The weather has been getting colder and that more than anything really puts me in a mood for knitting! When the house is freezing and you need to go find socks to discourage your toes from turning blue. That is my favourite weather, right there! I love putting on layers and being able to wear the things I’ve knitted. It really sucks to knit something that you’re really proud of and not be able to wear it.
I’ve had a few dyeing adventures in the past couple weeks. If you’re following my on instagram you will have seen the gradient I dyed!! I am going to start knitting it up to see how it turned out, right after I finish the Halloween socks I’ve been working on.
I know! I am a terrible tease to post them in black and white, but they are going to be at the Vancouver show Knit City. I am planning on taking them to Creativ Festival and Woodstock Fleece and Fibre Festival as well so don’t worry if you aren’t going to make it all the way out to BC.
That being said we are leaving for Vancouver in one week. It kind of snuck up on me. We’ve been planning this trip since March so it always seemed so far in the future. There were always other things to be concentrating on as well; writing magazine articles, blogging, preparing for the K/W show. All of the sudden we’re down to a single digit count down! I may or may not be panicking a little bit. I’ve got all the yarn in order, but no clothes or anything packed. I know you look at me like, ‘ummm, you still have a week.’ I am very Type A and have to start packing like NOW. Anytime I think of something I need to pack, I go and put it in the suitcase.
I kid you not. I started making a list just now and it significantly brought down my anxiety levels. I’ve got lots of advice for places to eat and things to do! I think I may have to go again next year to actually do all of it! I’ve heard Vancouver is beautiful and I have the instinctual feeling I won’t want to leave. Really excited! Has anyone ever been? I am always looking for suggestions for places to eat!!
At Knit City we will be in booth 14, I always look forward to meeting new people so if you’re going to that show be sure to stop by and say hi!! I was looking over the floor plan and there are a lot of people there I have been dying to meet! I am going to have to escape from the booth at some point and wander around. I’ve been looking up some of the vendors I’ve never heard of and it’s looking like it is going to be GREAT!
Super excited, but I really need to go throw a couple things into a suitcase before I have a total breakdown!
Now we get to the part where people are curious! How does your gauge affect the colours you are knitting with? Terms like ‘pooling’ will no longer hold fear for you here!!
When I went to Vogue Knitting Live in New York, one of the classes I took focused on using dip dyed yarn to make a pattern. There was no switching of yarns or anything, just math. This technique makes the yarn pool in a pattern. The best example I have of this is the snuggle sack I made my nephew when he was born.
The yarn was variegated within itself and my gauge just happened to be the magic number to make this pattern appear. I didn’t do it on purpose and when someone asked me how they could replicate it, I wasn’t able to answer their question. Another one that happened more recently was this pair of Paul’s socks.
They look striped, but that is just the gauge I hit. When I started the second sock, it wasn’t pooling the same; it turns out I had cast on a different number of stitches. Those two socks looked very different and that is what clued me in to my mistake!
Sometimes this isn’t always a mistake though. If you’re knitting a sweater and the body is 200 stitches, your sleeves are only going to be 40 stitches (these are rough ball parks, not in reference to a specific pattern). This means the body will look radically different from the sleeves.
This swatch has a different amounts of stitches from the sock above, but it is the same yarn. If you’re counting on the yarn to pool the same, you’re going to have to do some fancy math. In this instance, what I would do is to attach two balls of yarn to the body of the sweater and alternate balls every two rows. This will allow the pattern to be truly random and if you do the same on the sleeves, the colours should be mixed up enough that you won’t be able to notice a difference.
There are much easier ways to get around this. If you’re using a variegated yarn, you can always pair it with a solid colour. The solid colour will break up any unfortunate pooling. I bought some yarn online once; I thought it was mostly blue with a little bit of variegated colour in it. When I ended up getting it, the yarn was completely variegated. I got a sweater’s worth of the yarn and if I made a regular stockinette stitch sweater, it would have looked like a rainbow threw up on me. Needless to say, I have thought long and hard about what I am going to do with this sweater. I am going to make it a pattern of variegated with a solid. Now I just need the time to get around to doing it!
Today we’re going to talk about long colour shifts! These ones are by far my favourites, but you really have to watch what you’re doing if you’re trying to get clever with them. I’ve seen photos of people do sweaters with a long colour shift. It totally blows my mind when I think about how they got the sleeves to match.
This beautiful example above is a pattern designed by Nataliya Galifianakis and is available at her Ravelry store Neuroknits. This particular pattern gets a gradient effect by holding several strands of yarn together, so it isn’t the perfect example for a post about long colour shift yarn. It is a lovely pattern with a stunning finished object that really accentuates why it would be to difficult to knit a sweater with a long colour shift yarn.
Take this sock for example. The yarn was dyed this way (by KnitCircus), all I had to do was knit in my K3P1 pattern; the yarn did all my work for me. That sock is 64 stitches around, if I were knitting the sleeves of a sweater it would generally look very similar. For the sake of argument lets say the sleeves are done and look like this 64 stitch sock. When I start on the body of 250 stitches, those stripes are going to progress a lot more rapidly and not match the sleeves. I’m going to go over this problem in more depth in the next couple of weeks and give possible solutions, but here are some ideal projects for colour shift yarn.
Socks are probably one of the most common. They are small and both socks usually have the same measurements. Indie dyers are doing gradient sock yarns that fade from lighter to darker or another colour completely!
Scarves! This is an entrelac scarf made with Noro yarn. Noro is a longer colour shift than regular variegated yarn, but it is not the gradient like the sock above. The small squares in the entrelac were just big enough to make it look like there was a different colour for each square.
Shawls are also an excellent candidate for long colour shifts and gradients. As the colour sweeps along the contours of the wrap it gives an elegant grace to any pattern.
Colourwork! Doing a long colour shift yarn through a yoke sweater like this, or a philosopher’s sweater, gives a really interesting effect. The same thing can be achieved using several different balls in different colours, but who wants to buy an entire skein of yarn for the sake of 10 yards? A long colour shift gives a similar effect and you’re only increasing your stash by one.
What was the proudest colour shift project you ever completed? Frogged? Left in the UFO bin? Did any specifically not work out?
I am actually quite excited about today’s Technical Tuesday because I previously didn’t know this technique existed. I’ve made several striped hats and I always had that one stitch which was slightly off from the rest. I can’t wait to actually work this technique the next time I make a hat!
This video kind of starts in the middle and gives you a good idea of what this technique looks like on a finished object! Every time I have explained how to make a striped hat to someone I’ve just told them to carry the yarn up the middle of the inside. This might be a little bit more difficult to explain, but it would look so much better!
This video started right from the beginning so there are no questions about how to get started. I would have put this one first, but the other video gives a really good description of what helix knitting is and what it ends up looking like!
If anyone has tried this technique, what did you think of it? I think it would be awesome and cannot wait to try it! I’m going to have to pick out some colours for a hat now!
Friday! Finally! I feel like this was the longest and shortest week ever! While it was going by, I couldn’t see the end, but after I was close to the end… where the heck did it go. Today I am going to talk about Laura Bryant’s book Artful Color Mindful Knits.
I was lucky enough to take one of Bryant’s classes at Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2014. I really thoroughly enjoyed the class and it was really worth going to the class in order to see all the examples she brought. The class was called Intentional Patterning with Hand Dyed Yarn and that is a large part of the book!
Hand dyed yarn is always very unique and sometimes you don’t know what to do with it. Bryant’s book and class, help you figure out how to make patterns from variegated yarn. Not just any random conglomeration of pooling and scattered rainbows, but argyle and circle patterns. I could not believe this! It looks amazing and the pictures in the books are wonderful, but nothing beats seeing them first hand. I think when we see things in a picture our mind tricks us into thinking the pictures have been air brushed or altered. I took some pictures of the samples and even those pictures do not do them justice.
There is a lot of information for dyers in this book as well. Mixing and matching colours and tones. It is a really interesting read and I thoroughly enjoyed her class. Very interesting and educational!