Another Project Bites the Dust

Last week I finally got my act together and finished off the little shawlette I was knitting for my friend at work.  This is the second time I’ve used the pattern, and just quietly, I think I like this second one better than the one I made for myself.  I used Cascade 220 Heather, and the colour is a gorgeous Autumn gold/brown.  It’s great to see someone other than myself wearing my work too 🙂

I also had a fairly productive weekend in the yarn dyeing department, since I was running out of the yellows/oranges/chocolates I’ve been using for a shaped garter shawl for myself.  The pattern (Celadon by Ambah O’Brien) is another simple relaxing knit, so it’s coming along rather quickly.

 

My New Hobby

As if I needed ANOTHER hobby.  I don’t have enough time for my existing hobbies as it is.  However, over the weekend I decided to have a go at dyeing my own yarn.  I really love the look of the speckled yarn that is the rage at the moment, but it’s so specialised, it’s very expensive.

I’m using cheap superwash merino to practice on, and it seems to be holding the colour very well.  I’m also just using food dye (although I did buy a packed of black dye powder today for my next attempt) and vinegar, as a cheaper option for now.

I began with tying the yarn into a skein (they came as balls), and soaking it in a mixture of luke warm water and vinegar (a couple of ‘glugs’, I didn’t measure the exact amount).

I then put the tray onto the stove and heated the yarn and water/vinegar mix to simmer point.  Taking the tray back to the sink I went about dotting the colours onto the yarn.  Some of the colour mixed with the water, and some of the colour landed on yarn that was sticking out of the water and concentrated there as speckles.  I used a toothbrush to get the smaller speckles, with a mixed result.

After I was happy with the colour placement I left the yarn/dye/water/vinegar to cool back to room temperature, before rinsing in the sink with another vinegar mix, and finally a bit of hair conditioner to keep the yarn soft and get rid of the vinegar smell.

It took two days to completely dry on my clothes rack, and I plan to re-ball the yarn tonight ready for use.