Tuesday, June 3

Cardigan in progress


Wool2Dye4.com sells some nice yarns, including a BFL Aran that is just wonderful. However, it is not common for indie dyers to dye and sell this yarn. When they do, it is often hand-dyed in small batches in bright variegated colors.

It's not hard to understand why. While many folks will purchase hand dyed yarn over the internet, they usually want it for a one-skein project, like socks or a hat. There's too much risk in purchasing enough for a sweater. And cost. Hand dyeing is labor intensive so the cost of a sweater's worth of hand dyed yarn would be quite dear.

Why would indie dyers create sweater sized dyelots? That's another issue. I doubt there's much of a market. There's a lot of capital invested in dyeing a large enough dye lot of Aran yarn for a sweater. Most of the BFL Aran that gets purchased from indie dyers goes into knitting wool soakers. For those not in the know, that's diaper covers. They are awfully cute and seem practical but what a use for a premium yarn!


So I figured I would dye this yarn and make a sweater.


I had in mind a brioche rib cardigan, although I really didn't know how to knit one. I just love the brioche stitch and thought the yarn would work well. I figured the internet was my friend in figuring out the How.

Well, I found the gold mind! Brioche stitch heaven. Nancy Marchant has created one of the clearest and most useful sites on the internet. And a pattern for a simple brioche cardigan as well! Frankly, given all the information she provides for free, anyone who understands sweater construction could figure out that sweater on their own, but it was only five bucks, it would save some math and damn! She deserves the money just for the information on her website!


Of course there's something I hadn't considered. Brioche takes more yarn than stockinette. I am not sure I dyed enough for the sweater. Lots of back of the pattern calculations estimating square inches to knit and square inches per gram of what I have knit --- I may be really, really close.

I did take careful notes on the dyes used, I can probably dye another skein or two close enough to work -- maybe alternating rows on the sleeves, but I'll finish the back and do more calculations before deciding if I need to do that.


cousin jane said...


Catherine said...

I love the colors of your hand dyed yarn and will watch your blog to see the finished project. Wonderful. I've dyed fabric but never yarn, now you've convinced me I have to try!

I came back to your blog because I wanted to check where you said the half way point on the Ene shawl was. I'm there! Thank goodness.