Last Saturday I got up early and started to work on the pattern for Tru Wuv. The idea was that it would take me all weekend to get the file ready and I’d send the pattern off to the test knitters on Monday. This way I’d have time to dye some yarn to knit along with them.
Turns out there wasn’t much to fix in the document and it took me less than half an hour, so I sent it the same day. I have to make a pause on the narrative here to say that I’m truly overwhelmed by the eagerness and good will of my test knitters. They were catching mistakes before my yarn was even dry.
The yarn is a 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk, and 10% Cashmere mix, takes dye beautifully and it’s so very soft. The yardage is 1312 yds/100g, so I’m guessing I’ll have plenty of left-over.
The plan was to dye the yarn GREEN. Not teal, GREEN. BTW, the color you see on the pictures is true to life. I didn’t mix dyes to get this color, it came straight out of a jar, and that might be what caused the problem. I probably needed to shake the jar before mixing the dye with water. Oh, well…
Next time I get to play with the dyeing pots, I’ll try this one again – just to be sure about the color. If I keep on getting teal, I’ll re-label the jar.
This gradient is a time-consuming job and although I started on Saturday, I was only able to finish the dye job by Sunday.
I got lucky when it came time to put the yarn outside to dry. Even though the temperatures were mild, the yarn was dry in time for me to start knitting
the same day.
This is as far as I got by last night (Monday). I stopped after row 20 of the second chart. It was slow going because the moisture in the air yesterday was really high, so I kept on washing my hands to keep them from sweating. There was also a lot of fighting with the yarn not sliding on the needles as smoothly as I’d like.
Of course, I couldn’t let well enough alone, so I had to add beads which also slows me down a lot.
I’m hoping to be able to finish this chart today. Wish me luck.
My test knitters are still busy working on Verão, and because of my inability to pay attention to more than one thing at a time, I have to keep the next design in the waiting line.
That doesn’t mean I’ve been doing nothing while waiting for them. Since I finished my stole, I’ve knit 4 shawls:
– The fall one, which worked fine, but can use some tweaking (sorry, no photos)
– The spring one, which didn’t turn out anything like what I envisioned. But was a good exercise, since I could see what was going on and simplify the design (again – no pics)
– Temptress by Boo Knits. It was fun, fast and I finally got to use
one of my handspun yarns – something I don’t do often enough.
– The fourth shawl was done with some 2/8 yarn I had lying around, that was hand dyed to try a technique I read about some time ago. Once more, I have no pictures to post.
But wait! There’s more (but no photos). Before going crazy(ier) and knitting one shawl after another, I took some time to play with dyeing.
I didn’t have many bare yarns in the house, so I used leftovers from various cones I had for a few years.
I chose a few techniques I hadn’t tried before, with some really good results. Remind me to write another post talking about those.
I’m afraid I’m becoming the kind of knitter who only does one thing. When the temperatures began to fall, I decided to start a cardigan for myself. I’m sad to say it’s still on the needles, waiting for sleeves. I picked up the stitches for one sleeve and had to force myself to knit one round. I then tossed it aside and knit to doilies to get the bad taste out of my mouth.
This one on the left is a frankendoily, made up with different parts from a pattern I have and edging that I reversed engineered from a photo. It has a lot of potential and I might cannibalize parts of it into different designs.
The second one comes straight from the Mary Thomas’ book of knitting patterns. I knit it because I was curious how it would look like – the book doesn’t have an illustration for it, just written instructions.
I really enjoyed the way the gaps that tend to appear when doing short-rows are dealt with in this pattern. Instead of trying all kinds of maneuvers to close said gaps (which, depending on the knitter, don’t quite work), the pattern embraces the gaps and make them into design elements.
Speaking of Mary Thomas, her books are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. and well worth owning.