Dyeing madness

My but have I been in a dyeing frenzy.  Natural dyeing is definitely easier than dyeing with chemical dyes and I find it much more enjoyable as well.  The possibilities are endless and you can get a range of differing shades from one dye source just by changing the mordant, the ph balance, the mineral content in the water and other simple factors.  Once I received my order from Botanical Colors (botanical colors.com) I dug right in and kept at it until I ran out of yarn…drat.

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All these beauties hanging on the racks drying add such a bright note to each day.

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The colors below were achieved as such: yellows are turmeric, peaches are madder, pinks and rose/burgandy are cochineal, blues are black beans, grays are logwood, and the ivory one is juniper berries and one is avocado.  I cannot wait to get more yarn as there are a range of shades possible from each of these by just tweaking the water, mordant, and ph.  I’m planning on some purples, greens, browns, and reds.

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The blues above were black beans and what an amazing and easy way to get a gorgeous blue color.  I simply soaked the beans for two days then drained off the liquid, heated it, added my mordanted yarn, heated and soaked in the dye, and hurray gorgeous blues!  For the skeins below, I got these gorgeous colors from cochineal by dipping each skein as the dye was exhausting.  Aren’t they just so lovely?

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I was aiming for purple with the logwood but ended up with an amazing gray.  But it looks great next to these rose and pinks.

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I cooked up a batch of beets and greens and of course had to keep all the liquid.  I threw in a piece of organic sheeting and a mini skein of undyed yarn.  I’m going to just let it stew a few days and see what I end up with.  It’s quite comical that all food is now viewed not only for nutritional value but for its dyeing properties and potential.

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Aside from dyeing natural yarn I just had to jump on a few bandwagons that are popping up all over instagram.  First was the Birds of a Feather by Andrea Mowry.  I fell in love with the pattern after seeing all the projects in progress…and well anything with a pop of mohair I can’t resist.  There were numerous kits out there for the pattern,  but I fell for these gorgeous skeins by Junk Yarns.  OMG when they arrived in the mail I was amazed at the beauty.  I had been hearing so much about this dyer Kemper and seeing her yarn on IG, but to see it up close and in real time….OMG!  But it is hard to get your hands on…when she uploads you gotta be quick!  Now to find time to cast this shawl on…currently it is in my queue.

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But what I did cast on was the Impressionist Mystery shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.  Her patterns are the absolute most well written out there and her designs are gorgeous.

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Here are some pics of clue one in progress and clue one completed.  Clue two is out today and I will be busy knitting it up before clue three arrives next Saturday.  I am delighted with my color choices and the design.  This is going to be one of my favorite shawls I am sure!  I used two Hedgehog Fibers yarns (the pink and the ivory) and one that was hand dyed by my talented granddaughter Milsie.  She has the most amazing eye for color!

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I have made amazing progress on my Antler Cardigan (by Tin Can Knits).  I have joined the sleeves and body and am ready to begin the patterned yoke section….but with all my other projects and KALs it has had to be set aside for the time being.

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I am nearly finished with my April socks for the box o socks KAL by Kristen of Voolenvine Yarns.  Actually since I took this pic yesterday I have completed the foot down to the decrease for the toe which I will complete today.  This yarn is a hand dyed by my daughter Becca and one that was carried in our Stitches Plus Purls shop.

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I always always have to have 2 pair of socks on the needles so here is my start of the May socks.

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And as if I needed another project.  Lindsay of A Wooden Nest podcast was hosting a natural dyed yarn KAL.  So I dug into my stack of recently dyed beauties and patterns that I have been wanting to knit up and came up with this shawl and this yarn.  I have since cast on and started the beginnings.  One thing that I have noticed about the natural dyes is that not only do they have beautiful variations of colors throughout the skein but that they have a glow to them.  Knitting on this has been pure pleasure.  I am using a sock weight 85% merino and 15% nylon super wash 4 ply.  It is one of my standby dyeing wools.

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Imagine my delight when my youngest sister called and said she would be in for the night and was bringing my mom!!  OMG I was over the moon!  My mom hasn’t been to my house since we bought this place as her health isn’t the greatest, she lives quite a distance, and she doesn’t travel much any more.  OMG I made up her favorites for lunch and we had favorite goodies for snacks and then we just knitted up a storm.  Plus having my sister to visit along with my mom…it was just so so precious and special!  I hated to see them leave.  One of the resolutions I made this year was to spend more time with family and less time working and giving my life energy to fuel some corporate entities dreams and finances.  I have spent the better part of this year traveling and visiting and it has been marvelous.

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I must share one of the faces that greets me every morning and always reminds me when it is time to take a break from what I am doing to give appropriate attention where attention is needed…namely lots of petting and loving on both my boxer babies.  I cannot imagine my life without a boxer or two!

IMG_6836And I will end with my view from where I am sitting in front of the cozy fire knitting away on this blustery, cold, and very wet day.

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Happy knitting,

Patricia

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