Adventures in Sock Knitting
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Posts Tagged ‘dyeing’

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Running In Circles

This blog has been rather neglected of late while I’ve been doing a lot of secret knitting. A few things (gifts) have recently become un-secret, so I’ll show them soon. But first I have something else to share.

I spent a good part of tonight pacing back and forth across my living room and down the hallway. Why?

Drying striping yarn

Over the weekend I attended a dyeing class for striping sock yarn with my friend Stephania of Three Fates Yarns. I’ve actually dyed stripey yarn before, way back in 2006 I did a stripey yarn dyeing class with Dani of Sunshine Yarns which for some strange reason didn’t make it to the blog. Anyway…

In case you didn’t know, dyeing self-striping yarns is lots of work. You have to re-skein the blank yarn into extremely long skeins – this weekend ours ranged from 30-45 feet around – in order to get long enough sections to form a stripe. I always remember this when I see people complaining about the price of hand dyed self-striping yarn. They probably don’t realize how much work goes into it!

After running in circles around Stephania’s basement, we put on the dye. I dyed three skeins – two and three color striped skeins with equal stripes, a three color that has long blue/short grey/long purple/short grey, and dyed half of an existing skein of yarn black to make it into a striping skein. Then we rinsed the yarn and hung it to dry.

Since I had to bring mine back home, it’s been hanging from the backs of two chairs across my living room and down the hallway since Sunday night.

Tonight it was really and truly dry (yes, Seattle is a fairly moist climate) so I wound it up. This required running in circles once again, this time with my ball winder. But the end result is lovely!


I have decided yet if I’m going to reskein it or not. Now that it’s all wound it balls it seems kind of silly, but if I’m going to be storing it a while, it might not be a bad idea.


Sock Camp Part II… and more!

The third day of sock camp, I had a class in with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (that would be the Yarn Harlot) on lever knitting. It is much more charming when said with a Canadian accent. 😉 I was very excited to learn this because, as a more-or-less “continental” knitter, purling is a pain. I am actually quite happy with my speed when knitting stockinette in the round, or even garter stitch, though I rarely knit flat. But ribbing is practically the bane of my existence.

Well here is my very first lever knitting swatch, I started out with garter stitch and moved to a 3×3 rib.


We were told that we were basically going back to our knitting infancy, and would probably (temporarily) have the same problems as we did when we were new knitters. Though I picked up the technique pretty quickly, I was indeed a very very tight knitter all over again. But I picked up a set of long straights to practice with.

That afternoon we had a group scavenger hunt which proved to be a lot of fun and a lot of work! Here are a few of the photos we needed to obtain…

Our group, doing a yoga pose:


A glass with the bottom covered in rainwater (we brought our actual rainwater) and a photo of a team member collecting it:


A very brave team member mouth-siphoned it out of a puddle with a straw. And look at her gorgeous sweater! Of course, later on it started pouring.

And our entire team in a (my!) bathtub:


This is what sock camp is like. We are all nuts. It’s great fun, but you have to be prepared.

Friday morning we had our last class, with Cat Bordhi. She taught us a new and top secret sock architecture which I can’t share, but here’s a picture of my skeined up dyed yarn from the first day. I used it to start the sock in her class.


Friday we had our last dinner and shared our homework. The assignment was to knit a crab or other sea creature, and I knit a nudibranch. Oh, and apparently a lot of them (including the ones pictured at the link) are toxic. I’m not sure if that’s true of the ones native to Puget Sound, but since some have bright orange ruffles it probably is. Here’s my little guy:


My goal this year was not to get attached to my homework, since in past years we’ve given them away, but this year we got to keep our own. Although mine was small and didn’t take too long to knit, it turned out really cute but it was a pain to make the ruffle! I was going to write up the pattern, but I don’t know if anyone else would really want to go through the hassle.

This morning we had breakfast and then headed home. I was sad to leave, but I really needed a nap! Sock camp is so amazing and educational, but also exhausting. This is most of the knitting I got done there:


I started the heel flap on my Snarfy-twin socks on the ferry home. And when I got home I found Wendy’s new sock book, Socks from the Toe Up, which I won in her blog contest. I looked through it and it’s awesome! Plus, it came signed.


I’ll definitely be sockin’ on.

Listening to: Muzzle ~ Smashing Pumpkins, End of the Beginning ~ 30 Seconds To Mars

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Sock Camp – Part I!

The first two (well, 2 1/2) days of sock camp have been fabulous!

I left home Monday morning, and caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island with a bunch of other sock campers to descend on Churchmouse Yarns. I didn’t make it there on the yarn crawl last year, so I’m glad I got the chance this time. Of course, I left my camera in the car and didn’t take any pictures. I’m sure some other ones will turn up, though. We had a lovely lunch at Nola and got ice cream at Mora, then we headed to camp.

Port Ludlow is gorgeous and I’m really enjoying it here. Monday night was just opening ceremonies, but yesterday we started the *real* sock camp.

My group’s first class was dyeing with Tina! First we talked about our color homework, and then we were instructed to dye two skeins – one with our “comfort zone” colors, and one that was a little more scary.


That’s my less comfortable skein before being smooshed. The smooshing was actually very different for me. I’ve dyed quite a few times before, but I’ve usually tried to keep the different colors separate. Tina’s dyeing philosophy involves blending colors together.

Then we learned we actually got a third skein, after we went on a little walk. Since both of my first two skeins were pretty saturated, I decided to do something a little lighter for my third. I used some gunmetal grey and poured it in zigzags over my skein, smooshed it around, and then put green in the middle and blue on the ends and smooshed some more. Sadly it seemed to be missing something, so I asked Tina and got opinions from the class. With a little prodding I added some magenta and it turned out lovely!


And some smooshing action…


Then we had lunch and crafts, where we made this lovely no-sew crab project bag.


Then it was afternoon free time and our yarn was drying.


The bottom left is my “comfortable” skein.

In the evening we had antics and my team won Jeopardy. This is us posing with our “trophy” – chocolate covered peanuts called Crab Poop.


Today I had a very informative class with JC Briar about bind-offs, but I didn’t take any pictures. I also started an iPhone sock and made some stitch markers at crafts, and we watched a crazy movie – The Lady From Sockholm. I love camp!

Listening to: My Gift of Silence ~ Blackfield, Criminals, Katatonia


My friends are awesome!

Happy Friday the 13th! I actually like Friday the 13th, it’s usually a pretty good day for me and so far this one has been too.

Yesterday I headed over to Stephania‘s house for some dyeing. Here are the results (with a bit of sock laundry too):


The yellow is a semi-solid wool/nylon I dyed in the crock pot for a design I’ve been thinking of. The turquoise is on her wool/bamboo base, and was also dyed in the crock pot. It turned out much more variegated, though.

The two flats were a cute idea I had… I’ve been wanting to get some blank flats and paint a star on one – I’m not dumb, I know it won’t come out as a star on the socks, but it’s like… stealth stars! So when we went to the Superbowl Sale at The Purl District and I saw that Flat Feet was 50% off, I decided I’d go ahead and pick some up. The light blue flat was a semi-solid that I thought would work well for painting on, and the darker blue one was just such a nice color.

I always think it’s strange when I see Flat Feet with vertical stripes because that’s going to come out just like if you dyed it in a skein – what’s the point of doing it in a flat? So I doctored up the dark one by painting some horizontal stripes – they’re not really going to show up over the darker yarn, but there will be stripes of different colors in the lighter sections. I think it will be a cool effect.

For the lighter flat we printed out a star and cut it out, and I painted around / over the paper. Then I spattered the flat with the same blue so that it wouldn’t be only confined to the star area – I think it will add some interest. :) Both of the flats only show half – the other side is painted to match.

Then today I got a package from my most amazing friend Cathy:


Before I left Boston, I lent her a book, a project bag, and gave her some yarn one day when she was at my house with nothing to knit. Perhaps because of that – though I don’t quite remember – she said she’d knit me a pair of Conwy socks. I have a shorter pair that I knit, but I *hated* knitting the pattern. I love the resulting socks, though. She likes knitting the pattern so I gave her a skein of my JKnits and she made me those Conwy socks.

I got the package today returning my stuff, sending me the above socks, and with a bonus yarny gift – Aussi Sock which she said I hadn’t tried yet and it was my colors. Right on both counts!

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Dyeing Young

Thursday night I headed over to Catherine‘s house to dye yarn. And Cassandra, Alexis, and Amanda were there too. Amanda took this picture of the rest of us crammed in the kitchen.

At a lull in the dyeing we went to Emack and Bolio’s for ice cream. The nice guy who worked there (he was dealing with six of us standing in the tiny store) asked us what we were doing and Amanda answered “Dyeing yarn.” He looked at her very strangely – apparently he thought she said “dying young”! Of course we joked about that for the rest of the night.

We returned and watched some CSI while our yarn steamed and hung to dry:

Mine is the darker blue hanging in the back – a semi-solid slated for the Clessidra socks.


A finished pair..,

I finished some socks!

Pattern: Mad-Tini from Sock Madness
Yarn: Kona Superwash dyed by me with acid dyes
Started: 3/22/07
Finished: 3/27/07

Well, here they are – finished and with modified toe shaping. :) I don’t like this yarn quite as much as the fingering weight skein I used for these socks, but this pair is nice as well. I have more yarn I’ve dyed where that came from, too!

Also, the comment on the last post about writing a manifesto cracks me up. See, my friend’s boyfriend’s roommate spends all his time in the bathroom, and I always say he must be writing his manifesto in there. :) I’ll think about it. I’ll have to decide what I want to manifest first.

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