Monday, July 27, 2015

Y-Knot? A Night to Dye For

Shelagh and I are so fortunate to have such talented ladies in our Knit night group. One of the ladies, Jenn aka The Yarn Therapist, suggested something different than the usual knitting together: she offered to teach us to dye our own yarns! Of course, the entire group heartily agreed because, well, let's face it, we're all yarn lovers. And who wouldn't want to create a custom yarn?

Jenn is an avid knitter, yarn lover, and she dyes her own yarns. She and another of the Ladies, Amanda aka Yarn Enabler, walked us through the process while Christina, aka The Cozy Knitter, was one of our cheerleaders.

So Jenn ordered some yarn blanks in both fingering/sock weight and worsted weight; made up over a dozen containers of dye; and brought along lots of aluminum containers to use for our artistic adventure. Someone brought apple fritters; someone brought coffee; and Shelagh and I brought sangria--'cause that's how we roll.

Shelagh chose two skeins of fingering weight 80/20 Superwash Merino and nylon. I chose two skeins of worsted weight Superwash Merino. And then we spent at least half an hour deciding on colours. Honestly, when confronted by so much choice, it really is difficult to narrow it down to what we wanted.

Did we want a variegated yarn of one colour? Or perhaps chunks of different colours? Or maybe a solid base with speckles of different colours? The choices seem to be endless!

At the top and above, Shelagh "painting" her skeins.

Shelagh went with a different look for each of her skeins; I decided one look for both--I figured I'd need two the same to make something like a scarf.

The photo left shows my two blank skeins in one container as well as each of them after I dyed them using colour Silver Gray.

Below is a photo of my finished skeins wrapped scarf-like on our dressmaker's Judy. Can you see the teal, turquoise, purple and black that I added? When Jenn was showing us the colour options, I fell in love with what I thought of as "peacock colours," those bright colours at the "eye" of the feather. I knew they would look amazing on the platinum background.

Now I want to come up for an appropriate name for my yarn; although it will be considered a one-of-a-kind yarn, I think it deserves a lovely name.

I have some ideas, but what would you call it?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Something New

I've been working on something new, at least for me. I've been writing out some of the patterns I've created! I have designed a few patterns when I couldn't find one I liked. I usually source stitches from 96 Stitches: Knit Stitch Guide by Rita Weiss, a small book I picked up from Michael's last year. And I also reference Youtube videos to watch someone actually making the stitch.

I found a free Pattern Template that I use on my Word-like program. And it has been set up so I really can't forget anything: tools, gauge, abbreviations, photos, charts. Everything is accounted for.

Mostly I'm writing  to track what I've done and figure out where some refinements can be made. It's kind of fun, actually! Some of my patterns have worked out really well and some, well, let's just say they need refining. So, Shelagh or I may reproduce the pattern to make sure it works.

So far I haven't yet created anything very complicated, so my patterns are generally only one page. I've written out three patterns so far, including one for boot toppers, pictured above. I've made a couple of pairs of these, but I need to re-create it to find the best yarn to use. But I've got high hopes for it!

Have you ever written out a pattern for sharing? What info should I make sure to include?