Hand dyed yarns and a sneak peak into my “dye studio”

Hi there, today I’m going to show you my latest hand dyed yarns. These were born out of an idea I had one morning and decided to try out. Maybe this is a technique that other hand dyers use I don’t know but for me this is  a first but definitely not the last! I’m not going to reveal how I did this (shh professional secret) but I’m so in love with the results that I have to share some pictures with you.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com All four pictures are of the same skein of Cash’Sock yarn. This is the first ever skein I dyed this way and I used 12 colors! Yes that’s right 12 colours! And it was love at first sight! And now I have to cast on…. probably a pair of socks…I was wondering about a slouchy hat like the Sock Head hat….not sure. I really want to show off this yarn so maybe a hat would  be a better choice, what do you think?

And so once I saw the results I had to dye some more so the next day I dyed up 3 more skeins and this time I used my SOX base which is 75/25 superwash merino and nylon.

www.knittinginfrance.com The first skein on the left is the Cash’Sock skein I showed you above and the others are the 3 I dyed the following day. So skein number 2 I’m calling the colour “Goth” because when I looked at it all done that’s the first thing that came to mind. The colors are a blend of black, mauve, burgundy and browns. The picture does not do it justice, it really is a fun colour. Skein nr 3 I’m calling “Butterflies”, the colours are purples, blues, turquoise and mauve. A gorgeous combination I think. And skein nr 4 is a rainbow sort of skein. I only used 6 colours so it is less “crazy” than the first one. So all 4 skeins are super nice I think and hopefully I’m not the only one to feel that way. I have not had the time yet to put them up in the shop but if you are interested in buying one, you can always leave me a message here or send and email in the meantime.

Also, I will be featured as an indie dyer in ASK winter edition – if you are not familiar with ASK it stands for Addicted to Sock Knitting and they have a huge group on Facebook which is highly addictive and Debra who runs the group also publishes a digital magazine on sock knitting which I highly recommend if you enjoy knitting socks and using indie dyed yarns. You can find her website for the magazine here and I have the privilege of being featured in the next issue. So there will be an interview with me and some pictures of my yarns and some of me working in my “dye studio”. I say “dye studio” because it is not really a studio but it is actually my washing room. It’s not big but I do have the space to stock all my undyed yarns and fibres and also do my dyeing. I usually don’t like being pictured but I had to send in a few pictures of myself so I thought I might include some here for you to see.

knitting in france dyeing 2 www.knittinginfrance.com So you see I have a small counter space with a sink where I wash and prepare my yarns and in the background you can see one of my dye pots. On the second picture you see me working on one of the skeins I showed you above. When I hand paint yarns I work on top of my washing machine and dream of having a real studio –  a small garden house ONLY for me and my hand dyeing business. Maybe one day…..

And my youngest, Ines, who is 9 loves to participate and dye with me. Here is a picture of her from last weekend

www.knittinginfrance.com Who knows, maybe she will follow in my footsteps…..

And since I’m sharing my work place with you I’d like to share my shop with you if you want to take a peak

on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/KnittinginFrance?ref=hdr_shop_menu and my new independent shop is

www.knittinginfrance.net

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and sharing my passion. Take care and enjoy your crafting until next time 🙂

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New dyeing techniques

Hi there, recently I’ve been feeling inspired to learn new dyeing techniques to maybe increase my repertoire and be able to dye a broader range of colors. Plus learning something new is always such fun:)

www.knittinginfrance.com

So you have seen my speckled yarn which is super fun to do although quite time consuming so maybe not something that I’ll do a lot of just because of lack of time.

Then yesterday I did some layered dyeing for the first time. This is like kettle dyeing only you dye the yarn with X number of colours, one at a time and in between colours you take out the yarn and rewind it differently so that different parts of the yarn/skein will get different “access” to the dye and thus this will give a very rich and colourful yarn. This can be done with contrasting colours to create a sort of rainbow yarn or by using complementary colors or different colors in the same “family” and that is what I did for my first test. So I dyed using 4 different colours of blue/green colours. They were different depths of colour going from very light to dark. This was super fun to do and a little bit unnerving. After 3 colours I thought the yarn looked gorgeous but I had decided on 4 colours and at that time I was really battling stopping at 3 or go for the 4 as I had planned on. Because each time you do a new colour you never really know what it is going to do and I was worried that the last colour might erase some of the color variations in the lighter colours but hey, this was a test so I went for it! And I’m happy I did because I really love the results. What do you think?

layered hand dyed yarn www.knittinginfrance.com here my yarn is dyed and is just getting a final rinse  and it already looked nice

I love how my 4 coloured layered yarn came out www.knittinginfrance.com And here you have my 3 skeins of yarn and I absolutely love the outcome. You have different colors that all blend really well. This is not going to give you stripes but will give you more of a varigated effect. I’m keeping one of the skeins for myself to do a test knit to be able to show you how this type of yarn knits up – although each batch will of course be unique a sample swatch or a pair of socks will give you a good general idea.

And this morning I’m testing another new technique which is called low immersion dyeing and I’m using a skillet for the first time. So this is also quite fun, it’s a bit like kettle dyeing only you have much less water and I feel that the yarn soaks up the dye much quicker – at least it did so this morning. This can produce a semi solid color and I think this can also be fun to use when doing speckled yarn in water (opposed to doing speckled yarn that has been wetted out and laid out on a table for you to dye using a drop counter or syringe. So this morning I did 2 sets of 2 at a time sock skeins. These are 50gr sock yarn skeins and I did them in 2 different colours. One set is brick and the other is purple. Here are pictures of the yarn in the skillet during dyeing.

and more low immersion dyeing experiments www.knittinginfrance.com low immersion dyeing experiment www.knittinginfrance.com I’ll soon be able to show you what the finished yarn looks like.

Lately I’ve really changed my mind about sock yarn and I now feel that as much as I love colourful and stripey yarn, that when knitting textured/cabled socks, the pattern really pops out when using a semi solid or solid color. And that the colourful and stripey yarns work better when they are the star of the show alone – meaning when you are knitting plain stockinette socks. How do you feel about that?

Well that’s all for today and thank you for stopping by. Tomorrow is going to be really exciting because I’m going to introduce you to an artist and she has a shop and she is offering a special discount to my readers!! Yeah!! So be sure to stop by tomorrow as well as I’m sure you are going to love the surprise guest!

Take care

Speckled yarn – what is that? Should I do some?

After watching an episode of Susan B Andersons podcast the other day where she showed a skein of speckled yarn I got to do a little research. How do you dye yarn this way? What do the skeins look like? And most importantly how does the yarn knit up?

www.knittinginfrance.com

It looks quite interesting though some skeins I’ve seen on the internet do not appeal to me at first, actually seeing the yarn knit up changed my mind completely. If you are not familiar with speckled yarn, it’s a yarn that has been hand dyed, randomly I’d say. The dyer will use a droplet counter or a syringe or some other instrument that will enable them to deposit very small amounts of dye here and there on the skein.

I’ve seen that this can be done either with the skein immersed in some water or by laying the wet skein out and painting the dye on and then steaming to set. The yarn can be either totally coloured with next to no white spots or you can leave some or even much white depending on the sort of look you are going for.

There are not that many speckled yarns out there these days and since the technique seems to be a lot of fun, I decided to give it a go and I went ahead and did the second method (laying the skein out, painting and then steaming). I did two skeins and used a multitude of different colours although there are still some white spots. I think maybe by using the immersion method one can get more coverage and less white spots if that is what one is going for.

Here are some pictures of this first ever dye test

yarn dyeing www.knittinginfrance.com  Here the dyeing is done and now my yarn is all wrapped up in film and steaming away to set the colours.

just out of the dye pot www.knittigninfrance.com Just out of the dye pot and cooling down before rinsing and eventually drying. Can you see that there are 2 different skeins side by side? I did two separate colour mixes, just having fun splashing colour all over in whatever colour took my fancy.

I’ve never knitted with a speckled yarn before so I’m quite excited about that and I’m going to keep one of the skeins for me to test knit into socks (like always I know) and then I’m thinking of offering one for sale at a lower price than usual via Instagram! Yes that’s correct via Instagram. I’ve been immersing myself in Instagram lately and I really love that social media platform and I’ve seen that some people use Instagram for special sales and so on and I’d really like to try that out and thought that it would be fun to do so with my first skein of speckled yarn.

So now I just need to read up a bit on how to actually go about this and I’m going to launch the sale tomorrow Sunday May 30th so look out! On Instagram I’m Knitting in France of course so please check out my account if you are also on Instagram:)

Sock knitting kits in the making

I’m currently dyeing like crazy for the show in London (I Knit Fandango) and now I’m working on sock kits. These will be for the Philosophers Walk Socks by Pleximo who has graciously given my authorisation to include her pattern with my yarn.

I’ve almost finished a pair of these myself and I find the pattern both amusing to knit and a beauty to look at. It is great for two colour knitting and I think that stark contrast colours work great for this. I’ve already done kits like this before for my Etsy shop. There is one kit left there – for the shop the kits included 2x 50gr skeins of the main colour and 1 x 50gr skein of the contast colour. This time I will be doing 2 x 100 gr skeins, one of each colour so you can decide yourself which will be the MC and which will be the CC. You could even do one set up for the first sock and then do the opposite for the second sock. Either way the choice will be yours 🙂 The yarn I’m using is 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon which is just perfect for socks.

Here are is picture of my first sock – I really love the look and I’m quite proud of the work I did there even though on close inspection I did notice some errors on the sole side but hey, that just makes them more unique 🙂

The Philosophers Walk socks knit by www.knittinginfrance.com

I really love the way purple and yellow come together so I decided to do more of those and here you can see my first batch of yarn for these kits

hand dyed yarn for future sock kits www.knittinginfrance.com hand dyed yarns for my sock kits www.knittinginfrance.com So there will be: purple and yellow, blue and orange and today I’m doing some pink and grey and maybe some coral and light blue/green sort of colour. The kits will be in their own coton project bag and will include some hand made stitch markers as well. I think those will be quite nice and hopefully a success at the show.

Well, thats all for today, I have some more yarn dyeing to do not to mention all the reskeining and tagging etc so I better get to work. I wish you all a wonderful weekend with some quality crafting time 🙂