Posts Tagged ‘hand dyed’
Hello, there! Did you miss me? Did you even notice that I’ve been gone? Guys, this season has gotten out of hand. I won’t bore you with the details but I have good excuses. I’m lagging seriously behind on everything (I haven’t finished Christmas shopping yet, oops!). I’ve been letting just about everything go. Keep reminding myself that it’s ok to resume life after the holidays.
Anyway, let’s talk about socks. That usually makes things better.
Let’s hop in our TARDISes and take a trip back to Rhinebeck, shall we? When I’m off on a trip and I have nothing on my needles, I dive into my stash and cast on some socks. The Simple Skyp Socks were on my queue. I was really looking forward to doing some car knitting on the way up to Rhinebeck. (Knitting in the car is just the best, right? You could drag me just about anywhere, I won’t complain as long as I have my needles.) The drive upstate at that time of year as the sun sets is always gorgeous and wonderful!
These are made from Holiday Yarns FlockSock yarn in Artemis that I got last year in a Yarnbox. (Jon got me a subscription for my birthday.) It was a great treat and I loved getting sock yarn.
This pattern is just great. I’ve never fallen so hard for a sock pattern! It’s very straightforward which I like. It was a perfect pattern for the car and then the house, something I could work on while playing Cards Against Humanity over a cider or after a long day at the fairgrounds.
I liked the pattern so much, I immediately cast on two more pair! Remember how I mentioned that Jon loves handknit socks? This pattern is so masculine and looks just delicious in Into the Whirled’s Manchester Sock in Qualinesti. Now he and I have matching socks and he’s worn his so much they’re pilling like crazy. I also made a pair in Into the Whirled’s Bukavu Sock (that’s a BFL/nylon yarn which should wear really well!) in Crow for my dad. Didn’t have time to snap a photo of his socks before he got them for Hanukkah but they look great.
I guess I ought to take a break from socks for a little while but I think this pattern has become my go to for gifts!
What’s your favorite sock pattern?
Have you picked up Pom Pom Quarterly’s summer issue yet? I’ve been so pleased with the response to Creamsicle. But I have to give credit where credit is due. Linda’s fantastic yarn really took the design over the top. I can’t stop raving about the color and delicious softness. Which is why I asked her to do a little interview!
Aside from having yummy yarns and gorgeous colorways, Linda is very serious about being environmentally friendly. She recently began dyeing full time and I’m so glad that she’s been able to take that step! Linda was kind enough to share the process and philosophy behind her company Kettle Yarn Co.
How did you begin dyeing yarn?
My journey into yarn is a somewhat personal one that I haven’t discussed much publicly.
My yarn dyeing adventures started a few years ago during a period of illness. I was a practicing artist at the time and found that preparing canvases was just too much for me so I started knitting so that I could continue to create while conserving energy. Dyeing my own yarn was a logical melding of the two disciplines!
After over a year’s worth of poking and prodding by medical professionals and my health deteriorating to the point where I could barely get up a small flight of stairs, I learned my illness was largely due to severe fragrance allergies. Kettle Yarn Co. was started in the hopes that one day I’d be able to have a bit more control over my working environment and lessen my exposure to the perfume chemicals that were currently damaging my lungs in the open plan office environment at the university where I worked.
I have been very fortunate. I have left the university and am now not only able to work from home a good portion of the week but am doing a job I truly love and am passionate about. My health has improved exponentially and I feel that I’ve finally found my creative niche!
right: clear water remaining after dyeing process is complete
One of your goals is to be eco-friendly. How do you make your yarns a little “greener?”
My partner is an Environmental Project Manager and I’ve been lucky enough to get a lot of free help and advice on how to make my processes as low impact as possible.
I have chosen to use a local dye supplier and the most toxic thing I use in my process is regular household vinegar! I try to ensure that I use up all dyes in the pot when dyeing. I’ve even developed a line of OOAK (one of a kind) yarns – TWIST 100% British Bluefaced Leicester fingering – that helps me to use up every last particle so nothing gets wasted or ends up back in the water table.
All my yarn blends are chosen to ensure animal welfare and humane wool production. Any Merino I use is Peruvian to ensure that absolutely no mulesing is done to the sheep and many of my blends use 100% British Bluefaced Leicester. It is very important to me to support the British Wool Industry and help to maintain traditional breeds.
I always joke that British Bluefaced Leicester is the Holy Grail of wool blends as the fleece combines three of the most highly prized qualities for handcrafting:
1. a softness comparable to Merino wool – delicate enough for the most sensitive skin;
2. a long staple fibre, making yarn hard wearing, long lasting and extremely low pilling;
3. the fleece is formed of crimped fibres, creating a natural lustre and elastic bounce.
This gives the yarn a gentle sheen, which reflects light to enhance stitch work and colour while also giving the blend elasticity, warmth and a luxurious drape. Purchased from the British Wool Marketing Board, we only use supersorted 100% British Bluefaced Leicester fleece. ‘Supersorting’ is when the fibre is picked through (cleaned of any unwanted bits!) twice as much as normal wools are handled and then is examined again before being combed and sent for processing at the spinning mill. This ensures that only the very softest BFL is used for Kettle Yarn Co. blends.
What’s next for you and Kettle Yarn Co?
I have two UK trade shows coming up in July and am in a yarn dyeing frenzy for the next month in preparation. I am so excited about them both as will have my very own solo both for the first time! Unwind is the first, which takes place July 12th and 13th in the beautiful seaside town of Brighton and Fibre East is at the end of the month July 26th and 27th in Bedfordshire.
I am working on a few new blends to release for the shows and they will be available in August in the shop! So exciting.
Thanks for sharing with us, Linda! So many amazing insights into the knitty gritty (excuse the pun) of yarn dyeing. If you’re in the neighborhood, you should definitely check out the Kettle Yarn Co booth at those upcoming festivals! Luckily for the rest of us, Kettle Yarn Co is available through Etsy. And Linda has put together Creamsicle kits in Sherbert and Melon Balls, just add an issue of Pom Pom Quarterly and needles!
Have you knit with Kettle Yarn Co before? How important is it that your yarn be eco friendly?
After all of the complaints about startitis last week, I am super excited about what I have to share today! The preview for Pom Pom Quarterly’s summer issue came out on Friday so you can finally get a peek at my first design for their magazine.
Creamsicle is a summery sweater, slightly cropped with half sleeves and a bobble front. You know I love bobbles. I’m always pleased when I can put my personality and style into a piece of knitwear and this vintage-inspired, whimsical top is exactly that.
The sweater is knit with Kettle Yarn Co’s gorgeous Wimbledon yarn which is the most delectable superwash merino I’ve ever laid my hands on. Working with it is a dream and it’s super soft and silky which is perfect for a light sweater like this. Linda is a really fantastic dyer. The colors were beyond anything I could have imagined. I’m obsessed with how the peach and melon work together.
And, of course, I’m just completely over the moon with how amazing the photos are. The ladies at Pom Pom always impress. They really know how to style things perfectly.
The summer issue of Pom Pom Quarterly is available for pre-order right now in both print and digital forms! I definitely think you should pick up a copy and not just for the purposes of shameless self-promotion. All of the patterns in this issue are going into my queue. Speaking of, you can add Creamsicle to your queue and add it to your favorites on Ravelry. Best of all, Kettle Yarn Co has already opened a pre-order for Wimbledon kits so you can have your yarn on hand when the magazine comes out later this month. Did I mention how amazing this yarn is?
Will you be knitting a Creamsicle? Do you love bobbles or do you love bobbles?
Alright, I’ve held out on you long enough. It’s time to show you what I snagged at Rhinebeck!
I was a really good girl this year. I think that looking my stash directly in the face (that’s for another post) the week before Rhinebeck along with the pressure of numerous deadlines really helped me put things into perspective. I really love yarn. But I seriously need to be careful about what I’m purchasing lest things get more out of hand. (I’d also had my hopes that I was getting a big bonus at work the Friday before but that got postponed so my budget was a little tighter. Probably for the best! Custom couches don’t just pay for themselves, you know.) On top of it all, I felt like I was chatting and catching up so much on Saturday that I hardly had time to shop. Shopping was not the goal for the weekend, as I mentioned before, I felt super pumped after spending the day with all of my friends. I was literally still browsing through what was left at Into the Whirled when they announced that the fairgrounds were closed and I didn’t have to go home but I couldn’t shop for more yarn here. So I only bought two skeins of yarn for myself!
Within my first fifteen minutes, I’d already gotten a lovely compliment on my sweater (oh, Rhinebeck, you always know how to make a girl happy) and fallen deeply in love with this skein of DK BFL dyed by Jan Marek Raczkowski. It’s a gorgeous pink with just a little bit of red. I didn’t want to buy anything until I’d made my rounds so I waited until the end of the day to pick this up but I was thinking about it all day. It’s soft and squishy and the color has me swooning. I’m planning on making the Hierro mitts from Pom Pom’s Autumn 2013 issue and I had my eye out for the right yarn. This is it.
I’m really excited to start those mitts and I’m already thinking that I want to get more yarn from Jan Marek Raczkowski. Apparently he only sells at shows, nothing online! Although a little birdie did tell me that I could email him to order. I’ll definitely be thinking about that!
The other skein I bought is by Into the Whirled. Now, I was a little bad. After going through my stash, I realized that I have enough sock yarn to last me a hundred winters (possible slight exaggeration but it’s serious). I’ve said again and again that I love buying sock yarn because it’s a great way to purchase yarn without worrying about having the right quantity for a random project- one skein of sock yarn is enough for a pair of socks. I love knitting socks! But, alas, I’ve seemed to have followed my own advice a little too closely and now I have a billion skeins and zero minutes to cast on socks. Then Lisa showed me these yarns and there was just no turning back.
But when I saw this color way, I just really couldn’t say no. It’s Inara and it’s in the SW merino/nylon base. It’s just so pretty. I might make socks for Jon with it. I think that is what I say every time I buy a skein of sock yarn. And he only has one pair of socks that I ever knit him. Poor thing.
The more I think about it, the more I’m regretting not also picking up a skein of Bigger on the Inside because the colors are just gorgeous and who doesn’t want Doctor Who-themed socks?! Maybe next time. I really was trying to be good!
Did I do good? Or should I have really broken the bank this time? What did you buy?
ps. Happy Halloween! I’ve been so busy, I’ve forgotten to be festive. Last year I wrote this Halloween poem so check that out.
Today is my birthday! So let’s talk about socks!
Well, first I want to talk about brunch. And we will because (did I mention) it’s my birthday! I had a really lovely brunch at my place over the weekend with a bunch of my best friends to celebrate (and also as a very belated housewarming). I just felt super lucky to have so many people that I love there and FINALLY being able to have a proper party since we decorated a bit. It felt kind of grown up and lovely! My friend Holly made me a birthday cake which was so super special. I think that as long as I’m surrounded by awesome friends and family, this is going to be a great year!
Anyway, you’re here for the socks. I’m pretty happy with the way my first Hermione sock is turning out. It’s been a few months since I’ve worked on a sock, boy, I love sock knitting! Did I mention that before? I just love the tiny little needles and the shape. They’re so simple yet so complex!
Speaking of complex, I ripped out the heel flap four times before I was happy. I think that I was reading the pattern wrong but I ended up knitting the WS on the RS (kind of wish that the pattern had specified which rows were which) a few times and then I was worried that it didn’t look right. I was thinking that it should look like a regular slipped stitch heel (so, more like a faux ribbing) than the eye of patridge (more of a dimple texture). Jill and I chatted about it and she set me straight. I was just over-complicating things.
I’m not much of a top-down sock knitter. I really love my toe-up socks. But this pattern is starting to sway me. The garter stitch edge to the heel flap makes picking up gusset stitches seamless. Everything looks so neat. I absolutely love it! I will be making all of my heel flaps with garter stitch borders from now on, thank you very much.
Now, I want to talk about turning the heel. Turning a heel is just like knitting magic. It’s like turning a boring tube or a flat piece of fabric into a three dimensional object. I mean, it was always 3D, obviously, but I mean something that goes from being just a blob of stitches to being an actual recognizable garment. It’s like origami with needles. Is there any other knitting technique that is as satisfying and simple yet clever and ingenious!? I’d love to hear what you think. I don’t really know how to explain it but if you’ve done it before, you know what I mean.
The best comparison I’ve got for you (and it’s not very good but, hear me out) is that moment when building a ship in a bottle (I’ve never done this but I’ve seen it on TV) when you pull the string and the whole thing stands up and you’re like, “Yay! Look it’s a ship! Magic!” That’s what turning a heel feels like. (Yes, I Youtubed ships in bottles. It’s my birthday, you cannot judge.)
Long story short, I hope you’re all uploading your sock progress to Kollabora! I want to see more sock photos! I demand sock photos! My birthday wish is more sock photos and world peace and to eat a piece of chocolate cake for dinner. Three birthday wishes!
How are your socks coming along?
ps. Since we’re talking coupon codes, turns out Bristol Ivy and I have the same birthday! I must encourage you to buy one of her gorgeous patterns since she’s having a birthday sale! 28on28 for 28% off! Happy birthday, Bristol!
Tags: birthday, brunch, discount, eye of patridge, hand dyed, hand knit, heel, heel flap, hermione's everyday sock, Jill Draper, jill draper makes stuff, knit, knitalong, kollaboar, kollabsockalong, ship in a bottle, slipped stitch, sock, sock knitting, sock splendor, turn heel
New York has been wonderfully cool this week. The weather has me day dreaming about big comfy sweaters and apple cider. And socks! I can’t think of a better occasion than this autumnal preview to announce this knit-a-long! I really love making socks and I want to make them with you!
So here are the details I’ve been promising! We’ll be knitting the Hermione Everyday Sock pattern which is available for free under that link. The KAL begins Monday (August 19th) and will end around September 9th. Jill will be helping to select her favorite executions and there are prizes! Three winners will receive Jill’s newest yarn Esopus, a hand dyed fingering weight 100% superwash merino at 500yds/4oz.
I’m really excited to have Jill involved in this KAL. Her yarn is absolutely gorgeous and filled with love and she is just lovely. She recently announced some big changes to her brand and I think it’s going to be wonderful. All Jill Draper Makes Stuff yarns will be entirely sourced and spun in the US. Hooray for keeping small farms and the American textile industry going! I must say that I highly recommend casting on for this with some of her yarn. (Check the update below for ordering info!)
To participate, upload your Hermione socks to Kollabora. It’s really that simple. Be sure to post WIP pictures, too! Go crazy, make them your own, and have fun!
And, dear lurkers (hello!), if you’re maybe nervous about starting a sock for the first time but possibly ready to take the plunge maybe! Kollabora has just added this really cool feature for those of us in need! Besides WIP and FO statuses, if you’re having trouble, you can mark you projects as “Stuck” and the lovely people and community at Kollabora will lend you some advice. I am totally loving this feature. It’s such a fantastic way to encourage online knitters to help each other out and hopefully to get those that are tentative to dive in! We’ll be your life jacket!
I’ll also be doing some sock-centric posts along with WIP photos in the upcoming weeks to help you along so check back for more!
So, will you join us? Tell your friends!
Quick update! Jill is offering free shipping in the US for KAL-ers with coupon code KOLLABORATION13. Do it!!!
Want to hear a secret? A super secret? My super secret project is out!
I’m working on a new video series! And it’s all about my favorite thing! (Knitting, obviously!) I have been so pumped about the reception that The Burgerlution had that I wanted to do something similar with knitting.
I hope to use these shorts in order to introduce knitters to the people behind the designs, brands, and tools that we are so familiar with. And, I’ll be honest, I’m excited to have an excuse to meet more knitters and more people that are involved in the industry! My people! And, also, an excuse for gratuitous yarn porn. (You’re welcome.)
The ladies of Roman Hills were nice enough to meet with me for my first short. We hung out and chatted along with Amy of Threadpanda and had some mid-morning beers and talked about yarn. It was such a wonderful experience. This is just the first episode in what I hope will be an ongoing project.
Without further ado…
I have to give a huge thank you to everyone involved. My friend Andrew wrote a really cool piece of music for the series that is based on the rhythm of stitching. I love it. And my fantastically talented friend Ashley gave me some great advice when it came to editing. She has much more patience than I. Jon, as always, is a great partner when it comes to making movies. He is not only a great match in terms his skills but I am always grateful for how dedicated he is! And he figured out how to use Soundtrack Pro in about five minutes. He’s pretty great to have around.
Also, don’t forget to check out Roman Hills in the latest issue of Knitscene Magazine!
Let me know what you think! I can’t wait for my next interview (hint: it’s coming up this weekend and it’s with someone I’m incredibly excited to meet!) and I can’t wait to hear some feedback. What do you think? Who would you like to see next?
Don’t forget to follow Knit York City on Vimeo!
Tags: Andrew Leach, Ashley Maas, brooklyn, film, hand dyed, interview, Jonathan Jacob, knitting, knitting interview, KYC Presents, Lisa Roman, movie, Roman Hills, short, small business, the burgerlution, Threadpanda, yarn
I’m not really sure where to start! I’m trying to revamp everything for 2012 and I have a lot of new projects coming up in the new year. I guess let’s start by saying that I hope everyone had a great start to the New Year. It sounds like a lot of people were doing the low-key thing this time around. We did too.
Becaaaause we’re so exhausted/exhilarated/busy from our big move. I can’t wait to show you the new apartment. This year is going to be all about redesigning this little gem.
Anyway, maybe I can start by showing you a long-overdue post about my larch cardigan? Tie up the loose ends of last year. It’s been such a long time since I finished it. (Before Thanksgiving!) Let’s see…
The construction of the collar really confused me the first few times I read the pattern. When I finally got my head around it, I realized how brilliant it was! The collar is worked around the neckline and then back and forth picking up a little more on either side to make a really beautiful roll collar. I’ve never knit anything will a roll collar so I love it!
The beautiful tortoise buttons are from an adorable little you’ll-miss-it-if-you-don’t-know-it’s-there button store on the Upper East Side called Tender Buttons. I’m so in love. It’s one of those shops that doesn’t really exist anymore and is so small and unique it feels like magic. They are just wall to wall buttons! And all kinds including some vintage and antique wonders. I bought about 4 buttons just in case something unfortunate happens to the ones I put on.
I’m not terribly pleased with how the cardigan fits across my chest when the buttons are done. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not the size I thought I was or if my gauge wasn’t spot on. Maybe the length isn’t right? I was going for something tighter than I usually wear as I’m trying to break the giant comfy sweater habit (at least when I’m going out.) It’s not that bad but I think another more serious blocking will do the trick on it. I’m pleased otherwise.
So love how this MadTosh knit up. How many times can I say that? I’ll say it again. It’s tops.