Friday, April 28, 2006


Carole is coming out to meet up with the Utah Stitch ‘N Bitch Grrls in June and so she wrote and asked if I’d name a colorway named after her, too. Happy to oblige, Carole. Instead of preparing my house for the overnight guests who will be arriving shortly, I dyed up a skein of sock yarn in the new Carole colorway:

Because I’m at the point where I'm bursting at the seams with hand-dyed yarn, I’m going to sell this skein (and maybe some others, too). It’s all yours if you’re the first person with $18.00 to spare. Just email me if you’d like it.

This yarn will stripe when you knit socks with it, moving from dark to lighter and back again. Here’s what it looked like before I skeined it up:

It's a lot more work to dye it this way, but you’ll be able to produce two idential socks. So it would be nice for Jaywalkers, Broadripples, or Feather and Fan socks.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Grande Finale

OK, it’s time to wind up the dyeing series. I have several skeins left to show.
The first is a skein I gave Eliza for her birthday. I literally dyed it two hours before I gave it to her, so I took the photo while it was drying on the passenger seat of my car as I drove to Stitch ‘N Bitch:

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool (winter white color)
Dye: Gaywool (I used the olive color dye in 4 different strengths)
Method: Rainbow Dyeing (I believe Lynne Vogel calls this method, "hot pour" in her book, Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook)
Colorway Name: Laurie a/k/a Green-Eyed Grrl (isn't the inspiration for the name obvious)

The next three skeins were dyed using the dip-dyeing method I blogged about on April 4, 2006. I rewound the hanks into longer hanks, tied them in many, many places (essential to prevent tangling!), and then immersed large sections in Mason jars filled with different dyes.

Yarn: Knit Picks Color Your Own (which, BTW, does not contain 440 yards per skein; measure yourself)
Dye: Wilton Icing Dye (I don’t remember the colors I used)
Method: Dip-Dyeing
Colorway Name: Bonnie (calm and serene)


Yarn: Knit Picks Color Your Own
Dye: Wilton Icing Dye (yellow, leaf green, sky blue) and Rit (black)
Method: Dip-Dyeing
Colorway Name: Gwen (The yellow gives it that small spark of defiance. Plus, it has black in it so it has to be named after Gwen.)


Yarn: Brown Sheep NatureSpun Sport (natural)
Dye: Kool Aid (grape, black cherry, pink lemonade, berry blue, and watermelon kiwi)
Method: Dip-Dyeing
Colorway Name: Katherine (‘cause it’s got a little bit of everything in it).

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Skein #3

Today's skein looked almost good enough to eat while it was in the crock pot:

And, the finished hank just happens to be my favorite color:

yarn: Knit Picks Color Your Own
dye: Gaywool dye (in the color madder orange)
dyeing method: immersion dyeing in the crock pot

I don't know if it's the fact that the Knit Picks yarn is not white (but more cream/ecru) or some other reason, but it seems to take longer for the dye to exhaust than the other yarns I've used for dyeing and the color is not so intense. Has anyone else notice this?

I've named this colorway "Eliza" because, like Eliza, it's mostly solid but once in a while you come across a bit of variation that's quite unexpected.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Skein #2

Here's the next skein in my dyeing series. This one began as two, 50g skeins of retina-searing, florescent yellow Regia sock yarn.

You may have to shield your eyes:

See, I warned you.

Recognizing that I had no use for such a color, I plowed ahead and over-dyed it in the newly acquired stock pot. I have no photos of the actual dyeing process, but here are the finished skeins:

Yarn: Regia sock-weight (wool/nylon)
Dye: Gaywool (lucerne, olive, and cedar) (The olive really toned down the original yellow color.)
Method: Rainbow dyeing

Continuing in the tradition of naming the colorways for famous Utah knit-bloggers, I’ve decided to call this colorway "Teri."
Because it may be sedate on the outside, but if you scratch below the surface you'll find something bright and surprising.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Yarns of Many Colors

Family obligations have conspired (in a good way) to prevent me from spending much time working on my blog this week. But, rest assured, I am working diligently on my sweater and now have both the back and the two fronts completed. I knit both of the fronts at the same time and will do the same for the sleeves. I also altered the pattern significantly for the fronts and like my version better; if I do say so myself.

In lieu of knitting content, this week I'll be posting photos of yarns I've dyed recently with various dyes and various methods. Part of the recent dyeing frenzy at my house was precipitated by the purchase of this fabulous 12-quart stock pot at the DI for $2.00

The perfect dye pot.

Here it is holding its maiden skein of yarn:

And here's the finished skein.

yarn: Patons Classic Wool in winter white
dyes: Gaywool (cyclamen, mulberry, and bluegum)

I think I'll call this colorway "Margene" since she is drawn to yarns with these colors.
Am I right, Margene.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006


A couple of the comments from my last post got me thinking about knitting and patterns and individual tastes.

Let me begin by telling you why I hate the pattern on the cover of the June 2006 issue of Creative Knitting magazine. First and foremost, the cap sleeves are goofy. There is absolutely no shoulder shaping on these sleeves, causing them to jut straight out from the shoulders in a manner reminiscent of all those hideous patterns from the 1980s. I think it looks just plain stupid. The first thought that ran through my head when I saw the top was the scene from Napolean Dynamite in which Napolean touches the ridiculous, puffy sleeves on Deb's prom dress and says, "I like your sleeves. They’re real big."

Deb replies, "Thank you; I made them myself."

Yes, I'm sure you did.

I dug out an ancient Susan Bates leaflet from 1984 and, voila, on the back cover is a strikingly similar top:

This one, at least, has some shoulder shaping (believe it or not). The shoulders in the Creative Knitting pattern are simply bound off straight across without any decreases or short-row shaping. Even worse, the top is knit from heavy worsted cotton. Won’t that make a nice, rigid spring/summer top that retains lots of body heat and hangs off you like a pieced-together dhurrie rug. Seriously, who will this look good on???? Not someone with large arms, or someone with thin arms either. And even without the wonky shoulders, who can pull off wearing a top knit in mercerized cotton at a gauge of 16 stitches per inch? Possibly a 90-pound nymph.

Which leads me to the point of this post (yes, there is a point). When you peruse sweater patterns looking for a new project, what aspects are important to you? For example, do you only consider free or cheap patterns, individual patterns like the Cabin Fever patterns, patterns in magazines, or patterns from specific designers or specific publications. Do you look for patterns that can be knit from yarn you already have stashed or which you can acquire easily. Do you even consider gauge and drape and quality of construction. Do you look for something challenging and interesting or something quick and easy regardless of how bulky or stiff it looks in the photo. Do you even really look at the photo to see if it has been taken to highlight only the positive aspects of the pattern but hide a stupid neckline or ill-fitting armholes? And for those of you who knit a lot of sweaters, how many turn out disappointing or end up looking nothing like they did on the model?

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yes, Virginia, I Am Knitting A Sweater

Kudos to all of you who guessed that the green yarny "thang" in last week's post was a sweater. Its origin goes back to a few Saturdays ago when I was in the The Wool Cabin, one of two yarn shops within walking distance (ha, ha) of my house. I asked Jes if the shop had any interesting, new patterns and she recommended a sweater in this magazine:

Of course, I immediately recoiled in horror from the cover project and nearly refused to open the magazine. Trust me, people, this is probably not a magazine I would ever voluntarily remove from a shelf. But, true to her word, Jes showed me a perfectly accepatable cardi on page 20. And better yet, I had the yarn at home to make it.
Isn't that surprising.

The project went to the top of the heap and I cast on last Sunday. I altered the bottom band a bit, knitting only 3 repeats of the lace pattern instead of 4.
Hey, I'm short.

I finished the back just before I left for Boston:

And I've got the fronts on the needles now:

I have lots of thoughts and comments on this pattern, and the process of knitting a sweater. So you haven't heard the last of me.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Jet lag

School Shopping:

Some Things Never Change:


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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

H is for . . . .

Hip Hop by Berroco. These three skeins were an impulse purchase because I just loved the color. But they’ve been sitting in my stash for a while now.
What the heck should I make from them???

H is also for . . .

Tania Ho who sent me this uber-fabulous, double-pointed needle case that she sewed herself. I wish you could see it in person because it’s absolutely perfect. It holds my most treasured needles, my . . . . .

Holz & Stein needles
Without a doubt, H&S makes the most fantastic knitting needles in the world. I’m fortunate to own several sets of circular needles and a set of 2.5mm ebony double-points, all of which were sent to me by Tine. I also have a set of 2.5mm rosewood double-points that Kadri sent me.

Seriously, I don’t want to make all you H&S-deprived knitters feel bad, but you haven’t really knit until you’ve used these needles. I’m using a set of Holz & Stein circulars right now to make this:

Hold onto your Hats; what the Hell is that???
Stay tuned next week for the answer.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mama’s Got New Socks

Are you sick of seeing my sock FOs yet?
Here’s a pair I finished at the Sunday edition of Stitch ‘n Bitch:

I can’t take credit for the most fabulous part of these socks–the cuff. Those were knit by Kadri in Germany. A month or so ago, I received a care package from Kadri and the package included a half-knit pair of socks with a beautiful cable cuff knit from Regia Silk (merino+silk=yum!) yarn.

She’d started the socks and after she’d knit the leg, discovered they were too small. Understandably, she couldn't bring herself to frog them. So sad for Kadri, but oh so fortuitous for me! I knit both at the same time (which is what Kadri did, too) so they’re finished and ready to be worn tomorrow.

Aaah . . . happy feet.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Stitch Pattern

Here's the stitch pattern I used for the Kool Aid yarn socks I blogged about yesterday. It's the Fishtail Lace stitch pattern in the 365 Knitting Stitches a Day Calendar adapted for circular knitting.

Round 1: *yo, k2, sl1-k2tog-psso, k2, yo, k1; repeat from *
Rounds 2, 4, 6: knit
Round 3: *k1, yo, k1, sl1-k2tog-psso, k1, yo, k2; repeat from *
Round 5: *k2, yo, sl1-k2tog-psso, yo, k3; repeat from *

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Thursday, April 06, 2006


Margene’s post today really struck a chord with me. I, too, am currently in a knitting "funk." Which explains all my recent posts about dyeing and spinning. Oh, did I forget to post about the spinning? I guess that’s next week's topic.

Anyway, I’m desperately searching for a new project but nothing has caught my eye lately. I’d like to find a nice lace project but I’m completely sick of triangle-shaped shawls. In the meantime, I guess I’ll continue to knit socks. Here’s a pair I finished a week or two ago. (And, yes, that is a round toe.)

They were knit from some Knit Picks color-your-own yarn that I dyed with Kool Aid quite a while ago. I used my crock pot, but instead of mixing the Kool Aid into a solution before pouring it on the yarn, I sprinkled the dry Kool Aid onto the yarn right from the packet.

The pattern is based on the Catch Of The Day pattern that was briefly posted to the Six Sox Knitalong. The original pattern had some purl stitches thrown in but I hated the way they looked. So I changed all the purl stitches to knit stitches. I believe the stitch pattern I used is the January 15 entry in the 365 Knitting Stitches A Day Calendar (fishtail lace or something like that). I just inserted it into my "mental" sock template and knit away.

I also finished a second pair of Sixth Sense Socks, using a lovely skein of Online Supersocke that Kadri sent me.

Jane recently sent me two skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock in the Gold Hill colorway. Yum! IMHO, it's the most beautiful colorway Lorna’s produces. I’m thinking of using it to knit the entrelac socks in the Summer 2004 issue of Knitter’s Magazine.
Has anyone made these???

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

More On Dyeing

I’ve decided to put you to sleep this evening with stories and photos of my recent foray into yarn dyeing. Here's today's tale.

Not content to stick with the crock pot, last weekend I moved on to dyeing with Mason jars. Thanks to a tip from Eliza, I bought six, wide-mouthed jars at a local thrift store. They were regularly 19 cents each, but because they all bore the "color of the week" tag, I got them for half price. Yes, no kidding; a whopping total of 58 cents (including tax) for all six.

I bought some Wilton cake dye at Michaels and dissolved three different colors in some extremely hot water. I used a different wooden chopstick to stir up each color and added some white vinegar to each jar. Then I soaked the undyed yarn in some warm water with a bit of vinegar. Once the yarn was soaked through, I put about 1/3 of the skein in each jar.

I heated it on the stove in a pot of water for about an hour. Then I turned off the heat and let the water and yarn cool down before rinsing out the excess dye.

The violet broke up a bit (yuck, pink):

the teal turned out more green than teal, and the brown is more gold than brown, but I’m pretty happy with the end product.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

G is for . . .




These yarns are nice, cotton chenilles. I used the Garnstudio to knit some Reverse Bloom washclothes for teacher gifts last year and it was wonderful to work with. I used some of the GGH for a baby sweater. Great stuff; the knitted fabric felt like velvet.

As much as I loved knitting with both of these yarns, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I just don’t have the space to continue storing all the stash I own. Because I’m less like to knit up the cotton yarns in my stash, they’re on the chopping block first. So, I just listed these two yarns on the DeStash blog. Go have a look.

Sock Alert

For those of you who aren’t aware of this, I am the owner and list mom of the Yahoo group, Six Sox Knitalong. A new, exclusive pattern is added to the group’s archives every two months and the members (2,644 at last count) all knit along on the same sock. The new pattern was announced on April 1st and it’s one I designed for the group.

I used a stitch pattern that has a six-stitch, six-row so I called the sock "Sixth Sense Socks." The garter-stitch, short-row heel is meant to compliment the hemmed cuff and garter toe.

The pattern is free but you must be a member of the Six Sox group. Click on the link below to join in on the fun.

Click here to join Six_Sox_Knitalong
Click to join Six_Sox_Knitalong

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.