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Archive for the ‘dye’ Category

It’s been a busy summer. So busy that I haven’t even thought about updating this blog until my friend Pixie mentioned that I should a few days ago. And she’s right, so here I am typing nonsense because the problem is, so much has been going on and happening in my world that I don’t know where to start. Hmm, what is blogworthy…

blueyarn_inpotWell, let me begin by showing you this sock yarn I was kettle-dyeing yesterday in a few different shades of beautiful blue. Right now, I’m dyeing about one or two skeins each dyeing session, maybe three times per week, so roughly three to six skeins are done per week. I honestly don’t think I could do any more than that and still keep the same quality in each dye job because sometimes a single skein will take me four hours to finish. Each skein of yarn that I dye is uniquely and meticulously handpainted or kettle-dyed to my own personal satisfaction. I’ve seen some people on some blogs that output a large amount of handpainted yarn at one time (over ten skeins) and I just don’t understand how they do it, unless they have a small army helping them.

skein_wndr1The reason I’m dyeing all this yarn is because I’m going to be a vendor at the 2009 Fiber Festival in Snow Hill, Maryland, coming up on October 10. I have to build my inventory so I have quite a bit to sell there. Of course, teen had a small fit when I told him I needed him to wind up all this yarn on the niddy noddy (right now I’m looking at 24 skeins that need winding and the niddy noddy makes my arms ache), so I invested in a new knitting tool. This is my new maple Will Taylor Clamp-On Skeinwinder/Swift, which I ordered from Carolina Homespun, and it’s wonderful! The teen is off the hook, at least for now.

1stsock2Thanks to Pixie, I’ve also gotten back into my knitting. I finally finished those Nightmare Socks with her encouragement, and they fit although I loathe them now because they took two years to complete! I think I got tired of looking at them, the pattern wasn’t the easiest to follow, and the yarn wasn’t as soft as I would have liked, but Plymouth Sockotta was the first sock yarn I ever bought for myself. That was before I learned how to dye yarn and now I’ll never buy any commercial brands again. Unless I absolutely have to. Not to mention the fact that I have approximately two bins full of my own handpainted yarn already.

toeup2On to the next project: Two-at-a-Time Toe-Up Socks on Two Circulars, from the book, “Knitting More Circles Around Socks” by Antje Gillingham. I have her first book too, and both include very nice patterns that are easy to understand. These are only my second pair of socks, and I’m knitting them with my own kettle-dyed yarn, Sand in my Stitches Pure Merino SW. I’m a little further than the image shows and so far, so good. These will be a demo project for my yarn at the festival, and I’ve given a skein of my Kona Sock yarn to Pixie to knit up in some kind of amazing lacy project. Many, many thanks to Pixie for the motivation and help. 🙂

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I’ve been keeping busy lately, dyeing and reskeining some yarn for my etsy shop, Sand In My Stitches. Here’s what I was working on last week:
reskeins
The one on the left is Pure Merino SW in the color “Angelfish” that I felt could use a reskeining. The other four are all Kona Sock Superwash Merino. Second from left is one of the new colors I dyed last week, and the last three got a reskeining too. While photographing them, I realized I used blue in all of them.

There are two more new colors that I dyed, but they’re waiting for a shipment of Kookaburra so they can be washed. More to come… stay tuned!

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After a year’s hiatus, I’ve decided to get back in the swing of things. Sand In My Stitches, Unique Kettle-Dyed and Handpainted Yarns, is now open for business, once again, and hopefully this time, to stay in business. I’ll be working on increasing inventory very soon. Any requests? 😉

So, check it out… you can find me on:

Ravelry — Sand In My Stitches

Etsy — Sand In My Stitches

Twitter — phototw

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Last weekend, I spent a good bit of time dyeing yarn in my kitchen, and I had this great idea — sock sets. Have you ever seen socks that have different-colored toes and heels? I’ve seen a few and I really like the effect, as long as the colors match. So I decided to dye yarn to make a sock set. I’m curious what sort of response these will generate. I’ve only done one set, and they are listed in my Etsy shop for sale as one item.

Sand in my Stitches Kona Sock Set

Sand in my Stitches Kona Sock Set – Indigo and Jewels TooSand in my Stitches Pure Merino DK

Then I found a couple of skeins that I forgot to list that have been done for awhile. After I got off the phone with my DH today, I immediately knew what to name the colorway. At right is Sand in my Stitches Pure Merino DK – Clueless.

Sand in my Stitches Pure Merino DKAt left is the same yarn in the colorway Chartreuse. This yarn is so crazy bright, you may need to wear shades to knit with it, and I love it!

In my stash were a couple of skeins of KnitPicks Simple Stripes, and since I didn’t like the colors of it, I overdyed it and now it’s wonderful. Two skeins makes an average-sized pair of socks, and I’ve got another couple of skeins overdyed in red drying in my bathroom right now. Tomorrow I’m planning on overdyeing the final two skeins in another color.

Sand in My Stitches Sock String

Sand in my Stitches Sock String – Darkness

Sand in my Stitches Baby Sock

This final image is of Sand in my Stitches Baby Sock – Turquoise and Lime.

The base yarn is Dale of Norway Baby Ull and is so very soft; very similar to Sand in my Stitches SoftSock. Of course it would make great adult socks, but it would also make a super baby set — hats, mittens and socks — know anyone who’s expecting? 😉

All of these yarns have been listed in my Etsy shop for sale. Now I would like to add a huge thank you to everyone who’s given me the confidence to do this, and to all of you who knit and crochet because I truly am inspired by you. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what would make a good yarn and color combination for a certain project or pattern, and if I could make it (which, in turn, keeps me creative), and I really appreciate that!

Knitting-related, I’m working on a secret scarf for a swap. Once I get that secret scarf done, I’m going to (hopefully) knit a pair of mittens for my SP11 pal and then I can ship her final package to her. I’ve never knit mittens before, so we’ll see about that one. And I’ve got everything ready to go into an “angel” package for my second pal in the dishcloth exchange.

Whew! When these three swaps are done, I’m planning on finishing all my WIPs (entrelac scarf, nightmare socks, Clapotis, log cabin baby blanket) and concentrating on mastering the art of knitting socks. Will that day ever come? Only time will tell!

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Ballband washclothI know; this is soooo exciting!

Last weekend, there was a call for angels to step in for the Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange. The exchange deadline has passed, and there were some unlucky souls who didn’t receive anything because their original partners were flakes. So I volunteered. (I’m a pretty quick knitter when I set my mind to it, and I love spoiling people anyway!) And I’m just about done, too! My new pal likes purple, chartreuse and orange, and because I already had purple and orange, I made this ballband washcloth for her from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book, and got it done in a day! Woohoo!

Today is a dyeing day too… I have four skeins of very soft wool that need attention, so I will be making some otherwise bland and boring yarn very colorful and gorgeous. Can you say, “oooooooo… aaaahhhh”? Yeah, like that! 🙂

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A few days ago, I dyed up the last of my yarn for eventual sale in my Etsy shop, Sand in my Stitches. Look at all the pretty colors!

acid dye handpainted yarn

Coral

acid dye handpainted yarn

Sweet Peach

acid dye handpainted yarn

Toffee

acid dye handpainted yarn

Tanzanite

acid dye handpainted yarn

Reef

acid dye handpainted yarn

Angelfish

acid dye handpainted yarn

Sea Turtle

Knitting-related, I started a washcloth for my Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange pal. I have many ideas for spoiling her, but I can’t tell because she might find out! Shhhh!

Lacy Round Dishcloth (Washcloth)

I know, I know… the nightmare socks aren’t done, and neither is the clapotis that I’m 75% done with. Perhaps I have finishitis, but I really felt the need for some instant gratification, so getting one of my pal’s cloths done is making me feel better. This is an easy pattern that looks really nice, too. I think she’ll like it!

Also, I’ve ordered some special yarn to make my Ravelry Scarf Exchange pal her scarf. Did I mention she owns her own yarn store? Yes! I knew I couldn’t just buy some Malabrigo or any well-known commercial brand she might already have in stock, so I figured out something special. Sorry, I can’t post pictures of anything relating to this because it must be a secret. The scarf exchangers know who’ll be spoiling them, which makes me a little anxious about my abilities, but I’ve gotta have faith!

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Acid dye handpainted yarnThere needs to be a support group for yarn addicts like me… I mean, really!

“Hello, my name is T and I’m addicted to yarn. It all started when my mom taught me how to crochet when I was little. Then, after I graduated, I bought full bags of acrylic yarn from Ames for an afghan that I wanted to make. It got started, but never finished, and to this day, it is waiting for completion in a closet somewhere. My DH’s grandmother taught me to knit, and then I discovered local yarn shops, real wool, silk and alpaca yarns, and then Kool-Aid dyeing, which led to acid dyeing. I am now full-blown obsessed…”

All that to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this yarn I call Woodland. The color has grown on me, to say the least, because when it came out of the pot, I wasn’t too thrilled with it. I did some touch-up dyeing out of the pot after it cooled, and now I think I want to keep it for me! Perfect for this time of the year because it’s so autumnal!

Speaking of the seasonal changes, I’ve found that near the end of each season, I’m getting more and more anxious for the next to start. It’s not that I want to rush my life away, but now it’s, ‘Hurry up, autumn!’, because I’m more than ready for some cooler weather. (When it’s winter, it’ll be, ‘Hurry up, spring!’)

Our homeschooling started yesterday, and even though I don’t have the curriculum for my teen yet, he is working on some review of last year’s work and I found some online lessons that he will be doing until his new courses arrive. Our little guy is continuing to learn how to read, working on his printing and spelling, and whizzing through math. Yesterday he did two pages (60 problems) of second grade addition and subtraction in less than five minutes! But I’m not bragging! 😉

This evening, Delmarva Knitters is meeting up to knit and have some yummy iced coffee. And good news — we are not a group of two anymore! One new member came out to knit with us last week, and someone else said they’d be stopping by tonight, so we’re looking forward to that. Pixie will be bringing a book on charity knitting with her, and as we’ve been doing this Clapotis knit-along together, we’re considering doing some charity knitting together for this local area. There are people out there in our own neighborhoods who are needy in some way, and I’m thinking of targeting the homeless adults and/or abandoned children. Sadly, I’m not a very fast knitter, and simply because I don’t have the time to sit and knit for hours each day (I’m lucky if I can get in a few rows at the most), but hopefully we’ll be able to work together on something meaningful for someone who may need it. Depending on what we decide on, we may recruit others to help out. I’ll keep you posted.

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