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I am happy to introduce the newest member of the Fiber Fervor family.  Please give a warm welcome to, Pumpkin Spice:

IMG_3903100% Organic Merino Wool, DK – 220 yards per skein

I am in the process of ordering more of this particular base and will be updating my shop in the near future with new colorways.

(Check out the progress I made on Honeycomb last night.  Bottom rib band done and now officially workin’ on the body!)

This past weekend was rather successful, knitting wise.  While I don’t have any finished projects to speak of, I did make a lot of progress on my current projects.  Soooo I think I really want to start yet another project.  Here’s the catch:  I want to wear it on Thanksgiving.  I know, I know, Turkey Day is right around the corner!  You see, this is our first BIG Thanksgiving.  We have family coming in from the east coast and well, I just want it to be perfect, including my Thanksgiving Day attire.

The pattern is Honeycomb from Knitty, Spring 2008.  The yarn is Fiber Fervor, Organic  Merino DK in color, Pumpkin Spice.  I dyed the yarn this past weekend and the color is SO yummy.  Here is a sneak peak.  My coworker was super nice and snapped a photo with her swanky new phone.  Thanks Lindsey!

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This is totally doable right?  I mean, it’s a shell/vest.  That shouldn’t take too long to knit right?  The husband told me last night that there was no way I could finish it in time.  He seems to think that the closer the time comes for family to arrive, that I am going to go all nuts and deep clean the house.  Like I have ever done that before!  HA!   I have 10 days to knock this out .  Am I totally crazy for taking this on right before a houseful of guests arrive?

Ever since the color wheel plan, I have been doing lots of test skeins.  Really, I am just trying to figure out how dye works.  Based on my small amount of experience, I would have to say that so far dye is a hard medium to work with.  With a little more practice and time, I just might get there.  Where there is, I have no idea.  What I do know is that I really enjoy dyeing yarn.  Especially when it turns out how I want!

A couple of posts ago, I spoke about the color sage.  However, I did not post a picture of the final outcome.    On a whim, I decided to just go for it and dye a skein of BFL (Bluefaced Leicester) sock yarn that I picked up a while back.  There is a natural shine to the yarn that allows color to show very well.  Not to mention it is incredibly soft. Reminds me SO much of Malabrigo sock yarn.

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IMG_1873I just love the effect of kettle dyeing.  You get so many shades in one skein.

Feeling brave I decided to give a couple more colors a shot.  My sister suggested salmon and here is how it turned out:

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My husband commented:  “Wow, that is the first time that you said what color you wanted to make and it actually turned out that color.”  haha – Nice.  The other sample skein is my attempt at navy.  I think it is hard to mess up navy.  The two colors compliment each other nicely.

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Did you know that the color ‘sage’ is achieved by mixing rust orange with blue? Apparently equal parts of each.  Who knew?  I would have never guessed that.  In the photo, the skein on the right was my first attempt at sage.  Didn’t go so well but didn’t end terribly either.  In fact, I think it is a rather nice army green.  Attempt #2, which is pictured on the left went a lot better and is closer to sage, obviously.  However, it’s still not right.  Or maybe it is?  Not sure.  One thing I do know – dyeing yarn is a crap shoot in the beginning.  I have only been on this adventure for about a month or so now and I have already learned a ton.  Not only do you have to mix the dyes correctly, but you have to know how much to dilute the dye to get the shade you want.  With that being said, these two skeins came from the same dye recipe, one was just diluted a LOT more than the other.  DUH BRENNA!  Beginner Yarn Dyeing lesson for the day is now over.

Well, the rain did not stop, but I did manage to take a couple of pics last night.

Blue Raspberry.  Aran Weight.  100% Organic Merino Wool.  3 ply:

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Purple Illumination.  Sock weight.  100% Merino Wool.  Superwash.  3 ply:

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OK, so I need some feedback here.  What do ya’ll think?  That’s right.  I used the word ‘ya’ll’.

It’s been raining like non-stop here in Austin for the last couple of days.  While I love, love, love the free water in this hard-to-get-rain region of the US, I must say, I am SO over it.   This rain has put a whole new meaning to ‘April Showers’.  Not only is my yard flooded, but I haven’t been able to take fabulous pics of my recently dyed yarn!  As soon as this rain clears up, I will post some pics. Let’s just say, my mixing colors ability is getting much better.

Since the dyeing craze started I have really neglected my knitting.  Can you believe I have let an entire month go by without finishing ONE project?  That’s just sad.  While I am almost finished with a couple of projects, I just don’t see me completing them before April ends.  Where oh where did this month go?!?!

eucalanEucalan.  Pretty amazing stuff.  Not only does it smell great, but it turns your yarn into super softness.  Love it!  Why I remember way back when (less than a year ago) when a friend told me I needed to “block” my project.  What?!  You mean willingly put my project that I worked on for ages IN WATER?!?!  Are you nuts?  Well, turns out, blocking is necessary and as long as you are careful with temperature and not agitating the yarn, your felting fears should be put to rest.  What I did not know until I started dyeing was that if you add a couple of drops of wool wash (I have been digging Eucalan) your yarn transforms into softy goodness.

Click HERE to request your FREE sample and try it out for yourself.

Just for any of you Austin residents, The Knitting Nest sells Eucalan.

Since the color wheel plan, I have been busy dyeing.  While nothing has been absolutely amazing, I am learning a thing or two about mixing colors.  1) Never start mixing dye with the darker color and 2) red is WAY more potent than most colors.

img_1581Scarlet and Sunkiss

Believe it or not, I only used two colors to make each of these skeins.   Kettle dyeing is truly amazing.  You just never really know what you are going to get.  Not only do the dye colors change once heat is applied but with kettle dyeing you get SO many hues of one color.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…simply magical!

The yarn I ordered form Yarnundyed FINALLY arrived!  I must say I am impressed.  It is SUPER soft, like wear next to your skin super soft.  I must have sat and fondled the yarn for around 30 minutes before breaking it into skeins.  I got the Aran weight 500gm cone.  4 skeins out of it.  When I was measuring out the 4th skein I came up 40 feet short.  Now, this could be my measuring technique and I won’t know for sure until after i dye it all and then re-measure.  I couldn’t figure out how to get the yarn off of the cone through the measuring meter and onto the umbrella swift with the right amount of tension.  OK, enough details, here are some pics…

img_1431We are in the process of re-doing our living room floor, so please just focus on the beautful super soft cone of 100% organic merino wool!

img_1434Ready to hit the kettle!

colorwheel1Like most things I do, I jumped into dyeing yarn head first.  Having failed to learn the basics of dyeing, I am failing each time I try a new color combo.  The colors don’t come out how I want or it looks like mud.  It’s really frustrating, not to mention costly!  My husband and I were chatting last night (Can you believe my husband was actually seriously discussing YARN with me?!?!) and he recommended that I go back to the basics.  Make a color wheel out of yarn.  What a great idea! So now I have a plan.  The question is, where on the color wheel will I start?!?

UGH.  So, the “brown” turned out looking like baby poop.  I change lots of diapers (have a 2.5 year old), so I know all about this color.  So dissappointing…

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I am happy with the shade of pink and turquoise though.  So I guess that is a plus!

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