Posts Tagged 'Acid Dyes'

More Yarn Swap Goodness

 You saw my lovely yarny mail last week, and now that my parcel has arrived on the other side of the Tasman, I am able to show you what I sent. But first, a word about swaps.

The yarn swaps that I have been participating in are from within a group on a forum that I belong to. I guess I’ve been a member for about four years now, and in that time I have had the chance to get to know some of the ladies there quite well. Other newbies have come on board, and so when you sign up for a swap, sometimes you draw a virtual stranger, and sometimes it is someone you know quite well. A few years ago, the funniest thing happened – my two very good friends from the forum who both live locally somehow managed to get *each other* and their families for a Christmas swap. Oh my, I just about burst by the time I was asked by one to *deliver* the box of gifts to the other.  Too funny.

Anyway, I was stoked to get the name of an old forum friend who hasn’t been online much lately.  Our big girls were born on the same day, so I have always had a special connection to her. I was delighted to have the chance to send her a parcel, and decided that I wanted it to be something focused on her. With two youngsters, all too often the gifts seem to focus on them. So, hers was a parcel of selfish treats.

 Some chocolately treasts for when the sun goes down. And the yarn – I dyed up 100g of Vintage Purls sock yarn, which dyes so beautifully. I kettle dyed the yarn, first with crimson, and then overdyed it with shades of salmon and indigo in order to come with the colours of a sunset.

This particular swap was all for sock yarn, and it was so much fun to realise so many of my online friends are now sock knitting addicts too. I have to confess that I’ve recieved some rather odd looks in the staffroom at lunchtime on the occasions when I’ve taken my knitting in to work. So, while my co-workers may think I am a little odd, by online friendships reassure me that it’s perfectly normal to feel odd if you don’t have a supply of yarn and a pair of needles close at hand.


Dessert Yarn Swap

What a delicious and delightful evening we had last night! First we had a shared dinner, and then the yarn swap festivities began. Each person got to open their parcel, yarn was fondled around and dyeing techniques discussed.  Then after a quick photo session we lined up the yarn with the dessert that inspired it. And, then the desserts were history. 

It’s supposedly the beginning of summer now.  The last four days have been rain and more rain. The local airport has been closed for three days this week already due to low lying fog. And what has this to do with our swap? Well, the berry season is well underway despite the unseasonal weather, and you could certainly tell this from the desserts and the colours of the yarn. But despite similar inspirations, there were lots of variations on theme within the swap. Here’s a selection from the evening.

This is the parcel I recieved, with 200g of 10 ply yarn, dyed to go with a lovely wee tart willed with marscarpone and topped with stewed red rhubarb.  Beautiful!

And this is the yarn I dyed for my recipient.

You saw the dessert yesterday – I hadn’t realised how much yellow would be in it when it was made up – I focussed on pinks, with a touch of boysenberry and a little brown for the gingernut crumble on the of the parfait. The yarn is 100g of 4 ply Vintage Purls yarn.  My recipient hasn’t knitted socks before but had expressed a desire to do so.  I gifted the glass I made it in, along with three more to make a set, all with lolly parfaits, along with a few other goodies too.

I think you will agree I have some incredibly imaginative friends, and there is some beautiful yarn going to be hitting the needles around these parts sometime soon.

I’m not sure if you all want to see the desserts too? It feels like a massive picture overload for one post, so if you think I should share the delicious goodies, leave a message and I’ll post pics tomorrow 🙂

Blogtober 28th: Kiwiana Yarn Swap

I’m not the only blogger rushing home from the knitting night tonight to post a Blogtoberfest post about our awesome yarn swap. And I’m glad I can post here about our awesome night, as when I came home with my parcel, DH was far more interested in whatever he was doing on his computer than the bag of goodies I bought home with me.  Reason to have a blog #1212??

So, as promised, here are the pictures from our fantastic yarn swap evening. It was such a success we have decided to do it all again in December. We waited until everyone was there and had eaten cheesecake /chocolate /chocolate cake /marble cake (yum!!) and then the fun began.  First to open their parcel was Hannah, whose swapper was Clare.  She had chosen a theme of surfing and made an awesome woven basket from paper taken from surfing magazines.  I’m not sure how she managed to include a swift in her $10 budget (!) but that was also in the parcel.  The lovely yarn she dyed is apparently in a horrible tangle, so this wee bit is just a down payment! Beautiful depth of colours, on a 4ply Vintage Purls base.


The next to open was Angie whose swapper Kate spun and dyed her delicious yarn. The theme was ‘waves’ and she included a kit to make a wave themed nappy, as well as some stunning wee accesories – a brooch, hairclip, and gorgeous hand painted breast pads!!



Then it was Kate’s turn. Her swapper was Kristy, and she had chosen a Pukeko theme – a Pukeko is a native NZ bird.  She dyed up 4ply Merino sock yarn in the colours of the bird and the red of the beak and feet were supplied by the red wrapped chocolate.


Trudi’s yarn was dyed by Angela, who chose a Buzzy Bee theme. I was particularly impressed that she decided to pick up only some of the colours, making a stunning yarn, whereas I had been stumped as to how this could be dyed up. Delicious. And the cute ball shows some of the lovely old fashioned toys that have become part of Kiwiana kitsch.


And then it was my turn! My swap was dyed by Sam, who dyed up 100g of Vintage Purls yarn with food colouring. She chose a Paua theme and made this gorgeous yarn which her darling 2 year old daughter “knitted”, tangling up her skein. Sam’s grandparents spent two hours untangling it. What a labour of love! I also got an assortment of wee gifts – a gorgeous wee brag book that she hand made, and a big glass container filled with everything we need to make a paua themed Rocky Road treat.  Mmmm. I think that I need to take a better picture in the natural light tomorrow to show the subtle nuances of colour in this though – the picture does it no justice.


And speaking of Rocky Road, Trudi chose it as  theme for her swap with Sam.  The colours are stunning.  Love the wee stitch markers too – Trudi said her partner made them 🙂


Then it was time for Lizzie to open the parcel I’d prepared.  I had chosen the Pukeko as my theme too – and it is interesting how different the yarn I dyed was from Kristy’s interpretation.  I wanted to show the colours that the typical portrayal of the bird has – it actual fact the feathers are far darker, almost black, as you can see in the card I included.  I made  a WIP bag, and found some Pukeko themed goodies at a tourist shop to round out the parcel.



I kettle dyed 100g of Patonyle sock yarn with acid dyes – just two colours, National Blue and Crimson. 

Kristy’s parcel was intriguingly wrapped in brown paper with a pie bag on it. It turns out Hannah had chosen a ‘mince pie and tomato sauce’ theme.  The yarn is a delightful mix of reds, browns and light brown for pastry, on 100g of Vintage Purls sock yarn.  There are some clever wee goodies to round of the package too – cute wee hairclips, a cute handmade felt ‘pie’ and some Tomato Sauce flavoured chips. Oh, and note the ‘tomato’ sauce container too 🙂


Last parcel of the night was for Clare, from Lizzie. Good old kiwi classic “jandals”, and Lizzie had bought a pair, and presented them in a shoe box, nestled between them were two lovely yarns, both 4 ply.  We all had a good giggle over the patterns for socks and footsies to go with them.


Each parcel had accompanying patterns and some had lovely written explanations to go with them. There were recipes in some, and a few goodies that escaped my camera too – apologies.

What a fantastic night we all had! It was every bit as much fun to swap in person as I thought it would be. Can’t wait until next time.


And, for the readers who are disappointed they couldn’t be there, left drooling hopelessly over parcels, watch this space for a giveaway where one lucky reader will get their own slice of Kiwiana goodness.

Little Monkeys

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After my post the other day about popular sock patterns, I came across a cute variation of Cookie A’s popular sock pattern, Monkey.  Instead of the regular 64 stitch pattern, I found this post on Ravelry where she posted a chart for a 12 stitch repeat, meaning a 48 stitch sock. Perfect for my little monkey.

I cast on 48 stitches and did k1p1 ribbing (instead of twisted rib, which I often have to work myself up to do),  for 8 rows. Then I worked 3 repeats of the pattern, before coming to the heel. What to do? I worked the heel flap and gusset as per my toddler sock pattern, allowing two more rows and two more stitches (as my pattern is 44 stitches).   Because it had more stitches than a pattern that already fit her well, I decreased to 22 stitches on the bottom of the foot and when I did toe decreases worked one extra set on the top of the foot. The toe decreases I worked every row as I was knitting the foot while Miss 3 was asleep and it was nearly too long. I decreased to 20 stitches and then grafted the toe. The end result is a good fit, somewhat roomy around the leg, as you can see by the baggy ankles but it stays on fine and is ultra cute.

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The yarn is some hand dyed Patonyle sock yarn which I dyed back in about April. Miss 3 loved it then, and she is delighted to finally have some socks from it!  It’s a semi solid with just small variations in colour, but it has knit up really sweetly, and I am really pleased with it.

And the pattern? I can see why Monkey is popular. Mostly when you hear me whinge on about the difficulties of lace knitting, it’s because it’s not intuitive. This pattern is. After reading the chart for half of the first repeat, that was it. No more pattern reading. Gotta love that! The original chart is an 11 row repeat.  This version is 9 rows, but freed from pattern reading, it’s a real pleasure to knit. And would I knit it again? Sure! I can see more monkeys, big and little, coming to join our sock family. And in fact, there is even a pattern adaptation on Raverly for micro-mini Monkeys.  So even Miss 1 might get a pair of teeny hand knit socks.

And speaking about monkeys, my wee monkeys have been keeping busy in the last wee while. I thought you might like to see some of what they have been crafting themselves.

Miss 3 “made” this bus for her “mannies” (aka Little People)

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And on Friday we played hookie from playgroup (too wet) and stayed home instead. Miss 1 enjoyed putting the pencils in and out of the container, while Miss 3 enjoyed some colouring, rubbing out, cutting, glueing and glitter. These were taken before all the messy fun – ‘cuse their slightly bohemian appearance – they are going thru a bead phase. Although note , Aunty D, the star set – she loves it so much she sleeps in it 🙂 Thanks!Picture 3020small

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And, if you ever needed proof playing dress up is exhausting…

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This time last week

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I was getting prepared to go to my friend Kate’s for a dyeing night. We had such a super time! A bunch of us enjoyed a curry first (and then Hannah’s delicious crumble), and then headed in to Kate’s kitchen for some dyeing fun.  For a number of my friends it was their first attempt at dyeing yarn and they tried out a range of techniques – hand painting with food colouring, dip dyeing with food colouring, and hand painting with acid dyes.  I was the sole person doing kettle dyeing.   Also, as a study in contrasts, I did up a second skein the next day with the exact same colours but dip dyed, to show the differences.

I finally wound my attempts today, so you can enjoy some pics.

First up is some 4 ply that was white to begin with. I wanted a semisolid red, without being pink. I wasn’t overly happy with the amount of variegation I achieved, and the picture doesn’t really show any variegation at all, but there is a little.

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Next came two on the same base. You might recall my comment that I had no more yarn to dye. I had a choice – stay with my pledge not to buy, or break it.  I dug deeper in the stash and sacrificed some yarn I didn’t love. An unlabelled DK weight yarn that a friend picked up for me at a mill sale, I have 500g of it. So, each  of these skeins is 100g.  I’m not sure of the yardage, but it looks generous. I had started knitting it up, in fact I’ve got a nearly finished sleeve for a me-sized sweater… but needs must!

Anyway – this is the kettle dyed version.

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And this was dip dyed, with a touch of black painted on the bits where the colours meet.

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Much cuter than the plain sage I started with 🙂


And here’s a link to more pics of the night.

So, who are these crafty friends of mine? They are an awesome bunch of ladies that I met through The Nappy Network. We are now getting together pretty much every Tuesday night for knitting nights, travelling around from house to house. Not all of them are bloggers, but you can check out some cool sites here from Hannah, Nyree, Kate and Sam. We are a mixed bunch from experienced knitters through to complete newbies.  It has been awesome to see fellow knitters come ahead in leaps and bounds, to see delicious  projects and beautiful yarns.  They seem to be averaging one yarn co-op a week at the moment but I’ve been standing strong 😉  I’ve got some great ideas about what to buy when the time comes though!

Dyeing Experiments

Sometimes when I spend too much time online I end up idly looking though things that I normally wouldn’t. And perhaps shouldn’t. Especially when I’m on a yarn buying ban.

However, the last lot of idle browsing I did was on some Ravelry groups.  I love the enormous variety of groups on Ravelry, it seems like there is a group for everyone, and if there’s not, you can just go ahead and make one 🙂 The groups I was browsing were dyeing groups:  Love to Dye and Colour by Hand (yes, the correct  British spelling of colour was used in the group’s name!) Awesome groups, totally gorgeous project pics, and heaps of interesting ideas for dyeing.

But you can totally see where this is headed though, eh! The dyepot!

What I wanted to play around with was some new techniques for dyeing semisolid colours. I have used a few techniques with success already, but am always keen to try some other methods.

The first yarn I chose was some 5ply yarn Mum donated to me earlier this year. It’s  100% wool and I had about 110g of it. I skeined it up and instead of soaking it put it straight into the dyepot with some vinegar. Because soaking opens up the fibres, thus speeding up dyeing and absorption, and I wanted to slow it down, it seemed  like a good idea. And it worked a treat.

I mixed up some dye – National Blue colour acid dye, and put some already diluted into water to dilute it even further. Then I poured some directly onto some of the yarn (lifting it up out of the water) in several places, and put the rest into the dyepot. Once that was clear I had already a very light semisolid blue. I added more dye to the dilute mixture and poured more dye over the yarn in more spots. I repeated this twice more, making the dye more concentrated each time. Once the water was clear I cooled the yarn down, rinsed and dried it. And this is what it looks like reskeined.

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I am really impressed with this – I love the variety of intensities of blue, and this technique was waaaaay less messy than painting the dye on to the yarn and then kettle dyeing it.

So, of course I had to try with more yarn! And more colours…

The only things I varied this second time was that I used three different colours: a purple, salmon and boysenberry. I used two different strengths of purple first, and then the other two colours. It’s a shame I only have 50g of this 8 ply yarn, as I am not sure what I will make with it.

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The other shame is that I don’t have much undyed yarn left to experiment on. This has really whetted my appetite for dyeing, but alas I have to be good!

Something Matching

I have accepted the inevitable. If I knit something for Miss 1, Miss almost 3 will want that same thing for herself. So, I had been planning a Rainbow Dress for Miss 1 for some time, having dyed up some yarn 6 or so weeks ago for it.  A size 1 dress knits up so fast and after just a couple of days on knitting I had finished a cute wee dress for her.

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Just one problem. When I dyed the yarn I had a few issues – the green I initially used did not dye up well, and the replacement green I used didn’t grab me. I thought knitting it up might fix it, but I wasn’t convinced. So, I test dyed a strand and decided that the answer would be to redye the finished dress.

From this…

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to this…

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I was much happier with the finished result after dyeing, and I think it looks really cute on too. Pity the best shot I managed to get was of little miss acting like a carpet slug though.

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I made a number of pattern modifications to this wee dress. Instead of casting on for the Rainbow Dress, the garter stitch section is actually from the Milo vest, which I think sits better on the shoulders. I had to play with the numbers a little once I finished this section, I had an extra 4 stitches over the recommended number, so not too many at all. I increased every sixth row instead of fifth row, although now I see it on her, I think the extra flare might have been better. I also did a lace section on the bottom of the dress, just for something a bit different. The yarn was Charity 8ply, a cheap as chips machine washable 100% wool that our local yarn shop Knitworld has been stocking this year in an effort to make 100% wool accessible to charity knitters instead of nasty acrylic.

After the speedy size 1, a size 3 seemed to take much longer, plus Miss Almost 3 was agitating to have her dress completed. I  knit this from Wool Company Merlot (bodice and hem) and Orchard for the skirt. Orchard is no longer being made, and this is the last of my stash. The girls have a wee Anouk dress, Boheme cardigan, soaker and legwarmers from it already so I think I have had my fill of this colourway now anyway.

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I made almost exactly the same mods to this dress, except in a size 3. I did a garter stitch hem, making it nice and long to stop it from curling up.

Now, I had visions of having a cute picture of the girls wearing these together. I didn’t even manage a nice photo off Miss almost 3 in hers, let alone a shot of them together. Endless rain has meant no outdoor photo shoot, so excuse the telly-in-the-background shot.

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I adore this on her, it fits beautifullly, and even a complete stranger stopped us in the street to admire it. Gotta love appreciation!

February 2019
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