I finished up the socks for my niece Marky! (Picture will come eventually – be patient.)
Also, I’ve been working on a new project which I hope will be unveiled soon!
Knit From Your Stash Club — The Knit Along For Everyone!
So, what did I do last night?
I mixed up a very deep blue and a deep red so that I could make a "patriotic" colorway (by request), then mixed up some other fun colors to play around a little more. Below are the preliminary results (meaning I snapped only a few quick pictures this morning because I was running late for work!).
On the left is a Christmas stocking I'd designed a couple of years ago. It's knit with Lamb's Pride bulky. On the right is the Purlie Fat Sock yarn, Sari colorway, knit in the Raindrop pattern (free with purchase of the yarn).
Well, this does my soul good. I'd gotten an email yesterday from knitty.com that two sock patterns I'd sent in were rejected. Nice to see that someone gets enjoyment from my patterns!
OK, the yarn I dyed that I mentioned in the last post? Problems, problems, problems!
The eight skeins of Mardi Gras were all wrong. I didn’t have any more plum, so I mixed up what I’d hoped would be right. Wrong! It came out kind of reddish brown. And then the green ran into the yellow on about 3 skeins. And then it turned out that what the gal wanted was the brighter colors (not the subtle ones I’d come up with first.) So, I overdyed all of the Mardi Gras skeins with Gaywool indigo in a kettle on the store. It took about 2 hours. They’re good. The yellow parts came out dark green, the reddish brown parts came out a deep violet with reddish parts, and the rest is a lovely dark blue. There are a couple of odd spots where the dye didn’t take, but it’s all salvageable and I’ll be knitting a pullover from it.
The 2 skeins of sock wool and the 4 skeins of cotton/silk yarn dyed in blue would never rinse clear. I tried soaking them in Dharma Trading’s new substitute for Synthrapol (less expensive and better for the environment), but that didn’t work. Then I soaked them anew in a vinegar bath for about 15 – 20 minutes (completely submerged this time, too) and that did the trick. No more running blue water. It just needed a much longer bath and better soaking than I’d done the first time.
I finished up the “secret socks” and submitted the pattern to Knitty yesterday. In the meantime, I’ve been slogging away at the socks for my SIL Joan.
I’ve also been having major “start-itis” problems.” I’d been given a bag of some leftover balls of Rowan wool which I’d started knitting into a feather-and-fan pattern. I screwed up the pattern on about the 12th row. And I’d already knit like 5 colors! So, I pulled it all out and started crocheting it into a basket weave pattern that is so far going well (and easier to fix if you make a mistake in the pattern). Then I started crocheting a doily from a silk lace-weight yarn (“Black Walnut” by Claudia Handpaints), but I screwed up that right at the start and needed to rip it all out. Luckily, I hadn’t gotten too far on it. Last night I tried casing on a simple top-down pullover, but I pulled it all out after 6 rows because I didn’t like the yarn I was using for that size of a needle. So, I gave up and started sorting out all of my needles (again). Oh, and that doesn’t count trying to make a scarf in the pattern of a Japanese tea shawl (found in Folk Shawls). I got the garter rows all done then learned on the first row of the pattern stitch that I’d cast on about 3 stitches too many. Yuck.
The dyeing mojo seems to be working. I’ll concentrate on that and keep knitting my SIL’s socks until the creative knitting mojo comes back.
I can cross off another item from my New Year’s Knitting Resolution list: The dark blue-green cardigan is finished. Well, I just found 2 more ends I have to weave in (about 5 minutes of work) and I won’t do the buttons (M will do them since it is to be her cardigan), but it’s effectively done.
The pattern is from Knitting Pure and Simple, Neck Down Cardigan for Women #9725. I knit it with Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in a colorway called “Petrol” (why it’s called that I’ll never know), and it’s a superwash. Unfortunately, I didn’t get gauge (what was I thinking by using Aran weight when it called for heavy worsted???), so it was smaller than I thought it would be, thus it is going to M.
Now I move on to a zillion other projects on the needles.
*sigh* I have more ideas than I have hands to knit them.
I was trying out Gaywool dyes, which are from Australia and have color names that I would never associate with the colors that come out. They call this one Lily. It's a dark blue-green, something I wouldn't associate with lilies. Oh, well.
This skein (Louet Gems, worsted weight) was dyed in a kettle on the stove and it was as easy as the instructions stated. However, nothing in the instructions quite prepares a person for how fetid is the scent of boiled wool. Sheesh! It stinks when it boils and it stinks despite a couple of washings in shampoo. The same thing happened with microwave dyeing. I mean, it's a great method (and the microwave dyeing gives a more mottled effect with the colors), but the smell is horrid, even when you have a stuffy nose!
On the far left is my best possible reproduction of how awful these skeins of yarn were on their first attempt. I don't know what it is about orange, but it always seems to engage me in a war of wills. If it isn't spilling everywhere (I have the spots on my jeans to prove it), it is staying at an intense level that is unjustifiable. What might have been a lovely set of skeins had a neon-orange glow about where that patch of orange is that I Photoshopped in (sorry, but I couldn't bring myself to photograph them when they were in that state). Today, despite a sinus infection, I tackled them again. I tried a rose color first (no good -- not strong enough), some ecru (still not strong enough), then dowsed the whole thing in purple which yielded a lovely dark reddish brown. Sorry, but I don't think the colors are coming through just right -- at least on my monitor the colors are far too intense on the righthand photo above to do it full justice -- but trust me when I say that (1) it's loads better, and (2) you have to see it, and (3) I'll never be able to repeat this colorway again because of how much it's overdyed!
I was trying to capture this effect:Lovely, isn't it? It's a cotton scarf dyed with ecru, orange, rose, and plum -- all muted and mushed together. I think the orange didn't like being so sublimated on this piece so it took revenge on me when it came to the wool.
My DH was complaining about the state of the kitchen from all of my dyeing activities last night. This is the first time he has complained, and I put it down to his having a cold and feeling miserable. I did point out to him that I had needed to tidy up the kitchen from all of the dirty dishes, pots and pans (cleaning the kitchen is his job) before I could even begin my work. Besides, I tidy up after my work (meaning he does not tidy up after cooking).
In other news, the shower curtain rod in my bathroom is showing signs of rust. Yes, through the chrome coating. Yuck. I definitely need to find a different method of hanging the wool to dry.
These are the projects already waiting for me to start on:
These are the projects already waiting for me to start on:
Hmmm....lots of socks again this year!
Success!!! I started with marigold at one end, then went to cerulean blue, the "better" blue-green, and finally navy blue. The colors in real life are even better than they appear on the screen. The blue-green melts into the navy blue.
The swatch (here and in succeeding posts) are done on US 3.0 needles over 28 sts. (I would cast on 56 sts for socks with this weight.) I think the overall effect on doing socks would be a kind of golden stripe among the blues and greens.