I've been gathering flowers from Rubber Rabbitbrush for dyes. The yellow they produced is so brilliant and pretty. I think its color fastness is really good for natural dye. So far I have not seen fading on the yarn. It dyes easily and the color gets absorbed into the yarn beautifully and very quickly. I've been doing a lot of dying with Rabbitbrush, I just can't get enough of the lovely yellow and the shades I could play with.
First boiled the flowers for an hour, and then I strained the liquid for dye bath. Added water to the dye, then added the yarn. It really didn't take long to dye since the color got soaked in very quickly.
I played with dip dye for variation of tones on one skein to see how it works, also threw in just a bit of iron at the end to give it a hint of green into the yellow. As far as knitting up, I wasn't sure how I like it. It's varied a bit much for my taste. I have found that I like more even dye job when it comes to knitting. But after a soak, the dye even out slightly and I'm loving the result.
Main stitch pattern for the socks was "Twin Leaves Pattern" from the Second Treasury of Knitting Stitches by Barbary Walker. To frame either side of it I came up with Twist Stitch Column (a very easy st that I think I saw it somewhere but cannot remember the exact source.)
Here is how I did it using 2 circular needles.
Needles: US #1
CO 56 sts, divide into 28 sts on each needle.
First round, on needle 1 work 3rd to 6th st of round 1 of TSC. (k2, p2) 6 times. On needle 2 work 3rd to 6th st of round 2 of TSC. (k2, p2) 6 times.
Second round, on needle 1 work 3rd to 6th st of round 2 of TSC, (k2, p2) 6 times. On needle 2, work 3rd to 6th st of round 1 of TSC. (k2, p2) 6 times.
Repeat last 2 rounds 3 more times (total 8 rounds worked.)
On needle 1, work 3rd to 6th st of round 1 of TSC, work round 1 of Twin Leaf Patter over next 22 sts, p2 (the p2 are 1st and 2nd st of TSC). On needle 2, work 3rd to 6th st of round 2 of TSC, work round 1 of Twin Leaf Pattern over nest 22 sts, p2 (these 2 sts are the 1st and 2nd sts of TSC.)
Cont' in established pattern until 6 Twin Leaf Pattern are completed.
work and move the first 3 sts from needle 1 to needle 2, move the last st on needle 1 to needle 2. (24 sts on needle 1 and 32 sts on needle 2.) Work back and forth in st st over the 24 sts on needle one and slip the first st of every row until 23 rows are finished. End with a RS row.
Heel Turn - work over the 24 sts on needle 1:
First row (WS): sl1, p12, p2tog, p1, turn.
Second row (RS): sl 1, k3, ssk, k1, turn.
Third row (WS): sl 1, p to 1 st before gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
Fourth row (RS): sl 1, k to 1 st before gap, ssk, k1, turn.
Repeat third and fourth row until all sts are worked (14 sts remained on needle 1.)
First round: With needle 1, pick up and k 12 sts along the righ side of heel flap, pick up and p 1 st between the heel flap and next st on needle 2. Continue in est patt with instep stitch on needle 2. With needle 1, pick up and purl 1 st between needle 2 and heel flap, pick up and k 12 sts along the left side of heel flap, k 14 sts, and pm to indicate beginning of round.
Next round: k to last 3 sts on needle 1, k2 tog, p1, continue in est patt on needle 2, for the first 3 sts on needle 1, p1, ssk, then k to end of round.
Next round: Work in est patt evenly.
Repeat last 2 rounds until only 24 sts on needle 1 (total 56 sts on both needles.)
Work in est patt evenly until 2" before tip of toes, end with an even number round.
Work sts in est patt to the last 2 sts on needle 2.
Move the last 2 sts on needle 2 to needle 1, and move the first 2 sts on needle 2 to needle 1 - 28 sts on each needle.
Round 1: begin with needle 1, *k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts on needle 1, k2tog, k1, rep from * for needle 2.
Round 2: k all sts.
Repeat the 2 rounds 4 more times - total 36 sts left.
Repeat only round 1 'till only 20 sts left.
Cut yarn. Graft sts on needle 1 with sts on needle 2 together using Kirchener stitches.
Charts (click on the image to open it to larger and clearer image.)
Twist Stitch Column Pattern (TSC)
Twin Leaves Pattern