Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hand-Dyed Yarn Love

Lately I've had an insatiable tendancy toward handpainted yarn. I suppose it began with my purchase of one of Stefanie Japel's hand-dyed hanks in the Hope colorway. Here's a peek:

The muted spring colors are absolutely gorgeous on this worsted 100% bamboo yarn. Stefanie included directions for a scarf with a choice of three different stitch patterns. She also sent a couple of beaded stitch markers and a "Glampyre Knits" magnet. I have it on my fridge holding up the handwritten note she enclosed! I've only knit with bamboo once and it was perfect for warmer weather wear. I'm excited to get this on the needles.

While I waited for it to arrive, I played around with dyeing a couple of hanks of my own. This was my second attempt at dyeing and painting yarn.

Here is a collection of blues and teals on 100% mercerized cotton yarn:

It's not the greatest picture, because the actual yarn looks better in person. I have started a simple linen-stitch cowl and the result of the colors together is a very denim-y look. It's definitely no masterpiece, but it's pretty enough for my second try. I guess I'll get some photos when it's finished.

Next, I figured I would try working with wool. In the little bit of research I did, I read that wool is easier to dye and generally produces better results than non-protein fibers. As a beginner, I would agree that it was a lot easier.
Here is a food-coloring (with vinegar) experiment on 100% wool yarn:

I loved the way this wool came out. It was a lot nicer to work with than the cotton. And since I was using food colors, I knew when the yarn was ready, as all of the dye was absorbed and the water was almost clear. It was a neat experiment. I'm planning to buy some acid dyes and play around with it more over the summer, since I probably won't be doing a lot of knitting. Mobile's summers are not exactly conducive to knitted items, especially not wool!

Since my appetite for colorful yarn had not been satisfied, a bit of perusing through projects on Ravelry turned up these fingerless gloves by dawn76. I adore them! As soon as I found out that the Hazel Knits yarn was available for purchase through Etsy, I bought it! I hoped that the color would be as beautiful in person, and it did not disappoint! Have a look:

The colorway is Olympic Rainforest. I'm not sure if my feet are worthy of this sock yarn, so I'll probaby use this 400 yd hank for some sort of scarf. Or I might be a total copycat and make the same fingerless gloves that inspired the purchase. Then again, I could just marvel over it and never knit a thing with it.....

My last and most anticipated splurge was something I had my eye on and almost missed out completely. I found a really awesome collection of hand-dyeds called Fresh From the Cauldron (FFtC) on Ravelry. To my delight, one of the limited edition colorways was inspired from the Twilight series! The artist's username is Squibstitcher, and she has an Etsy shop. I didn't know if she was still dyeing any of these Twilight-inspired yarns, and when I checked her store, there were none for sale. I was very excited when I read on the FFtC group page that she was taking custom orders for colors in the series up until February 28, and then the colors wouldn't be dyed again until possibly 2010. I believe it was 2/27 when I contacted her on Etsy and requested three hanks. Thankfully, I had made the cut. All three hanks arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to take pics.

  • The first is titled Bella Swan. I believe these colors are perfect for her character, as blue is Edward's favorite color on her. It is a beautiful arrangement of blues and silver.

  • The next is titled Edward Cullen, obviously for his "liquid topaz" eyes. The color is so warm it is just like sunshine in the middle of summer.

  • I love all of them, but the third is definitely my favorite, titled Forks, WA. I have always loved green, and these shades of green combined with silver and a touch of gold is perfection!

All three hanks are a merino/silk blend sock yarn. It has a great sheen and is ultra soft. I highly doubt I'd allow any of this beautiful yarn touch my feet. I've never attempted knitting a sock and I certainly wouldn't want to use this to practice. I've no clue what it will be used for, but I had to have it!

I must sing praises for Etsy. I've browsed the site over the past couple of years and gotten ideas for different things. The yarn I bought from Stefanie was the first purchase I ever made. All three transactions went smoothy and the site is easy to use for communication. I have pledged to buy handmade! I think it's very important, especially in these difficult economic times, to support people who make a living with their art. Someday it could be me!


Annie said...

*Ahem* Missy, I believe you should already be writing patterns, etc. Go for it! I would completely be a customer!!

soknitpicky said...

Hi, Steph. Just letting you know I gave you a blog award :-)