Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Yarn dyeing adventures

Who knew that you could use up 750 grams of salt in a single yarn dyeing afternoon, come out with only two colours and have to stop yourself there because you've run out of salt?

Right. (I bought more salt and stored it with the dyes this time. Needless to say I haven't gotten around to dyeing any more yarn just yet...)

So I had myself a bit of a yarn dyeing adventure.

I had bought three skeins of Colinette Jitterbug in Colourway Frangipani off ebay or somewhere like that.  I don't know if someone didn't like their purchase any more and needed to sell them on or what, but they were cheaper and I couldn't resist.  Even though I thoroughly disliked the colours.

Here is what it looked like before:

The light wasn't very good
This one is better but doesn't catch the colours as well

Throw into some Dylon Flamingo Pink, and the result is this:

Gorgeous, isn't it?  I really love those colours.  I expected the green bits to turn brown and perhaps only the very light areas to be these lighter shades of pink but the result is better than I thought. I am glad I tried this.

I have plans for this yarn! Plans, I tell you, promising plans! (to be revealed at another time)

Seeing as I was dyeing 300 grams with two sachets that are good for 500 grams, I also chucked an undyed skein in, and this it here:

This is my favourite colour so I am extremely pleased that I added this yarn. I don't remember where I got this sock yarn from, it may have been from Violet Green (the url is now or from Ally Pally, a few years back.

~ ~ ~

The one skein I tried first and that I had lots more problems with, turned out like this at first:

I used Dylon Powder Pink and it didn't take very well. It looks like the yarn is blushing!  This shade is much too insipid for me.

I think it is because the undyed yarn was too yellowy.  If I had used this dye on white cotton, the result is likely to have been much different and better.

So what to do?

If in doubt, chuck more dye at it.  And boy, did I do that!

I used the Dylon Intense Violet on the still wet skein and quickly saw that the colour while still wet was too light for my taste (and colours are bound to get lighter when they dry).  Much more an Iris violet than the colour I was aiming for.  I also don't like Iris so I ramaged through my dye sachets.

Knowing that I had bought way too many colours way too long ago and not done anything with them so far, I felt that it didn't much matter how many dye sachets I was using up.  Using them up at all is a good thing!

I was dithering between the navy blue and the mid blue that Dylon do.  I was leaning towards the darker colour but was worried that this would render the purple rather dull.  Which would have been extremely discouraging where future dyeing is concerned (I didn't think I'd do more that same afternoon).  So the mid blue it was:  another sachet of Dylon's Ocean Blue. I chucked this in with the Violet after ten minutes and then left the whole thing an additional ten minutes to do its thing.

And I must say I am happy with this colour - I can definitely live with it:

This is still a bit more 'Iris' in shade than I had hoped but darker than my first attempt with the Intense Violet on its own.

One day I will also try dyes from another firm to see how their shades compare.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Finally using this lace yarn

I am finally using this Fyberspates Scrumptious lace yarn in slate grey*:

And I am making this:

I am so happy I am using up a yarn that has long lived in my stash, always waiting for the 'perfect' project and never getting used.

Now I am using it and it knits wonderfully well.  I am so pleased I am finally giving this a go.

The pattern is a Niebling pattern from the orange Kunstrick-Decken book.

PS *: Except that this colour is not the Slate Grey colourway but their shade called 504 Water.  It even says so on the label, as clear as day...

PS2: The shawl is coming along very nicely!

Friday, 26 February 2016

Ghastly fitting issues

Argh!  Sometimes fitting issues can really drive you round the bend, utterly, stark raving bonkers mad!

Why won't this body block fit better on me?  How comes I keep changing the slope of the shoulder when they clearly don't fit well, and the change is even more wrong than before?

Ah!  There is an answer in store.

Here's a photo, of me in a jumper I knitted:

I saw this and thought to myself: oh, rounded upper back...

Did that sink in?  Did that mean anything to me?  Did that lead me to any kind of 'Oh my gosh, that's it!' insight?

No, of course not.

It should have done.

I have a lovely body block drawn to my very own measurements.  There are small darts at about the mid shoulder in the back piece.  To my utter shame I have to admit that I kept looking at that itty bitty tiny little dart and decided: oh, I don't need that!

And off it went. Suppressed, removed from each and every single pattern I draw from this body block and unfortunately also suppressed from my consciousness.


It really ought to have told me something when changing the slope of the shoulder just doesn't produce the desired result (because it takes from both back and front, probably in equal measure).  A dart starting at the middle of the back shoulder and going down sits at 90 degrees angle to that alteration - of course it's going to produce a different outome!

Duh. Now why didn't I think of this earlier?  This whole threedimensionality business that bodies are subject to seems to be a really complicated affair.

There really is nothing better than having a friend take lots of photos of you in the offending garment: from the front, from the back, about three snapshots from the side: the side of a garment can sometimes not be clearly seen with the arm hanging down (1), so arm forward (2) gives a different view than arm back (3). So that's five pics.

You might want some more detailed shots that are closer up.

Pinching excessive fabric out and photographing the before and after can also be very helpful.

Get yourself those photos (making sure the lighting is suitable), study them!  And think about where the fitting issues might come from.  Some of the time my first inclination (change the shoulder slope) only serves to complicate the issue because it tries to solve a problem that wasn't there (like sloping shoulders. I hope we can agree that my shoulders do not slope to a pronounced extent?).

I would love to hear about insights you might have had that turned out really useful. Has something like this happened to you?  At least hard-won insights do tend to stick around longer, that's an advantage!