Monday, May 29

Monday musing

There won't be any new photos on my blog this week, since my husband's camera is with my husband on a raft in Cataract Canyon in Utah. Ought to be a great trip. I am wishing him and the group high water and great weather.

Nancy and Melinda came over to knit and chat and both taught me about color and dyeing. Yes, the dyeing bug has remained unabated. We deconstructed our Koigu and other variegated sock yarns, learning how the different companies paint and were surprised that several of them, including the Koigu, were dyed while on skeins only about 60 inches circumference, then reskeined to a slightly smaller circumference. Although they seem like a million different colors, Koigu only has 4 colors, but with artful bleeding and splashing (I am sure there is more to it than that) they end up with that wonderful variety.

While they were here, I dyed a few small samples of Gems Opals and got really weird results. I was trying for gold, yellow with just the teeniest drop of purple, but the fuzzy edges of the yarn went black, selectively sucking up the purple. The whole yarn was blotchy and odd, but it could be an interesting. Reproducing it to a controlled and nice effect might be hard though. After they left, I tried again with a 50 gram skein I had made of the Opal. I wasn't expecting to make a skein this size; at 112 yards it isn't enough for a sock. However, having gotten up in the wee hours to drive Franz to the airport, my arithmetic skills were lacking. So I figured this was a good practice skein. I remembered reading that superwash wool needed a longer pre-soak, so I did that and think it helped. I was aiming for some subtlety of colors, especially wanting to recreate a greyish blue I had gotten with different yarn. However the results were more vibrant than expected, Jewel tones of Teal, Gold and Purple. Not a very original colorway, but good practice and information.

Speaking of original colorways... There are so many nicely painted yarns out there, why should I bother making my own? Can I try for something a bit different? Just a little more original? I have a few ideas, but need to mull them over a bit before creating and sharing them.

As for knitting, ye gads, I cast on another sock. No, the two socks on the needles aren't even at the heel yet, but I started a new one. Why? Well, the yarn I used for my most recent dye play --- Mustard/Ketchup and the as yet unnamed Blue/purple combo --- is a sport weight 6 ply that wasn't created specifically for socks. The plying is looser, loftier, sproingier than sock yarn. But I really like the way it knits up and I like thick socks. Before dyeing more of this yarn though I need to know three things: how well will it wear, how much yarn is needed for a pair of socks and how well did the 8 jars of color technique work? I am a slow knitter, but can already tell the answer to the third question, it looks great.

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