Friday, 10 August 2012

Graduating colours

Creative day 7!

Today, I decided to play with colour again but using dyes. There are several different ideas I've been meaning to try out but hadn't got around to so with such a lovely sunny day, I thought it would be perfect drying weather :)

One thing I hadn't got around to much when I was dyeing sock yarns was graduating colour - the ones where the whole ball goes from light to dark in long runs of colour. These yarns work especially well for longer lace shawl patterns and parasols without colour repeats too. I've seen several methods of doing this so I thought I'd try them out.

First of all though, I had a play with mixing colours on the skein. These colour bands are quite close together so will knit up more of a zigzag yarn with short runs of colours. What I love about experimental yarns is that the quick changes and blends give you ideas for other yarns - like using a viewfinder to focus on new compositions. I like the soft ochres, aquas and purple/blues down at the bottom right of the skein especially.

And the burnt ochres and greens in this one. The pinks didn't photograph well I'm afraid whatever light I tried. It was just too bright - I shouldn't complain!! But there were more burnt reds with hints of lavendar fushia pink.

In the other mini samples, I was experimenting more with technique. They all look similar as an end result but each one used a different method of graduating the colour. I learned a lot today, so I can make lots more progress tomorrow on the back of today's experiments.

mini spriral of graduating colour

One of the graduating yarns experiments. Once I unravel this fully, it will be interesting to see how the colours look and knit up. Imagine this as a whole 100gm ball of yarn. Rather subtle colour scheme for me isn't it? :) Don't worry I managed to squeeze in a dayglow rainbow one too just for contrast!

So part way done with these. The technique has been tested, now the results need to be knitted up to see if they look good. They're only short lengths so that shouldn't take long. That's my weekend sorted I think.

Have a good weekend and see you all soon!


  1. Love this! Which sock yarns are you using? I've been trying to find the right type for me, just got a batch of Zitron Trekking, but I find it a bit scratchy. My skin no like....

    1. This sock yarn is an undyed fingering weight called Footscray - 75% superwash wool/25% nylon. It's quite a tightly spun yarn and takes the dye easily. It also doesn't felt with that little bit of nylon there!

      I got a wholesale order of it from Yarn Workshop for my Etsy yarn shop a few years ago. I don't think they are still accepting international orders though (they're in Australia) - I'll have to check. I've not been selling yarns recently due to poor health so I've not found an alternative in the UK for me as yet.

      I don't find the superwash scratchy on the skin at all. I've only knitted with Zitron Trekking hand art yarn and found that soft enough on the skin, maybe a bit woolier looking than this one though. I do know what you mean about wool irritating the skin!!

      I hope this helps in some way. I notice from your blog you are a fellow dyer:) I'd forgotten just how much pleasure experimenting and playing with colour gives me. These are all acid dyes - haven't got around to working with naturals yet.... on my to-do list:)


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