Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Conundrum of Colour Combinations

I've been thinking about colour combinations lately. Since I started dyeing my own yarn, I have noticed that I seem to use similar colour combinations or end up with exactly the same thing without even realising. There are shades I like a lot more than others, of course, but I do think that this preference for certain colours might be keeping me from discovering really beautiful combinations that I might not even consider normally.

My problem is I like pretty much all colours. I am not particularly keen on brown or black when it comes to dyeing though I do have those two as acid dye samples at the moment. I've just never used them! To be honest, I am afraid I'll mess up a beautiful skein just because I put black or brown in with it.

Looking at my stash, the most common combinations are:


Do you have favourite colour combinations? Do you seem to use them more often than others? What do you think I should give a try? Let me know!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Etsy Update: Absolutely Bollywood

Today's shop update features Absolutely Bollywood, a 2-ply superwash laceweight yarn made of 90% merino and 10% nylon. The meterage is stunning at roughly 1200 m per 100g! The skein has been dyed with professional acid dyes in magenta, teal and green.
The yarn is soft and ideal for a large lace project. The stitch definition is very good too and will perfectly show off complex patterns.
Get it here!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Gone Brazilian

Just when I though I could take a break from dyeing, a new parcel of undyed yarn came to my door. Honestly, I have no idea how that happened! Well, maybe.

I now have lace, superwash lace and superwash sock yarn sitting on my bed and I am tempted to get the gear out of the cupboard yet again. I have shamefully neglected my spinning, I must admit, and I am missing my wheel so I think I will sit down, choose some fibre, and get spinning later today. Definitely no more dyeing for now, oh no!

My latest attempts involved sock yarn from World of Wool that I hadn't ordered before. I was a bit disappointed by the loose plying - I bet no one in their right minds is going to make socks out of that! They wouldn't last. I am tempted to run one of the skeins through the wheel just to see if that's any better. Actually, might do that later instead of starting with new fibre.

In a desperate attempt to use up the horrid Hue & Dye dyes, I made this very Brazilian skein:
Absolutely Rio!
Not what I expected, but not bad either.

(Important note: This is the first time the dyes have actually worked on yarn, which is due to the fact that I use citric acid instead of vinegar now.)

Here are the photos of the dried skein of lace I wrote about in my last post. It hasn't got a name yet, but the colours are lovely. Here I used a mix of Ashford and Luvotex dyes, both of which I like very much.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Testing Dyes

While I'm waiting for more undyed yarn to arrive, I am doing some more dyeing. Today I tested Ashford dyes in the hope of buying some more. Sadly, my favourite dyes are only available in Germany, but Ashford is a great choice too. If anyone has other suggestions for good, brilliant dyes, let me know!

So this afternoon I prepped some superwash laceweight yarn and this is the result, still wet:
The green turned out semi-solid - it's yellow and blue Luvotex dye that I mixed before applying. The teal and purple/pink are both solid shades.

Now I've just got to come up with a good name for it!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Singing Knitters

If you ever wanted a hymn especially for knitters, this is probably as good as it gets.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Etsy: New Update Coming Soon!

I've been dyeing with new acid dyes and they are BRILLIANT!

Meet Feuer auf dem Amazonas (Fire on the Amazon), a new 2-ply lace (100g; 1000m) that will be in my shop shortly.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Is It a Bird? Is It a Plane? Er... Yes.

Not your average yarn bombing.

Watch the video and see photos of the preparations here on

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

AbsoKnittingLutely is Open!

Join me in the grand opening of my Etsy Shop AbsoKnittingLutely

It started well: while I was writing the shop's About page someone already bought two items. Thank you, Ela, for being my first customer!

Looks like I need to start filling up the shop again. See you there, I hope!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Etsy: Grand Opening August 15!

That's right, AbsoKnittingLutely opens on Etsy on August 15. The business cards have arrived, products are listed (of which two have already been reseved), further items are in stock, my head is brimming with new crafting ideas, and all that's left to do is wait for the grand opening!

See you there!

(Link to be posted on the day of opening.)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Dyeing with Kool-Aid: An Experiment

I have been snobbishly looking down on dyeing with Kool-Aid since it wasn't conceived as a dye originally and it just seems wrong to use a drink to dye yarn. But recently a friend sent me four packets of Blastin' Berry Cherry and I got a hank of undyed sock yarn from someone else, so I thought it was the right time to give it a go. I was certainly not going to drink something that could be used as a dye!

Now I understand why so many like using Kool-Aid for this purpose: it's easy to use and you need nothing else but water. I dissolved a packet in 100 ml of water, poured a little of it in a dish and put the skein into it (I didn't open the skein first, but just left it as it was so that only some places would soak up the dye). I then opened the skein, twisted it again and repeated this process till all the liquid was used up.
I would like to try this method with other dyes, actually. I really like the effect you get and would imagine that using more than one colour can be very interesting. This skein is lovely. It does look a bit like I spilled blood all over it, but it also reminds me of the spaghetti ice cream that's so popular in Germany. (Oh, how I miss it!) That's why I'm calling this skein Spaghettieis.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Etsy: Grand Opening Coming Soon!

In preparation for the grand opening of my Etsy shop in mid-August, I have ordered some businesscards and adapted my shop banner to match the design. I am very happy with them and getting quite excited about it all! Not long to go now.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Violets and Marigolds - All Spun Up

Today I finished plying my Violets and Marigolds hand-dyed fibre. Now I've got just under 100g of lovely 2-plied merino lace. There was a little left over from one of the singles that I n-plied to fingering weight yarn. I will use it to knit one or two hexipuffs, I think.
Normally I am not a fan of fractal spinning because I prefer a solid colour rather than a mix of two or more. This is why I normally n-ply to keep the colour changes as they appeared when I dyed the fibre or yarn. These two skeins, however, look really good and certainly much better than I expected. They will be available in my Etsy shop eventually (opening will be in mid-August - I will let you know once I know more).

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Boxi: Half a Pair

Since it is an easy knit, half of a pair of Boxi socks is already complete. A lot of the pattern is intuitive and you will probably memorise it as you knit so there is no need to keep looking at the charts. Especially once you get to the foot, you can sit back and relax with a film while you knit. Excellent!
Pay attention to your cabling though! I managed to cable the wrong way round at one point so that instead of two cable twists, I have an s-shaped feature between leg and foot. Oops. I was already too far along to bother with ripping back. If I remember to do the same on the second sock, it won't be so bad, will it?