Wednesday, 21 April 2010

you are so impressive

Wow, service and speed - what more could I ask for? Thank you so much for the suggestions and links and for recognising that for me, waiting and contemplating are quite out of the question.

I think I have settled on tea leaves, but I did spend quite some time contemplating a range of others. I love the february lady sweater, when it was first released I obsessed over it for quite some time and stalked appropriate yarns and watched the project gallery with great interest. But I just can't see it looking good on me. I think that wide flat yoke can stretch on forever on a larger bust, and not in a good way.

So I ordered some more red dye yesterday and pulled out my posmerino stash to air and fluff up before it hits the dye pot and as soon as the dye hits the door step, I'll be doing the dye thing. I'm not convinced I can reach a good shade of red because the posmerino is not white but a natural light grey, so I may have to switch to plan B and have grey cardigan. I'll certainly be doing some test swatches I can tell you.

Anyway, thanks again. I have certainly got a list of other knits I want to do now (and Kim, they don't include a snuggy!), but I'm dead excited about this one!

Edited to add -

To answer Frog's question and anyone else who is interested, some notes about dyeing. I dye yarn using a couple of different methods and a couple of different products. Food colour dyeing (where you use vinegar and heat to set the dye) is great, non toxic and fun. It's not great for large quantities or certain colour ranges and once (but only once in the many many times I've done it) it has failed to become colour fast. It's great for variegated colours and sock yarn (like this). I also dye using hot water wool dyes (sold as different brand manes in different places but I use landscape dyes and gaywool brands).

I 'handpaint' yarns - where you lay out a skein and apply the dye directly to the wool to create stripes or variations using different colours (like this) - and I 'kettle dye' yarns where I add skeins of yarn to a prepared pot of dye. Kettle dyeing can be used to get variations in intensity of a single colour (as yarnies would be familiar with for yarns like Malabrigo or like I did here) or to randomly mix different colours by adding them to different sides of the same pot and not stirring (also called space dyeing I think an example can be seen here).

I am by no means a master dyer, and my personal approach of not being too specific about what I want helps. A lot of people who have a clear vision of what they want are disappointed by the sometimes unpredictable way in which dyes take to yarns and if you want a lot of control I think you need to practice and be much more precise than me. But if you are open to the results being only vaguely in your ball park, then dyeing is easy, fun and makes good quality yarn much more affordable!


greatbalancingact said...

Hey Sooz, I will be keen to see how Tea Leaves looks on completion. I am beguiled by Ingenue and I love the Vine Yoke Cardigan, too. But I'm put off both by the fact that they're in 10 ply. Too heavy for me I fear. I really like this variation on a tunic pattern:
I think I must have a subliminal leaf pattern thing going as I am also planning to make this for my new nephew, born just after 4 this morning: - that is, once I finish the scarf of crochet flowers I am currently making for Tash...
Let's get crafty soon xxx

Claire said...

Ohh I'm in wool dyeing mode today :-) Nothing like moving from NT to Hobart and a pending 2 week road trip to get a little 'project panic' happening :-P

I can't wait to see your wooly work!

froginthepond said...

I have a question about dyeing - I've looked through your older posts and you mention food dye in the microwave (fab idea). But I was wondering if this were the only method you use. I'm intrigued by the colours you've achieved.

kim at allconsuming said...

'gaywool' *snort*

nikkishell said...

Oooh i bought this pattern! Now all i need to do is choose a yarn. Any suggestions?

2WeeMonsters said...

Oh, I'm so excited about Tea Leaves! I was looking at February Lady way back in the winter (in the US) but I also felt it wouldn't really look all that great on a larger bust. Tea Leaves looks perfect. Now, I just need to find the right sweater to pull apart for yarn, lol!