Adventures in Yarn Dyeing

I mentioned last week that I was taking a yarn dyeing workshop at the Neighborhood Fiber Co’s shop in Baltimore over the weekend so I thought I’d share what I made in class. If you’ve never dyed yarn before it’s not that difficult. I did it a couple of years ago and since I only did it on a small scale it wasn’t overwhelming and since I wasn’t doing multiple colors or effects it didn’t get too messy. If you are interested in yarn dyeing, I suggest taking a class. It makes it much less intimidating and you don’t have to worry about making a mess. I was fortunate enough to have my best friend lead the charge when I wanted to try dying yarn. She had done fabric for a designer so she knew what to do. All I did was buy the yarn and dye materials (If you’re interested in dyeing your own yarn, I’d suggest using acid dyes. I previously purchased these dyes from Dharma Trading Co. and even got the citric acid needed). So when I got to Neighborhood Fiber Co they had this lovely yarn color wheel on the table. You know how much I love a rainbow…and color…and yarn.
We talked a lot about color theory and how they create their highly saturated colors. The workshop was really run by a student from MICA who is majoring in Fiber – who knew that was a degree that existed?! I wish I had gone to an arts school because I think I would’ve been way craftier than I am. Our class was small, only 3 of us and we each picked varying weights of yarn (I chose their studio worsted – I dyed up 2 skeins with 800 yards each for a sweater) and vastly different colors.20160131_113354
Can you guess which one is mine? I’m the one in the middle! 20160131_113405
I decided I wanted a pale minty green, to make myself a light sweater for spring. It only took a few hours and they have pre-mixed jugs of their bases for dye but I made this pale green by mixing turquoise, blue and the tiniest drop of yellow and then slowly adding just a little bit to a huge pot of water. It’s kind of amazing to watch it take on the color. It’s not perfectly saturated all around but I love the bits of white and paler green throughout. I’m thinking I’m going to make this pattern with it as a nice piece to throw on over jeans or with a fitted pencil skirt for work. Neighborhood Fiber Co will offer Open Dye Studio hours where you can come and use their facilities and dye for a smaller fee than the class. I might be back again to make up some more unique colors for projects I have in mind in the future.

So have any of you tried dyeing yarn? I kind of love it but know if I start I won’t be able to stop and my stash will just be a bit insane.


Stitching Status: The Laundry List

So I’ve got a laundry list of things I want to do, things I should do and things I’m just not motivated to do. These are lists in life and in knitting (I’m talking about you, homework I assigned but am too tired to grade). LOL My girlfriend Rachel, who reads this blog (hi, Rachel!) is about to have a baby girl in a few weeks and I want to knit her a blanket because 1. I love Rachel 2. I knit her son a blanket that he still loves (pictured below) BUT I hate knitting baby blankets nowadays. The struggle is real, it’s a lot of the same stitch and I’d rather knit a sweater…for myself. But I have vowed to start working on the little lady’s blanket this weekend. I bought bulky yarn a while ago (a fun combo of greys, white and lavender), I’ve got size 13 needles and I’m going to make something soft and cuddly. I just don’t know what pattern yet.
Bridgeman Blanket
For her son’s blanket they were going with a very red, white and blue nautical vibe. So I picked out a fun cable pattern and made did a different stitch for each color on his blanket. I have loved how over the years Rachel refers to it as his “special blanket” and even though I’m only around her son once a year or so, when she tells him I’m the lady who made said special blanket he perks up. Kids are just the cutest. I have considered casting on this Falling Bobbles Blanket from Purl Soho BUT I was traumatized knitting bobbles on this very lovely bobble hat and I think I’ve made enough bobbles to last me a lifetime. We shall see what I end up creating this weekend.
In the meantime, I’ve started yet another sweater. Meet my Colorblocked Lesley sweater, it’s from the Home & Away collection by Hannah Fettig. I still had several balls of the Macaw colored Mighty Stitch yarn after I finished my Green Garter Raglan, so I added a royal blue (Celestial) and white to my stash to make a fun and bright color blocked project. I’m also trying to stash bust and go through a lot of what I have in my workshop so I can have less clutter. I think the bottom ribbing will be blue and the cuffs will be ribbed with white, I want to mix it up. And so far everything I’ve knit in 2016 has had green in it – clearly this is my favorite color and what I should knit with all the time. It just makes me happy.
Yarn dyeing
Also I’m pretty excited that on Sunday, I’m taking a Dye Workshop at Neighborhood Fiber Co in Baltimore! In 2014 my BFF Jess and I dyed yarn in my kitchen (pictured above) over the Thanksgiving break and I loved it but want to learn more, so when I saw a fairly local yarn business was doing workshops I decided to jump at the chance to broaden my knowledge. I love yarn, so I’m excited to see what I create in class on Sunday! Have a great weekend everyone!