November 16, 2008

Dyeing for socks and (almost ) end of year of socks.

I've done a little dyeing.Mainly to recreate the yellow merino/tencel I did a few weeks back for the Solid socks KAL. It seemed silly to get the dye pots, steamer et al out for just one skein. I have struggled past few weeks knitting in sock yarn due to its fineness and to my poorly hands.
It seemed a good idea to go up (down?) a gauge if I wanted to continue with the sock knitting after this year of hospice socks. I love Blue faced Leicester yarn, it is so soft and knits up beautifully. As I managed to procure some of this at Andy's open weekend it made sense to dye it. After all a moggie can't knit with nude yarn. Colour is far more exciting.

As some of you are aware I was running short on yarn for the yellow socks, I had almost the whole foot to knit on the second sock and a small amount of yarn. So I stopped knitting until I could get more yarn to dye. This came this week so it was first in the pot. Funny thing is that after dyeing it I decided to continue knitting the sock with the knowledge that today when the yarn was dry I could carry on. Guess what? I finished the sock with around 4 foot of yarn left, so didn't need this second skein. It will be part of the prize for the person who guesses the number of pairs of socks for the hospice correctly, or is nearest. Tencel does make the yarn shine when it is dyed and these 2 shades of yellow go so well together. They are perfect for cheering up a dark day.

However-- when starting to dye a friend rang and I was rather distracted going back to the pots. Instead of dyeing the tencel I inadvertently took the wrong skein out of the soaking water and voila the same colours on BFL. I love this and it will make cheery socks for me I think.
Here you see the 2 skeins together.
Then I did the second skein with red and yellow but boobed, I only steamed for 20 minutes instead of 30. This made a more faded effect, still lovely in my opinion.
This one is my favourite by a long chalk. I love the muted brightness if there is such a thing? I've wound this and it is on the needles as we speak, also socks for me.
More pictures of them ,just because.
This was the original merino tencel for the solid sock KAL. Finished last night, to fit a size 4 ladies shoe, is that 36? Not sure. I patterned these and I'm very proud of them.
As I'm sure many of you know, I've done far more pairs of socks for the hospice than I started out to do. Thanks in no small part to all the generous donations I've received. Thank you for those. With this in mind I am finishing 1 pair I have on the needles then I'm going to present them to the hospice, probably end of next week. There will be pictures:) I'll count them up and let you know who won. They are going to the hospice as gifts for the patients. As many of you have said this is a far better idea than the hospice selling them, for 2 main reasons. Firstly if they sell them in their shop they may not get what you and I think they are worth.
Secondly I think it will be a good Christmas gift for the hospice patients, don't you?.
I will be attaching little care cards to each pair with washing instructions. After all we don't want them felted after all the hard work creating them.
What about next year do you ask? It will be a set of hat,scarf and fingerless mitts each lunar month so watch this space. Donations will be appreciated thank you:)
And yes for the hospice again. My third year.

5 comments:

Ursula said...

They all look gorgeous as do the Femmes. U x

Artis-Anne said...

Great dyeing Amber and I love the bluey one too and I look fwd to seeing it knitted up :)
The Femmes are stunning , what a clever lady you are , now rest up will you ? :)

gwen said...

Nice dyeing you are doing there.
I started with Kool Aid not so long ago and I am hooked too.
If I may have a guess at the hospice socks number I would say 42 pairs.
I think your femmes (great name that!) are wonderful and very inspiring.
Take care.
P.S.: I am on Ravelry under Gwenaelle if you want to have a look!

Blue Witch said...

I seem to be having a Yellow Thing at the moment. Usually I veer away from it and yesterday I made yellow silk paper and today I'm liking those yellow skeins. I must need yellow...

Love les femmes finies, and so pleased the hospice patients will be getting the socks.

Jean said...

Ok I have a confession, my favorite yarn that you dyed is the more subtle yellow and red combination, I like the muted colors, the photo showing the blue,green,purple... yarn is absolutely heavenly! The blogs have been really comforting to me as I live in Anaheim where the wild fires rage just a few miles away - not far enough for me!