Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer of Socks and cruise update

After knitting shop samples and not a whole lot for me personally, I decided to join the Summer of Socks 2013 group on Ravelry and knit me some socks.

I love knitting socks.  I love teeny tiny needles and creating small works of cozy, beautiful art that I can wear.  Art that hugs my feet and keeps me warm in the cold of winter.  Art in bright colors to offset the gloom of dreary grey days filled with drizzle.

I've spent a lot of time since the beginning of April sitting in hospital and doctor's office waiting rooms, and I pulled out a pair of socks that I started way back in May 2009.  They'd been in hibernation, and I finished them up last night.  I felt compelled to finish them in time to start Summer of Socks without that pair hanging over my head.  (We're just going to ignore the sweater and shawls that are still sitting around waiting to be finished.  Shhh, don't let them hear us talking about them.)

This morning, the first official day of SOS13, I cast on the Lacy Ribs Socks in Go Ahead, Make Me Sing, my Tridye offering for May 2013.  Here is the yarn, and I'll post sock pictures after I take some.

As for the Fiber Charmer cruise, life has been so active that I'd not been remembering to promote it much.  The deadline for deposits will be here before we know it.  If you're interested in cruising with me and other fibery folks, you'll need to pay your deposit of $250 by June 14, 2013.  Contact Doreen Lewis of Century Travel at or 770-309-7453.

The total price of the cruise is $850 based on double occupancy.  We're leaving November 17, 2013 and returning November 24, 2013.  Yes, it's before Thankgiving, but what better way to prepare for the madness that some family get togethers are by taking some time out to relax beforehand.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Color evolution

I mentioned that I wanted to show you how I create a colorway from inspiration picture to what you see on the yarn, and this time I actually have all the steps!

This is the inspiration photo.  Here's the link to where I found it.
I knew I wanted the yarn to have pink, blue, olive green, bright green and brown in it.  Gale of Gale's Art had also told me about another dyer, Gynx of The Dyer's Notebook, who shares dye techniques on her blog.  I'd gone to watch some of her clips and am fascinated with her shibori inspired yarn dyeing techniques, and I wanted to dye this yarn that way.
So, I had two ideas of how I wanted to do this yarn for TriDye.  Now to see if they would work.

I took the first yarn, twisted it up, and tossed it into the dyepot with the pink dye.  This particular pink really loves fiber and dyed it all an intense, deep pink.  I took one look at it and knew it wouldn't work, so I added twisted it again, added some blue and figured that was one experiment that didn't work.
This time I made sure the dyes were more diluted.  I twisted the yarn and dyed one of the greens.  I retwisted and dyed layers of blue and brown on this one.  It's lovely, but I knew the pink would be way too much.
This time I twisted and started with the brown.  I add the green and olive in layers.  When I removed it from the pot, I saw there were no undyed areas for the pink or blue.
*Sigh*  Where's the coffee?
Getting better, but I'm realizing that I'm fixated on a technique that just isn't going to work for this colorway.
I handpaint many of my colors with sponge brushes to get a precise dye application.  I really didn't want to do that with this colorway.  I wanted something more freeform.
Maybe this will work?

This time I twisted the yarn, but used a direct application of the dye.  Still not what I'm looking for.

This time I used a direct application technique, but one I don't use regularly because it's more difficult for me to control the results.
I'm getting closer.  In fact, I liked this one, but I had one more technique to try.

On this one I used the exact same dyes as the one above, but I applied it with sponge brushes in a random, freeform pattern.  What happens is the colors get muted by having other colors applied on top of them.  However, I liked it too.

I rinsed them, hung them to dry, then had to go out of town due to a family illness.  The good thing was that gave me some time away from the colors to not obsess on them as much.

I did ask my husband for his opinion between the two.  He liked the one with the brighter colors, but he said they both had too much brown.
In this last photo, you see the two color tests on either side of the final colorway.  (I did reskein them before I shipped them to scramble the colors, but as you can see, there's less brown.)

I should mention the name comes from my love of Alf, The Animated Series.  There's an episode where Alf and Rick have to wrestle giant clams and make them sing in order to become members of their fathers lodge.  It's "Clams Never Sang for My Father" and you can find it on Hulu Plus is you're so inclined.