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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Knit a rainbow

A finished object to start with:

Berry Hill mittens

Pattern: Berry Hill fingerless mittens (free Ravelry download)
Yarn: Hand-dyed Debbie Bliss Merino DK (1 ball)
Needles: 3.25mm dpns
Ravelled: here

I've decided that the best way to build up a pattern portfolio is to just start writing stuff down (or up). I certainly improvise enough stuff. These are just a very simple pair of fingerless mitts with the interest coming from the twisted rib in the cuff and at the knuckles and from the lovely shades in the yarn. I put it up on Ravelry on Saturday evening and was so chuffed to find that someone had already cast on a pair on Sunday.

Knitting these mittens from yarn that I hand-dyed last year reminded me how much I enjoy dyeing and knitting with stuff that I've hand-dyed.

cable mitts

Although not so much with these (one ball Rowan Pure Wool DK dyed with Supercook food dye) - I was going for another simple pair of hand-warmers but I've tried 6 stitch patterns so far and ripped back every one. This is the furthest point I got to before ripping back. The tension was so tight that it was hurting my hands to knit and to put the gloves on - not really ideal. I do love the stitch pattern though so I might try again with larger needles and more plain rows and stitches between the cables.

After dyeing one skein of variegated yarn I thought I'd follow Ellen and have a go at some stripes. I created a 5.6 metre skein by winding the yarn around the door handles in my flat. Ideally it would have been a bit longer but I thought I'd get in trouble if I made the bathroom inaccessible for the best part of an hour!

red, and yellow, and pink, and green...

As I wanted stripes in 6 different colours (and I don't have 6 pans, let alone 6 rings on my hob) I decided to do these in mugs in the microwave.

I arranged the yarn in the mugs, added the water and cream of tartar (for mordant) and then put the microwave plate in the microwave before adding the dye* - it just seemed safer. Getting them out again was a bit hairy though.

orange, and purple, and blue...

The yarn dried in time for me to take it to Aliki's yesterday to wind up on her ball winder. I had lots of fun watching the woolly blur on the winder change from red through to purple.

I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow...

The yarns in the background are from Oxford Kitchen Yarns (right) and All the Pretty Fibers (left). I have big plans for these.

After all the tense cable knitting and ripping I needed something really straightforward in order to knit away the frustration.

sing a rainbow too!

Luckily I now have the perfect yarn for rainbow Jaywalkers.

* Dyeing this yarn meant that I had the rainbow song stuck in my head all day - and it's not even a helpful guide to dyeing a spectrum, I nearly put purple and blue in the wrong way around.

1 comment:

colesmom1 said...

Your site is so beautiful and well written. I really appreciate the pictures as they really give life to what you are describing. I fell in love with the glove pattern immediately. I know I will be making a pair of those ! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us.