Hand dyed Lush cardigan – FO

Hello everyone,

Today I finally have the photos of my finished hand dyed Lush cardigan. This has been finished for weeks but it took me a little while to get it blocked and photographed. I finally persuaded my other half to come and take some photos of me wearing it and the light was almost obliging. I dyed the yarn back in June and cast it on as soon as it was dry enough for me to do so. The pattern I used was Lush by Tin Can Knits, I have knit this once before and I absolutely love the pattern.

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This colour is rather tricky to photograph, especially with the pattern showing. But take it is a mixture of purples from the light to the dark. I made it a little longer than my last one and I am super happy with the fit of it.
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So what colour next? I now have a blue one and a purple one!

 

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What do you get if cross alpaca wool and blackberries?

Blackberry yarn of course!

Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and that the beginning of the week is going well for you. We had a lovely relaxing weekend as I hoped we would. Plenty of knitting, film watching, reading, a few walks when the weather permitted and some foraging. Here in the UK we are on the border between summer and autumn and that means one thing… blackberries and lots of them! Bushes dripping with blackberries line the edges of fields and I couldn’t be happier. This time every year we collect loads of them, we turn them into jam, crumble, pie and cakes. Delicious! This year though we did something a little different. Surely everyone who has ever picked a blackberry has noticed that it leaves your fingers stained pink? Well I decided to try and capture that on some yarn. So how did we do it?

Well first up we collected a mixing bowl full of blackberries, probably about 400g. There was no quality control here. They all went in… over ripe, under ripe, somewhere in the middle, a few sticks and leaves for good measure. Once we got home, I dumped them into a big pot and mashed them up a little bit with a potato masher, I then added about 200 ml of water. I then put them onto simmer for about an hour. Whilst this was happening I soaked my yarn (a skein of baby alpaca 4ply) with water and some citric acid. I then let the blackberry mix cool completely and then yarn to soak properly. After a few hours I strained the blackberry mix  and then combined my yarn and the blackberries. I then added about 3 teaspoons of citric acid and simmered for about 1 hour. I then turned off the heat and left it overnight (the hardest part).

 

 

The next day I took my yarn out, gave it a good rinse and then hung it up on the line. It is a bit paler than I thought, but I am really happy with how it came out. It is not my usual colour, but I still love it. I hope to knit this into a shawl and every time I wear it I will think of blackberry picking and look forward to the next autumn! Maybe next year I will try sloes or elderberries?

The colours are accurate… it faded a fair amount whilst drying!

Happy crafting.

 

Finished and new socks…

Hello everyone,

How is it going? Are you glad it is the weekend? I certainly am! I have had a very busy week at work and I am now looking forward to some chill time. Most importantly of course… some crafting time!

Despite the busyness I have managed to get some knitting in. First up, I finished the monster blender socks for my other half. As soon as I had finished these and woven in all of the ends (so many ends!!) he had them on his feet. I am taking that as a sign that he likes them! Here they are. I am happy with them, aside from I think some of the colour changes are a bit obvious, he doesn’t mind and I guess they are leftover socks, so maybe I shouldn’t mind either!

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Once I had those off of the needles I quickly cast on another pair of socks (it would seem I can’t not have socks on the needles). The socks I cast on are a pair of boot socks using my rainbow hand dyed DK yarn. I am loving how these are looking so far and I can’t wait to be wearing them (am I the only knitter who is always ten steps ahead in my mind… my hands can’t keep up!).IMG_0470

 

There are some very satisfying colours going on in these socks, they are most definitely going to look super.

I haven’t given up on my second Lush cardigan by the way. The lace panel is blocking as we speak. As soon as that is dry I will be carrying on with the body.

Until next time lovely crafters. I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Dyeing adventures take three

Hello everyone,

How is it going? All has been good here, although I am still waiting for summer to arrive in our little corner of the UK. Our vegetable patch needs some work, but sadly with all of the rain we have been having, it has been feeling a little neglected. Oh well, saves on the watering!

Whilst we have been having all of this rainy weather, I have been partaking in some yarn dyeing. I am today going to share with you my latest skeins of yarn.

I recently decided I wanted to make another lush cardigan (first one here). But not only did I decide that, I decided that I wanted to dye the yarn for it! Nuts right? Well nuts as it may be, I excitedly ordered 500g of undyed worsted weight yarn and some new dyes. I ordered some Wilton’s food colouring gel. As this is a new to me dye, I decided to get some practice in before I tried to dye 500g of yarn! Sensible I thought…. plus it means more time to play with dye. So I bought two 50g balls of superwash wool (DK) in the clearance section, got out the dyes, pots, citric acid and gloves and off I went.

I decided on six colours in the end (I added one after this photo). The colours I went with were green, orange, blue, red, yellow and then I added some purple. I used the same method as when I dyed with kool aid in that I soaked the yarn in water before starting, then put the yarn into new water (this time with added citric acid, about 1.5 tsp) and then dropped dyes on top. I then warmed it up for about 30 minutes, let it cool and then washed it out. I then hung it up to dry and this was the result

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Excuse the messy skeins… I found it hard to skein these with the ties attached for some reason!

I am really pleased with them. The skeins are different, but they have the same colours running through them. I am going to turn these into walking boot socks. I know they don’t have nylon in, so won’t be as hard wearing as they could be… but they will be perfect for walking boots and I know I will get some good use out of them 😀

Now I am all practiced… onto the 500 g sweater weight! This will at least be one colour (purple)… I will let you know how I get on soon!