You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Techniques’ category.

No doubt this is the first of many more posts regarding the oh so beautiful, Autumn Rose Pullover.  As most of you know, prep work is a crucial part to any project.  In fact, it’s just plain stupid to skip this step.

STEP ONE: Scour Ravelry and read as many descriptions of other people’s Autumn Rose as you can.  Next to checking gauge, this step can also save you a lot of tears and heartache.  A lot of my prep work was taken from advice that others gave.  I LOVE Ravelry!!  What an awesome tool.

STEP TWO: Recreate chart!   I would love to meet the person who made this chart and ask them if they seriously thought someone could actually use it.  It’s teeny tiny and uses  a light gray as the contrast color.  Not even my scanner could pick up the pattern clearly.  So, enter Excel and at least one hour of recreating the chart.  While it was a PITA (pain in the ass), it will certainly be very useful.

STEP THREE: Draw schematic and take measurements!  (Advice from a Raveler!)  Here is how I did this…Use a sheet of graph paper and let each box represent 1″ in life size.  I started with how long, from top of shoulder to bottom I wanted the pullover to be and went from there.  Noting, how deep I want the scoop neck to be and so on.  Since this pullover will not be stretchy, it is important to take accurate measurements!

STEP FOUR: Next, I whipped up a swatch in order to check my gauge.  Normally checking gauge is boring (SO necessary though!!!), but not with this pullover.  Getting to see a small little preview of what this beautiful sweater will someday be was very rewarding.  Using size 2 Adi Turbo needles, my gauge was spot on.

STEP FIVE: Break out calculator and have fun with some numbers to determine how many stitches to cast on!  This part always freaks me out a bit.  However, ever since I made Diane’s Dress, I am a lot more confident in this area.  It’s important to re-check multiple times.  You do NOT want to mess this part up.  I also took into consideration how many stitches each “Rose” consisted of.  Since this pullover is worked in the round form the bottom up, I did not want one of the ‘rose’s’ to just stop in the middle and the next begin.

STEP SIX: Cast on and let the real fun begin!!

Its been a couple of days since cast on and I am still making my way through the bottom ribbing (300+ stitches per round takes forever!).  The yarn (Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift) is way different from anything I have ever used.  I normally pick yarn based off  of softness and this yarn is anything but soft.  It’s very wiry and took a bit to used to, especially while doing color work.  On the plus side, because of the wiriness, the fair isle really holds together and looks stunning.   As soon as I have something a little more interesting than ribbing, I will take some photos and share!

Learning how to kettle dye yarn can be overwhelming first.  In this tutorial, I hope that I have simplified the process enough so that anyone can dye yarn in the comfort of their own kitchen.   Please know that dyeing yarn does take a little practice.  I highly recommend buying some cheap (100% wool) yarn to practice on.  Knitpicks.com offers an affordable variety of yarn weights that you can purchase.  Feel free to email me (fiberfervor@gmail.com) with any questions you may have.  While I am not a pro yarn dyer, I have dyed many skeins of yarn.  Some good, some not so good and some great!  I really do feel that kettle dyeing yarn (esp. variegated) is sort of a crap shoot.  However, the more experience you have, the more you know what not to do.  Good luck and happy dyeing!

Materials

  • Undyed Yarn
  • Acid Dyes, I recommend the Jacquard Acid Dyes. Find them at Knitpicks.com
  • White Vinegar
  • Big stainless steel bowl
  • Measuring Spoons & Cups
  • Glass Measuring Cups (one that can hold min. 4 cups of water)
  • Cling Wrap
  • Enamel Pot
  • Mason jars (you need one for each dye stock)
  • White Vinegar
  • Laytex Gloves (you don’t have to have these.  Just know you will have dye all over your hands for a couple of days if you don’t)
  • Face Mask (goes over your mouth and nose)
  • dish detergent (Dawn)

Preview of “untitled”

DYE STOCK SOLUTIONS.

Materials Needed:   Acid Dye, White Vinegar, Face Mask, Mason Jar, Gloves, Cling wrap, Measuring spoons & Cups.

First thing first, you need dye stock solutions.  Lay cling wrap down on your counter so you don’t ruin your kitchen counters in this process.  Boil some water.  Put gloves and mask on*.  Get mason jar and add two teaspoons of the powdered acid dye.  Fill jar (carefully!!!) with boiling water about 3/4 of the way.  Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar.  Put lid on tightly and shake.  You want the dye to be completely dissolved.   Set aside and make as many of these as needed.

*You MUST wear a mask for this portion.  The dye can become air born and go into your lungs and cause irritation.  Also, make sure no one else is around while you are making dye stock solutions.  If other people are around, make sure they are wearing a mask as well.

YARN PREP.

Materials Needed: yarn, dish detergent, stainless steal bowl

Yarn needs to be in skein form.  Make sure to tie the yarn in minimum 2 places.  Fill bowl with room temperature water.  Add a couple drops of dish detergent.  Submerge yarn in bowl and let soak for 30 minutes.  For a more marbled effect do not soak yarn in water prior to dyeing.

PREPARE DYE BATH.

Materials Needed:dye stock solutions, rubber gloves, glass measuring cups, cling wrap, measuring spoons

While the yarn is soaking you can start preparing the dye bath.  Fill measuring cup up with hot water.  A little at a time, start adding dye stock.  Make sure to keep track of what you are doing if you plan on duplicating the dye solution for future use.  I usually add a tsp. of dye stock at a time.  If you are mixing two colors, start with the lighter color.  The more dye, the more saturated (darker) the end result will be. Use scrap yarn to “test” the color.  Just remember that once the heat is applied in the actual dyeing stage, that your color will change slightly. 


Solid Color Kettle DyeDYE TIME.

Materials Needed: soaked yarn, enamel pot, dye solution, gloves

Wring out excess water from the yarn that has been soaking.  Place yarn in enamel pot.  Slowly pour dye solution in.  For solid color kettle dyeing you want enough dye to actually submerge the yarn completely.  Around 10 cups of dye bath.  Gently move the yarn around to make sure the all of the yarn has access to the dye solution.  Sometimes, the yarn can form a barrier and not allow dye to certain parts.

Turn stove on lowest setting and let the yarn “cook” for approximately 30 minutes or until the dye bath is exhausted (the water is clear).   Let the yarn cool back down to room temperature (this can take a couple of hours!).  Once the yarn is at room temp., remove from pot and rinse in room temp water until no more dye comes off of the yarn.  Set yarn aside.  Fill sink up with room temp. water and add wool wash.  Place yarn in sink and let it soak for 15 minutes.  Remove, wring out excess water and place on a drying rack to dry.

VARIGATED KETTLE DYEING.

Get your colors ready.  For this to work, you only want enough liquid in the pot to barely cover the yarn.  And some parts may not be covered in the end and that’s ok.  Think of your pot like a clock and pour each color in a section.

Varigated

Amazingly, the dye will (for the most part) stay where you pour it b/c of the yarn.  The yarn sort of holds the dye in place.  Some dye will mix with one another and this creates yet another color.  When you do this, keep the color wheel in mind.  You cannot mix colors that are opposite on the color wheel otherwise you will end up with a mucky brown.

Turn stove on lowest setting and let the yarn “cook” for approximately 30 minutes or until the dye bath is exhausted (the water is clear).   Let the yarn cool back down to room temperature (this can take a couple of hours!).  Once the yarn is at room temp., remove from pot and rinse in room temp water until no more dye comes off of the yarn.  Set yarn aside.  Fill sink up with room temp. water and add wool wash.  Place yarn in sink and let it soak for 15 minutes.  Remove, wring out excess water and place on a drying rack to dry.

Varigated KEttle Dyeing

Any new Knitter is very hesitant to “block”.  It does sound a little ludicrous at first.  Submerging your beautiful, WOOL finished project that took weeks (or months!) to complete into water is just crazy talk?!  However, even though it is scary, it is TOTALLY worth the risk.  Actually, it’s not a risk at all .  Now that I am in the dyeing scene, I know for a fact that wool actually likes water.  In fact, it LOVES it.  I have been working on this secret project the last couple of weeks and I have to say, I was a little nervous throughout the process.  The project was puffy or “foo foo” as my husband commented.  Yes, he really used those words.

BEFORE BLOCKING:

Before Blocking

AFTER BLOCKING:

After Blocking

Isn’t the difference amazing?  If you are nervous about blocking, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind so you don’t accidentally felt your project.  Because that would SUCK.  I think I would seriously cry if that happened.

  • Make sure the water is room temperature.  Wool likes this water best.  Wool HATES extreme temperatures.
  • Do not agitate the project in the water.  Although you can totally dunk it in.  You want to fully submerge the project.  Once it is soaking leave it alone.
  • Use wool wash!  I really love Eucalan.  Conditions the wool and leaves it feeling ridiculously yummy  soft.
  • Have all of your towels ready to go.  I actually get as much water out of the project as possible before laying it out and shaping it.  A friend suggested to roll the project in a thick towel.  This is a great technique!
  • As soon as your project is as dry as you can get it, immediately lay it out and shape.  This is the magical part. The sweater dries (for the most part) in the shape you put it in.

So, on your next FO, do not forget to block and do not be nervous about it.  As you can see from the photos it is really worth the extra step.

(Details on the FO pictured coming soon!!)

IMG_3087Fair Isle Sock pattern from Socks in The City, Kroy Sock Yarn

OK, so I got the yarn for my first Patons project and have been trucking away on these fair isle socks.  I have never, until now, realized how tedious fair isle knitting can be.  Probably because I am making socks.  Thin yarn, loads of stitches and LOTS of concentration.  This is not a project in which I can read and knit at the same time.  In order to help combat the cursing and headaches, I am using my super cool chart keeper thingie from KnitPicks.  Every lace, cable or fair isle knitter NEEDS this thing.  I redid the fair isle pattern on my computer.   Blew it up to a size that is actually, you know, readable.  However, I am STILL getting lost!!!  I need suggestions people.  How do you organize your fair isle projects?

NEW YARN!!!!

OK, so doesn’t this yarn look YUMMY?!?!?!  Seriously, I could fondle it all day long.

IMG_3152

Lilypad Lace is going to be a hard skein to part with one day.  I might even shed a tear at the post office.

———–

I also added Rainbow Sorbet to my Organic Sock Yarn line.

IMG_2997

Visit FiberFervor.Etsy.com for more details!!

Found a GREAT buttonhole tutorial.  Got it off of the February Lady Sweater patten by Pam over on Flint Knits.  I am currently working on a FLS for my MIL for her birthday coming up (rather quickly in “knit time” I might add) in September.

VOILA, a buttonhole!

IMG_2647

Oooooooo, a buttonhole.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Not the most exciting thing you have ever seen.  Really I just wanted to share the great buttonhole maker tutorial!

I leave you with a preview of the FLS:

IMG_2638

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.

IMG_1870

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:

IMG_1884

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.

img_1716

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.

OK, so I decided to give this method of dyeing another go. I came prepared this time.  Got lots of advice, read a TON of online tutorials and knew not to make the same mistakes I made last time.

img_1331

So now I sit and wait.  I read that you should let the yarn “cure” for at lest 30 minutes before taking it to the steamer.  I am really interested to see how this turns out.  I meant for the brown to be a chocolate brown and yet it turned out to be a dark camel.   I figured out how to tone down the pink too.  Although, if there is one this I have learned is that colors change once a little heat action happens.  Only time will tell!

3ig-button2OK, so having successfully read almost every single yarn dyeing tutorial on the internet I must say that the one I purchased from Three Irish Girls is by far the best.  The instructions are clear and concise.  Also, if you do not know about the hand dyed yarn from Three Irish Girls you should check that out too.  The Yarnista’s colorways are amazing and if you know anything about dyeing (or just have a deep love for beautiful yarn) you know that her work is beyond impressive.  I am in awe of how she achieves so many colors in one skein of yarn.  Simply magical.  Who knows, maybe one day my yarn will look like that!  One can only hope right?!

I dyed another skein last night.  Went back to kettle dyeing as I just don’t think I am “ready” for handpainting.  I used the same dye I mixed up from the previous batch (no need to waste right?).  I did end up throwing the dark purple blue away because honestly, it was pure crap.  I have to say kettle dyeing is awesome.  The colors just seem to blend more.  The finished product is drying as I type and as soon as I can wind it up I will take some pics and post.  I am running out of “practice” yarn quickly.  I ordered some yarn from the company ‘Yarnundyed‘ and while the yarn got great reviews I have yet to receive it (ordered it 3 weeks ago now)!  Haven’t even gotten a confirmation of order, a tracking number, nothing, nada.  I am starting to get really irritated.  Even sent them an email (beginning of last week) inquiring about my purchase and have yet to hear anything back.  Grrrrrrrrr

OK, OK, turns out Magic Loop is super cool.  The other night I decided to go ahead and finish the sleeves on the sweater tee I have been working on, Rusted Root.  The pattern called for switching to DPNs in a size that I do not have, so I decided to give magic loop another shot.  I did it and it worked.  Having been successful this time around, I figured out what I was doing wrong.  Since I naturally knit pretty tight, this was my problem the first time around.  It was causing huge gaps.  I decided to loosen up a bit and what do you know, it worked!  I wouldn’t say I am a 100% fan yet, but I am getting there, one magic loop at a time…

{ LYS-ing }

{ PLEDGING }

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

{ Archiving }

Kotar Knits