Sunday, 25 January 2009

Dyeing to knit socks!

Well, I have taken a lot of photos today of these yarns - in the light, out of direct daylight, in the kitchen and the bedroom and still I can't seem to capture the true depth and richness of these yarns. I know my camera is capable of the quality I'm looking for so that leaves just me and the poor light:-)

Anyway, the first is a rich mixture of bright oranges with some burnt orangey brown tints. This one was my second attempt at purer tones once I got the knack of steaming the yarn for long enough and remembering to turn it to get all sides fixed before washing the dye out.

This more subtle yarn was the result of my first attempt, not steaming long enough and realising most of the dye was washing out. So I had to redye and as a result of overdyeing the initial colours, I got more muted browns and red tones as well as some deeper orange tints. I really like this one.

I particularly like the fact it makes it look like I mixed up and painted all those subtle variations:-) This yarn is quite dense in the chunky parts of the slub yarn and absorbed a lot of dye. It also took a long time to paint the individual areas of graduating colour. But I think it was worth it and it'll be very interesting to see what my mum makes out of these.

The supersock yarn was completely different to paint and a lot quicker. The same oranges and plums look cleaner and brighter although they are exactly the same mix. For some reason, I had it in my head - never having knitted socks up til now - that when people talked of sock yarn it was about 4ply or sport weight and would knit up on 3.5mm or around there. So when I ordered sock yarn, this is what I expected to receive. The sad thing is I didn't even notice when it arrived, I've only just noticed after dyeing when trying to knit up a sample to check my gauge. No wonder it takes people a long time to knit socks on 2 - 2.5 mm needles!!

But there is something precise and satisfying about such a small, neat stitch. And the socks won't look that chunky hand knit way which could be offputting for some recipients, maybe.

Thinking on this I've just checked out my sock yarn I bought from Yarn dyenasty last year and it is sport/dk in weight. So maybe that was where I got it from. So you can get it all different weights. I'll just have to be careful what I order next time round! Sock knitters out there, what do you prefer to knit with? Is the trend thinner or sport weight yarns for socks? There are a lot of fine guage patterns on Knitty but it would be interesting to hear what you prefer.

I've started this plum/green yarn as a gauge swatch and it is still vibrant and yummy looking. Although it won't knit up in the sample proportions, it will still be nice, I think. I have a feeling that my stripes may have to be a bit more generous next time if I want a good stripey effect. This may be a been broken up. But I'll have to wait and see.

Of course, I have lots to do tomorrow first before I can indulge in knitting this up in a sock - sigh. Real life stuff like phone calls, chasing people up, the ever present DIY and I still haven't found a car I want to part with my money for.

The sock yarns do look nice in the ball but those photos and the photo of the gauge swatch will have to wait till tomorrow and decent light. And the time needed to edit the dodgy photos in photoshop:-) Maybe I'll have a new sock started this time tomorrow. Time to start thinking of a name.....

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Hello and thanks for stopping by. Do stay a while and visit. Please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you and be inspired by all your blogs out there too:-) elaine xx


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