Friday, September 17, 2010

A Day in the Kitchen, and Not Cooking

Yay, the dye and the yarn I ordered arrived.  I was busy in the kitchen all day today.  Nope, I didn't cook.  I'm really a horrible cook.  Every time I mentioned that I'm going to make some food, Paul would immediately head to the kitchen and start cooking, that's how horrible my cooking is.  I was playing with yarn and dye.  This time instead of finding things in the cupboard to use as dye, I actually bought some natural dyes from Botanical Colors, and some yarn from Dharma Trading Co. 

I really like natural dye and how organic the colors do look.

The yarn I used were the  Wildfoote Luxury Socks.  I ordered 2, and each order was actully 2 skiens (and  430 yards each.)

I used alum as mordant.  An,d for the first time I used iron to chancge color.  Wow, how fun was that seeing the color changed and deepened instangly.

Here are the results.

From left to right:
The two dark reddish brown are first mordant with alum,  then dye with cutch for 2 hours, then added iron, and then threw in madder for the red and dyed for another 20 minutes.

The yellow one was mordant with alum, dyed with weld for an hour, then after I fished it out, I wanted it more intense, added more weld and dyed for another 30 minutes.  Dumped the bath, and pour a bit of the cutch/iron/madder dye water into the pot and dipped the yarn in for about 15 seconds.

The greenish yellow was mordant with alum, dyed with weld for an hour, then dyed with osage orange, weld, logwood gray for 15 minutes, then put in the same more weld pot with the previous skein for 30 minutes.

 I am addicted even though the process does take a long time.
Now I have to come up with some project ideas for these yarns.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


 I have been thinking about making a pair of socks for Halloween.  This year, I actually don't have to work on Halloween.  So I bought the yarn when I was visiting SF area last week.  Then the poem "Nevermore" by Edgar Allen Poe came to mind.  So I came up with the Raven, of course.  Then after some thinking back and forth, I decided to do an opened door onto an empty hallway.

For the past years, I have not been able to enjoy Halloween, partly because I had to work and  living in a vacation town where half of the houses around us stood empty most of the time for being vacation homes.  There is no trick or treating here. very sad.

This pair of socks hopefully will bring me some of the fun of Halloween. 
 I wrote down the patterns and put the charts up.

Getting ready for the Halloween


Yarn: Cascade Heritage Color 5601 (Black), 5646 (Orange)
Needles: US #2 (I used 2 circulars)
Gauge: 36 sts x 40 rows = 4"x4" in colorwork and knit in round. 

Use Black yarn and CO 72 sts and dvided them among 2 circular needles (36 sts on each Needle.)
Work 9 rounds of Chart A for cuff.
  • Round 1, 2, 8 & 9:  use only black, (k2, p1) repeat to end
  • Round 3-7:  (k2 in orange, p1 in black)

  • For right leg work chart B and begin at the indicated st (lower right corner,) finish all 36 sts of chart on first needle, and repeat on second needle. Work all 40 rows.
  • For right leg work chart C and begin at the indicated st (lower right corner,) finish all 36 sts of chart on first needle, and repeat on second needle. Work all 40 rows.
  • Work only with the 36 sts on first needle and work back and forth. 
  • Begin Chart D for heel and work total 17 rows, end with RS row.

Heel Turn:
  • Work only with black yarn and only the sts on the first needle.
  1. Row 1 (WS):  sl 1, p20, p2tog, p1, turn.
  2. Row 2 (RS):  sl 1,  k7, ssk, k1, turn.
  3. Row 3 (WS):  sl 1, p to 1 st before gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
  4. Row 4 (RS):  sl 1, k to 1 st before gap, ssk, k1, turn.
  • Repeat row 3 and 4 until all sts are worked, end with RS row (22 sts remained.)

Gausset and Foot:
  • Pick U 13 sts on either side of the Heel Flap on the same needle as heel flap (first needle) - total 48 sts. 
  • To indicate the beginning of the round, place a marker between the last st on heel turn and the first pick up st on the left of the heel as you're looking at it. (Note that the beginning of the round begins on the 36th st of the first needle.)
  1. Round 1:  Begin as indicated on Chart E for foot, work to the end of round.
  2. Round 2:  Work in est patt to last 3 sts on first needle (that holds the heel and the pick up sts), k2 tog in black, k1 in orange, continue in est patt 'till the end of second needle.  For the first 3 sts on the first needle, k1 in orange, ssk in black, work in est patt 'till the marker (end of round.)
  3. Round 3:  Work even in est patt (k all black sts from previous round black, and all orange sts orange.)
  • Repeat round 2 and 3 until 72 sts remained (36 sts on each needle.)
  • Work only round 3 until 2" from the tip of toes.

  • Work only with black yarn.
  1. Round 1:  k all sts
  2. Round 2:  k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts of the first needle, k2tog, k1, k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts of the second needle, k2tog, k1.
  • Rep last 2 rounds 4 more times (52 sts)
  • Rep only round 2 until 10 sts remained.

  • Cut Yarn and leave a 12" tail.
  • Graft sts together using Kirchner sts.
  • Weave in ends.
  • Block.