In the pink.

jenjoycedesign© over-dye

Sipping iced coffee & knitting next to an open window enjoying a very warm breeze wafting through, and listening to a cacophony of birds’ song.  I suppose it is a perfect spring day and I’m feeling utterly in the pink!   What is going on here is over-dying to change a cool ice pink in fingering-weight yarn to a slightly warmer tone…

jenjoycedesign© over-dye

Four skeins overdyed & drying on the line among the oak trees,  on a very warm  June afternoon.  Personally, pink is not my favorite color to wear,  although when you see forthcoming design mentioned in previously posted ‘Fishy’, you will get the Pink Thing.  Yes, and then you will see.  Note that the yarn that I un-plied in Fishy post was far too fine to design with, after all , but it will be very nice to sample the forthcoming design in a finer form.  

♣ ♣ ♣

I hope you are all enjoying your June, and for my nieces school is out for the summer, and we finally have a date to have a photo shoot  of them modeling the Camino Inca designs … so watch this space!

New Growth

jenjoycedesign© primavera

As I sit here at my table next to the window, peering out into the misty forest there is nearly a shock of new growth of madrone foliage.

jenjoycedesign© new growth

I have been inspired by the new growth in the woods lately, and decided to get out some dye, and run some experiments.  Unfortunately there are no before photos of this project, it was a skein of very heathery greyish blue, and the result of a very small amount of golden yellow powder dye in a slightly acidic dye bath, kept below simmer until the dye exhausted, is this …

jenjoycedesign© over-dyed

I am not a very good photographer, in that I really don’t know how to use a camera to grasp surface color variation, but I tried to put the yarn in different spaces to show the heathered flecks of bluer green and some of near neon yellow-green… and well, it all looks rather monotone from the eye of the camera. Can you see the heathered flecks?

016

But, this whole dye project really has tickled a spot, and I realized that I have been dying many kinds of fiber for literally decades. I am having a bit of an epiphany today, a new growth in my thinking that I might want to dye single skeins, and make up some kits of printed patterns of my cowls to include some of my dyed yarns, I mean heck ~~everybody is doing it~~  kits, personal yarn lines, as well as the printed or downloadable pattern. The sky is no limit when one’s profession is in the realm of ‘Indie Knitwear Designer’. Thinking having these simple little kits available a haberdashery shop here on Yarnings.

I have the tools, the time, and a load of experience, so I’m enjoying a bit of dreaming just now !

jenjoycedesign© over-dyed 2

 

Over-Dyed

jenjoycedesign©over dyed
My latest yarn play. I dyed a ton of yarn  ( details in previous post ) with a mind to knit them into an autumney-equinoxey sort of thing, but now I think not.  I’m calling this colorway ‘curry blend’, or maybe ‘marigolds’ .  Anyway,  I think it fitting for my recent post-pattern-writing crash,  to continue to chill out with a clean slate for a while.  Just knit socks, socks, and more socks, and not have anything big brewing beyond re-writing Penny Candy Socks pattern for the remainder of Spring.    Oh, just look at these cheerful balls of yarn perched , happily waiting for whatever comes.  I am very pleased with the dye this time !

Yarn-scape

jenjoycedesign©over-dyed sock yarn (2)
I’m up to something again.  Here, winding off skeins of Shibui  & Madelinetosh sock yarns.  I’m drowning myself in skinny yarn.  I did mention something about knitting socks with it however, a few posts back . . .

jenjoycedesign©Malabrigo sock-knitting

Which I am doing.

My nieces are coming in a few days, and I am going to rewrite my original Penny Candy Socks pattern completely different ~~ very soon~~  so , I’m madly knitting the above pair (in Malabrigo Sock) for another fun photo session with them !

Then there’s this madness , heaps of skinny Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn (which by the way, like Shibui and Malabrigo, is from Peru) and very fine Lana Grossa (from Italy) . . . over-dyed and drying still  . . .

jenjoycedesign©over-dyed sock yarn (1)

I nearly spent a mint on some fancy hand-dyed superwash Malabrigo Arroyo (I sooo wanted to) , which is a sport weight, for I am erupting with ideas already for Autumnal Equinox sweaters, but decided instead to over-dye a mess o’ sock yarn I had on hand which was bound for nowhere.  Was 4 balls of light blue Stroll — now cayenne red, 4 balls of light grey Stroll –now mustard yellow, 1 ball of hot pink Lana Grossa, — now deep garnet.  All  now a very lovely array of Autumn tones, achieved with Dharma Trading acid dyes in colors “cayenne” ,  “mustard” , & “maroon” .

I had spent hours going color crazy at the kitchen last night ~ while cooking dinner (a habit I always seem to get into ). Today all is calm, and quiet, winding off like a busy bee hive,  immersed in this lovely yarn-scape.

 

Woodsy

Over-dye madness.  Insanely intriguing varigations.

Here I have heaped the over-dyed green yarns for my Nine Year Old Niece’s sweater on top of the finished and waiting sweater for my Twelve Year Old Niece.

 The ‘bug-guts’ yellowy green has over-dyed

ever-so-nicely into a color

which reminds me of golden green tips of bright moss !

All the colors of the foliage in the forest are running through these four yarns in a very earthy woodsy colorway.

 I have roughly 200 grams each of four different greens, each with many varigations in their various journeys from dye bath to dye bath.


I’m not exactly sure what I am going to do with all of the crazy varigation.  Yesterday was all about dominating the yarn, now that I’ve had my way with the colors, not exactly sure.  I think I’ll let them dominate me for a while. At least until I get the sweater cast-on.  I actually love the challenge of listening to my instincts , and the yarn.  Sometimes this whole business of dying, knitting, and improvising is just  downright delicious  & fabulously exciting !

What I Want It To Be

(The original sale yarn ready for dying.)

Here I go again . Ripped out what I had started on my second niece’s sweater, I just couldn’t handle the ‘bug guts green’ color any more. (see over there, in the sidebar, under the text entitled “On My Needles”)   The yellowy bug-gutsy green which was so neon that it scared me,  from overdying ‘bright yellow’ over ‘sky blue’ in a very saturated dye bath. What was I thinking? One Autumn Sweater named “Berry Smoothie” for it’s likeness, the other I couldn’t not call  “Bug Guts” .  Also, the deep grey overdyed with spruce is a little too sophisticated for the colorway “Nine Year Old Kid” that I had in mind.

Changing course is good.  It just has just got to be work sometimes.  And that work not always accepting It being what It Wants To Be, nay, sometimes, this year, this lesson learned, the work will be in making it right,  of it being what I want it to be. A mountain of work to save a few dollars from some sale yarn. Risk factor high. I may have to go buy new yarn , in the end, but, I’m giving it my best shot.  Oh, and in the process of taking dye out of some yarn the first time around,  the bleach bath absolutely ruined the yarn, and it seized up… like melted chocolate getting cold water poured into it. After rinsing all that mess out,  the yarn was hopelessly tangled, and I threw it in the waste basket.  However, after a short talk with myself I realized that Waste Not Makes Want Not, and I took it out of the waste basket, dried it out on the line, and then promptly hid it somewhere not to be seen,  in order to avoid embarrassment of my bad impulses.

So here I am now,  untangling that whole mess of yarn.  I will soon be winding into new skeins on the niddy noddy and dipping into a fresh bath of dye, on a Saturday morning, while watching the fog rise from the valley and drinking really good coffee.

My Favorite Mistake

Now this is my favorite mistake .

I ask myself , how many times can I do the ol’  “accidentally grab the wrong needle end and knit backwards into the row the other direction” mistake ??? Obviously more times than I can count.  Yet each time it happens,  I’m a little dumbstruck that I just did it again. Then I laugh, and think to grab the camera and let you laugh too.  I’m glad *somebody* is getting entertained.

This sweater I’m naming “Berry Smoothie” for my eldest niece who asked for ‘light purple, and maybe also pink’.   The overdyed purply pink and pinkish purple,  I achieved on the yarns was by a very light dip in the dyebath.  No saturation what-so-ever.  The story reads this way:

For Purple : Woman dips grey heathered wool into dye, then yells  ” Oh blast !… this is waaaaaay too dark… quick, out with it ….. fast …. and rinse it out  !!!! ”

For Plum :  “Hmm… I wonder if this little bit of Jacquard Pink left in the container is enough for these five 50g skeins?”  Woman dips light blue yarn in dye bath… exhausts the dye-bath to clear in less than one minute.  Oops, not enough. Hence uneven dyeing and ~luckily~ interesting variegation.

Well, at least I did look at the colors on the dye packets, and I did pre-saturate the yarn in a diluted vinegar rinse before the dye bath dip.  Result was delightedly ‘unsaturated’ variegation of color. I normally prefer the ultra saturated dying, because protein fibers do that so well, and so well attain a depth of richness which exudes such sensuality (I think) and is unmatched by non-protein fibers.  A skein of wool (or silk) yarn only needs to look at a packet of dye to change color. Who said I am an Intentional Dyer?  Not me, the intention is never there.  At best I am a Hopeful Dyer.  I think I’ll write a book ” How to spin, dye, and knit completely by accident “.  Best-seller ?  Not.

But really,  I do love the color variegation !

A quick thanks to friends for  the comments of previous post, for setting me straight. I do think I’m going to do work on taking more thorough paper notes, and swatching, in the way of scrapbooking for a project, and maybe virtually too in some capacity ~ incorporating the old-fashioned and modern.  And, I think I will really work hard at learning to write the text for what I just knit (call it a pattern if you will)…. but…. I’m not going to lay down any rules !

Just doesn’t seem that important. I’m over myself today. Thanks friends !

Sneak Preview

Unlikely colorway?

Yes, but of course ! I want to think that somehow these colors are destined to match up, perhaps something more like disagreeable neighbors, but I have faith that it will finish harmoniously.   A stretch of my imagination, maybe, but to be an Intentional Dyer is beyond my ability, and ‘I’m okay with that’.   I often settle with leaving colorways up to the Sisters of Fate, and to just let the sweaters be what they want to be.

I managed to find some one-hundred-percent superwash merino wool yarn in DK (double knitting) weight, on close-out discount, and bought a lot of it.  Light blue and a heathered medium grey.  Over-dyed dramatically,  to create one-of-a-kind colorways in my nieces’  favorite colors, for what will in a couple of months’ time ~ my nieces Autumn Sweaters.  There’s actually really nice and subtle varigation from the original colors and the over-dyed colors… exciting !

What you see draped over the chair is for one of the sweaters, the younger of my two nieces. The other will make an appearance later, in a second colorway, in a second sneak preview. So here I go, winding off a gazillion yards into balls…