A Thanksgiving to dye for.

There are three things I’ll say upfront right now before proceeding forward: I make cheap puns, as you’ll have noticed by the title of this post; I’m a lazy blogger/photographer, as evidenced by my photography of beautiful yarns on a wrinkled pillowcase; and that I’m unhealthily obsessed with the holiday season for all of its pagan traditions. If any of these things bother you, it would be a good time to navigate away from this page now.

 

For those who have stayed on, I have lots of exciting things to share! Thanksgiving was big success, if for no reason other than the few days off of work and school giving me plenty of time to knit and play with my dye pots. It has been just over a month since the last time I dyed any yarn, and you’ll remember that I had a lot of fun and was looking forward to trying it again so much so that I put it on my life to-do list. My ‘studio’ is at home in New York, so I revel in the time I get to spend there playing with mixing colors, winding yarn into hanks on my niddy-noddy, and standing over the dye pot watching the alchemy of layering colors. My initial try was full of hand-painting and primary colors, so this time I aimed for more deep, saturated colors, and tried kettle dyeing.

I was aiming here for a ‘sugarplum’-esque color, but was a bit light-handed with black dye, which left me with a lilac/hydrangea pastel purple. I do quite like it, though. This is 400 yds of sock yarn, and the base is just lovely—a hybrid of the Madelinetosh sock, Koigu, and Colinette Jitterbug bases. Nice and sturdy, with a good twist, but not too stiff.

400 yds. merino laceweight yarn, a fun experiment in overdyeing.

Another 400 yds. merino laceweight.

400 yds of the sock yarn.

The last of the sock yarn, 400 yds.

 

Overall, I am MUCH happier with my results this time around. I feel that I had more control over the way the dyes ended up on the yarn, and I was more capable with mixing colors (after a LOT of trial and error). I’ve spent  a lot of time picking up the whole bundle and squeezing it into a tight hug, and although it doesn’t look like much here, it represents a lot of time spent standing over the stove with my mother by my side learning the process (what a reversal of roles!), and a step backwards into my life as a fiber artist. It has been so gratifying.

I’m rather stumped as to what to make with all of these new yarns, and I’d rather not make socks from them if I don’t have to. I would LOVE some suggestions if anyone has any thoughts or patterns in mind for any of the specific yarns.

 

Back from our lovely break and home in Boston, Scott and I are looking forward to our favorite season: one full of making things for our loved ones, listening to Sufjan Stevens’s Christmas albums, and shuttling back and forth between our respective homes for all the traditions each has waiting for us. I’m off to make some cinnamon hot chocolate and begin trimming our Christmas tree; here’s to a happy Monday to all, and a healthy season ahead!

 

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4 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving to dye for.

  1. Those are are so beautiful….- the colours are subtle and complicated and just perfect. You are very talented!
    There are lots of pretty patterns for little shawls (like Ishbel, Clothilde, Lacy Baktus…) floating around the knitting world at the moment, you could use either weight for something like that. Cowls are nice too. I’m really particularly smitten with the green yarn – it’s so leafy and pretty, what about the Woodland Shawl (free pattern on Ravelry) or Nancy Bush’s Lily of the Valley Scarf?
    You could also have a little meander around on Knitspot… she has some great little scarf patterns and some very pretty fingerless mittens all in sock weight.
    I can’t wait to see what you end up making – and enjoy that hot chocolate, you’ve earnt it! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! Those were very kind, encouraging words!

      I’ve already got an Ishbel on the needles and have made a couple of Milkweed shawls, but I may have to try the Clothilde pattern–I think it will break up the color shifts quite nicely. I’ve already knit a Woodland Shawl in a similar green shade of Manos silk blend, but was thinking that another leafy pattern would work. And as for Knitspot–I’ve been dying to knit Alhambra, so I think that the orangey/rusty sock yarn may just become one!

      Thanks for the suggestions–I’m off to cast on for something!

  2. these are stunning! the multnomah shawl could be lovely in one of these yarns — or what about stephen west’s daybreak shawl — pairing two of the skeins?

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