FO: Toasty Texters

Hey! Look! It’s not a show note post!!! 😀 I’ve been thinking about it and have decided to attempt to write about my FOs as well as show them on the podcast. Lets see how long this lasts… 😉

Last Saturday night Simon and I were invited to dinner to celebrate the 70th birthday of his aunt. Their favourite thing for special dinners is to go to the Buckingham Arms here in Adelaide which is a pub/smörgåsbord restaurant. And as an added bonus, they are super generous and pay for everyone to eat! So, of course I couldn’t go empty handed in the face of their generosity. So I whipped out some of my Lovebird Lane Fischer DK and knit up a pair of Toasty Texters.

These were super simple to bash out. It took me two days of intermittent knitting to get them done. I finished them on the day of the dinner and had to dry them on the heater after their wash to be able to get them wrapped! It’s a free pattern so there’s no reason you can’t bash out a pair for yourself! 🙂

I was super pleased with how the yarn knit up. I must say I didn’t love this colourway in the skein but I love it knit up! There’s still a skein of this in the shop if you’re interested! 😉

Details: Knit on 4.0mm (US 6) HiyaHiya 9″ circulars and 4.0mm (US 6) Knit Pro Nova DPNs (for the thumb). I used 105 yards of Lovebird Lane Yarns Fischer DK in ‘Emerald Isle’. My Ravelry project page here.

Video Podcast Episode 26 – Flat as a Tack

Housekeeping

Finished Objects

Works in Progress

  • Goomy Socks my project page
  • Bergère de France Goomy 50 in Imprim Azur (purchased from Love Knitting here)

Spinning

Sewing

  • Pyjama Eaters by Sew Fearless for my niece and nephew in Sydney
  • Knit kit for my niece
  • Custom bag that was a bit of an oops

Polymer Clay

  • Various progress keepers that will be available in the shop soon

Dyeing/Shop Update

  • MyMuddlings Etsy Store
  • 2 x ‘Pink Grapefruit’ on Bamboo Sock
  • 2 x ‘Prismarine’ on Fine Merino Sock
  • ‘3 O’Clock in the Afternoon’ on Fingering – SOLD

Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies: Tonals

Hello, and thanks for joining me for the third installment of Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies! You can find the last two posts here:

  1. Solids
  2. Semi-Solids

Today’s yarn style is likely to be the most confusing for newbies as it is a term that cover anything from semi-solid to variegated yarns. The key thing to remember is the word itself: tonal. Meaning that whether the dyes used are of the same colour group or different colour groups they are very similar in tone. Now, I’m not going to go into tone in this post. I never really studied art. 😉 My knowledge of tints and hues etc is very limited but if you’re interested, there are a lot of great resources if you Google ‘colour tones’.

Tonals

As we discussed in the previous post, a semi-solid yarn can be referred to as a tonal as it features darker and lighter shades of the same or similar colours:

A semi-solid dyed yarn with speckles – MyMuddlings ‘Emerald City’ on Aran

MyMuddlings ‘Blushing Rose’ on fingering

Today’s post will be about colourways that have shades from different colour groups but still remain ‘tonal’. One of my favourite examples of this is my own colourway Wisteria Arbour:

MyMuddlings ‘Wisteria Arbour’ on fingering

As you can see from this picture, the overall ‘tone’of the yarn is fairly similar. There are no highly contrasting colours. This colourway features two different tones of purple along with some black and grey. So although black and purple are different colour groups, they create a variegated tonal.

The queen of variegated tonals (and variegateds and speckles – yes, I’m fan-girling!)  would have to be the extremely talented Kristin of Voolenvine Yarns. If you’ve been in the yarny world for any length of time you’ve likely heard of her. Her yarn is EXTREMEMLY popular and very hard to get. She has a knack for mixing just the right colours together to create stunning tonals:

Voolenvine Yarns ‘Taiga’ – Photo from Voolenvine Yarns

Voolenvine Yarns ‘Jilted Rose’ – Photo from Voolenvine Yarns

Voolenvine Yarns ‘Succulents’ – Photo from Voolenvine Yarns

As you can see, this woman has enviable talent! I can only hope to be as good as Kristin one day. #dyegoals 😉 I dye my variegated tonals in much the same ways as I dye my semi-solids, only with differing colour groups. Check back to the semi-solids post for more details.

So I hope these examples have helped to show the difference between semi-solid tonals and variegated tonals. I hope you can see how they are all ‘tonals’.

I know this is potentially the most confusing of all the hand dyed yarn types so if you have an questions, as always feel free to contact me via the comments or to my email address found on the ‘Find Me‘ page. What’s your favourite tonal yarn colourway or dyer? Are you a fan of Kristin’s work? Have you been able to get your hands on any of her yarn? Let me know in the comments.

Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies: Semi-solids

Welcome to the second installment of my Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies series! I hope the first post was interesting and potentially useful. In case you didn’t see it, you can find the first post on Solids here. Sorry there was such delay between posts, I had a busy week last week. I will endeavour to get these posts out more regularly from here on in.

Semi-solids

Semi-solid yarns are usually of one dye colour or layers of similar coloured dyes to give various tones of the same colour over the skein. It is one of my most favourite ways to dye yarn. Semi-solids can also be referred to as tonals; however, tonals can also be a version of variegated. As such, tonals will have a post of their own.

An example of a semi-solid or tonal: MyMuddlings ‘Be Still My Beating Heart’ on DK

As you can see in the above picture, I have created a colourway that is just one colour (a pinky red), but there are varying tones from light to dark. In this colourway, I’ve used more than one dye colour to create it. However, you can also make a semi-solid with just one shade of dye like the picture below:

image

Fingering weight yarn dyed by me using Greener Shades dyes

In both cases, it was done in a large stock pot, with a fairly high water level but not as high as for solids, perhaps 3/4 full. As we’ve discussed, solids need a high water level. For semi-solids you want a slightly lower water level so the yarn doesn’t have so much room to move; you want to get more dye on sections of the skein and less on other areas. This gives the darker (more dye) and lighter (less dye) tones.

When I dye my semi-solids, I usually lay down a base layer in a method similar to solids. I do not have any acid in my simmering water and I add a small amount of dye in much the same method as for solids; I make my dye bath and then add my yarn. This gives a fairly consistent all-over colour. From there I might add another layer of the same colour or a different one in the same method. Once I’m happy with my base colour, I’ll add my acid and allow it to set for a few minutes.

Then depending on what colourway I’m dyeing, I’ll add my next colour (could be the same as my previous steps or another of the same colour group) in an indirect method, where I pull and push my yarn into and out of the ‘clouds’ of predissolved dye as I add them to the pot. This allows certain parts of the skein to get the full brunt of the dye where other parts only get a small amount.  This step can be repeated as many times as required, with as many dyes as required to get the desired effect.

I personally love using semi-solids (and their variegated tonal cousins). I find they give a lovely depth to the colour of the overall knitted fabric, and generally no one stitch is identical to another as they all have a slightly different tone.

So I hope you enjoyed this installment and it has been helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Do you like working with semi-solids? Do you have a favourite dyer of semi-solids? Let me know in the comments.

Stay tuned for the next post on tonals.

Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies: Solids

Hello and welcome to my new blog series entitled ‘Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies’!

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Three different types of hand dyed yarn: semi-solid, variegated and tonal. Yarns pictured are from MyMuddlings Yarns: ‘Be Still My Beating Heart’, ‘Winterfell’ and ‘Wisteria Arbour’

Now, this series has nothing specific about how to dye yarn. I will touch on how things are done but it’s more about helping you initially to know what each type of hand dyed yarn is and then to select patterns that go with various types of hand dyed yarn. This series will be helpful for newbie yarn crafters but also established crafters who have never used hand dyed yarns before.

Every dyer has their own style, the way they use colour and of course their favourite colours, but the base types of dye method usually stay the same, and they can be combined to give different effects. Today’s post is about solids.

Solids

Now this is the most simple of all the dye methods. It can be done with just one dye colour, or a combination to get a new colour but basically it gives a single all over colour. The fantastic Nicole over at Hue Loco has an amazing collection called ‘Fly’ that are a range of solid colours and they’re beautiful:

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Hue Loco Fly Collection ‘Drift’

The way to achieve this ‘solid’ all over colour is to use a high water level immersion method where you’ve already added your premixed dye to the pot to create your dye bath. (The reason I use the apostrophes around the word solid is because hand dyed yarn will never truly be totally solid. You can get pretty close but due to the nature of the process, i.e. human hands are doing the work, you will likely get a small amount of variation in your skein.) The point at which you add your acid can change the overall evenness of the colour and sometimes salt is used to slow the uptake of the dye and that will affect it too. Personally, if I’m dyeing a solid, I prefer to have the yarn circulating in the dye bath for a few minutes so the dye can touch all parts of the skein before it is locked to the yarn with the acid (and heat). The reason for the high water level is so there’s plenty of space for the yarn to float about, and you’re more likely to get an even, all over colour.

For me, I don’t really dye many (if any) solids, or purchase hand dyed solids because I think most times you can find a cheaper, commercial alternative. Of course the exception to this would be if you’re using a semi-solid, tonal or variegated yarn from a hand dyer but want a coordinating solid skein to match. This is why Nicole of Hue Loco has made her Fly Collection. The are a range of specially curated colours to coordinate with her other yarns and they work brilliantly.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this first instalment in my Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies series. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 🙂 Do you like working with hand dyed solids? Let me know in the comments.

Shop Update – 25th January 2017

This week’s shop update will contain yarn, yarn and more yarn! I have a bunch of new colourways in pink and red for my first quarter theme. I was really pleased with the saturation of colour in these new colourways and I hope you love them too! 🙂

The first colourway was inspired by the women’s march on the 21st January 2017. I wanted a bright pink to knit myself a Pussy Hat so ‘Get Your Hands Off My Pussy!’ was created:


It’s layers of pink with a blush of purple. Of course it had to have purple. Have you met me?!! 😉

Next up, we have a sequel colour to my ‘Blushing Rose’ colourway. This is called ‘Wilted’:

It’s a similar colour and dye method, but it doesn’t have any pink but it has a yellow tint to it. Next time I’ll add a little more yellow. I thought ‘Wilted’ would be a fitting name for the previously ‘Blushing Rose’. 😉

‘Does Anybody Know How to Hold My Heart’ is a variegated pink and red. It has tiny splashes of purple and grey with a few black speckles:

This colourway was named after a song by Sara Bareilles, one of my favourite performers. ❤

And on the red track, may I present ‘Flame Trees’:

My second colourway named after a song. 😉 But a quick Google Image search for flame trees gave me all the colours found in this yarn; deep red, brown and red-orange.

And finally, ‘Chocolate Berries’:

The colours are exactly what the colourway name implies; purple, pink, burgundy with a milk chocolate brown. Yum! Is anyone else getting hungry…? 😉

So I hope you can join me at 7pm ACDT tonight! 😀

Video Podcast Episode 7

Off the Needles

On the Needles

Shop Update

  • MyMuddlings Etsy Store
  • ‘Grumpy Rainbow’ on aran and fingering
  • ‘Fireworks’ on DK
  • ‘Russian Blue’ on fingering and sock
  • ‘Happy’ heavy fingering handspun