Thursday, 29 March 2012

Of socks and dyeing things

Well, I had a reasonably productive day today. Between doing the laundry, keeping little man happy and fed and the other things that needed to be done I finished the pair of socks for himself that I've been working on since the beginning of February. There's a bit of a saga behind these socks. Before Christmas picked out the yarn for his socks from my stash. I didn't promise to have them for Christmas but maybe for his birthday in January. Well his birthday came and went and I still hadn't cast on. So I figured maybe Valentine's day would be a good deadline. I cast on on February 1st and when the 14th rolled around I had one solitary sock. Himself tried it on and was happy with the fit but thought the toe was too pointy. So I ripped it out and replaced the original wedge toe with a short row toe. When I showed it to himself we had success the toe was less pointy and he was happy!

Then I got a case of second sock syndrome but here is where the fabulous ladies of the Itty bitty knits group on ravelry came in. In mid February Mel (womaninashoe on rav) started a WIP (work in progress) thread to encourage all of us to reduce the number of WIPs we had. I had 5 WIPs in my work basket which of course included The Socks!This did not include my swap knitting (I was taking part in the groups Easter swap). So I left the socks aside for some swap knitting and I finished the 2 cowls I had in my WIP list. Then finally a week or so ago I started on the second sock. I finished it this morning and he was good enough to model them when he got home from work.

The yarn is The Dublin Dye Company Twinkle Toes sock yarn in the colour way "last light". I definitely think the colour way name is appropriate. The colours brings to mind the evening sky at dusk. My sister-in-law E bought this yarn for me at the This is Knit yarn tasting back in September.

For the socks themselves I cast on 64 stitches. Knit in 1x1 rib for a 2 inch cuff. I then increased to 72 stitches and switched to K4 P2 rib. I used a heel flap heel and worked the foot in stocking stitch. Finally I worked short row toes. I found this tutorial on short row toes and heels really helpful, great photos and clear instructions. 

All I have left in my WIP pile now is my Lintilla shawl and my poor one armed, legless Tiny Elf. But before I start tackling them I am going to work on some more swap knitting. This itty bitty group swap is H themed and must included either a Hippo or a Hedgehog designed by Susan B. Anderson as well as some other H/hippo/hedgehog themed goodies. I have a list of ideas but it remains to be seen if I get them all done by the mail out deadline of May 7th.

So what of the dyeing things??

This morning I made my maiden voyage into the world of yarn dyeing. The itty bitty group is having a Dye-A-Long which has been useful for picking up tips. I used some Knit Picks bare superwash merino DK and Kool-Aid in black cherry, cherry and pink lemonade flavours. I followed the knitty tutorial for microwave dyeing and got to it. I was aiming for a graduation of the colours although it turned out a bit patchy where I obviously should have moved the yarn around a bit more when I added in the Kool-Aid.

But once it was wound into a cake I think it looks quite nice.

I'm not sure what it's going to become but at the moment I'm thinking either The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief or Honey Cowl.

On a side note, I found a great tutorial on how to wind a yarn cake with a paper tube which can be found here. I've seen E do this when she so happily winds some of my yarn but I'd never managed to do it successfully myself until now! I don't have a swift or a ball winder but with the help of that tutorial, a toilet paper tube and an upturned laundry basket I got a very pretty yarn cake. I'll definitely be trying this again.


  1. Socks are looking good!!
    Perhaps I should bring my own chemistry kit when we next visit? Though the vinegar in the dye bath does smell rather pungent :)

    1. Sounds like a plan. The Kool Aid actually works really well and smells nice too, I just need to remember to smoosh the yarn around a bit more. Not bad for a first attempt though.