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Archive for the ‘dyeing’ 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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This morning I received one fantastic package from my Ravelry Caffeine Swap pal!

Ravelry Caffeine Swap stuff

A bag of Humboldt Bay Organic Blast-Off! coffee beans, a California Espresso Chocolate candy bar, a very cool heavy duty coffee mug made in Mexico, and FOUR skeins of Knit Picks Bare superwash worsted for me to dye! Hooray! I am BACK in BUSINESS!!! I wonder if my pal knew I just dyed my last batch? If you could only see the huge grin on my face… at least two of those will be dyed today, but they’ll be for me and not the shop!

Here’s a better shot of the coffee and mug (which I will be using tomorrow morning for certain!):

Ravelry Caffeine Swap stuff

Thanks so much, my anonymous spoiler! Please let me know what your favorite colors are, if you read this. I would like to dye two of them in your favorite colors to remind me of your thoughtfulness.

This Ravelry swap has been great fun; I found some great items for Vera, and my pal found some great stuff for me! A thought has occurred to me, though… it’s great fun spoiling strangers and being spoiled by other strangers who share common interests, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if more of us would turn that activity inward and spoil the people who mean the most to us? To do it for no apparent reason and not expect anything in return, but that you just want to bring them joy and make them smile? I believe that’s called a random act of kindness (RAOK), and I believe I want to do something like that today!

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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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