said...

Wonderful colors and that looks like so much fun! Your sock project sounds great and one can never have too many hand knit socks ;-) It's rather addictive, isn't it?
Enjoy your week,

Woolly Bits said...

Leigh - thanks, I have had hiccups with blogger etc. recently, too - so maybe they're "improving" something again:)

Judy - I love dyeing, I just have to be careful not to overdo it! I have plenty of stuff to work with already;-)I finished all the pre-soaked stuff, so the box is quite full again! and I found an interesting article about pooling colours in knitting just now, in the new twist collective: http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/35-articles/features/1537-the-art-and-science-of-planned-pooling
interesting read!

Ash said...

Just love those colours, they are wonderful. :0)