I’m sure for many of you, this is old news, but I have never owned a swift before.
Which means that I have quite a few lovely skeins in my stash, which occasionally I’ll ogle and think something along the lines of “you look just perfect for project X/Y/Z”, then I’d sigh and return to my not-quite-so-nice-but-already-balled yarns, and mumble to myself “really? why does all the NICE yarn have to come to in skeins, not balls??”
Occasionally, I’d recruit my friend E. to help me … 1200m of fine lace are really time consuming to wind up if you’re balancing the hank over you knees. It’s not good for your back. Or your nerves, for that matter … there is, unfortunately, only so much yarn winding help you can expect of non-knitter friends, though.
I mean, seriously, I get it – the whole artisan thing. The home-made feeling. The indie dyer need for the yarn in skeins to be able to be dyed. Still, I wouldn’t mind if the NICE yarns also came pre-balled. Just sayin’ …
Enter stage left: the yarn swift! Such a simple yet wonderful construction. Who would have thought that winding up a ball of yarn could be so quick and easy?
If you, like me, love to buy yarns from indie dyers, you totally should consider to shell out for this clever item. (Hint: christmas is close … )
I still like to knit stuff, very much so, and frankly, if I dyed at the rate I knit, I’d need to move into a barn fairly soon, but it’s a great way to experiment with different yarns and colours.
Mostly, my results are totally unpredictable somewhat different from what I planned, but except for The Poison, so far I really love them all.
Still, my latest experiments with darker colours (is winter coming or what?) have been the most satisfying so far, since they turned out close to what I had in mind to begin with, but different enough to provoke some ooh-ing and aaaah-ing.
This is a skein of baby alpaca and silk, a combination I just love for lace shawls, and which is hard to get in the darker colours for some reason. It’s also pretty pricy, and the undyed version is less than half the finished product. Win, I dare say – I’m entertained, I save money and I get to work with a gorgeous fiber.
This was the first in a row of three skeins I hand-painted or bowl-dyed in my kitchen last week. The Poison is dyed with food coloring, and it’s … well, let’s say not exactly what I had in mind.
My idea was to mix blue, green and some yellow to create a green undertone with blue and brighter highlights. What I got was yellow with some green-ish stripes. The blue, however, turned out lovely, the lighter stripes somewhat watery, and some impressively dark ones, too.
The above was my first experiment with Dylon hand dye, and it turned out much better than I expected. While soaking it, I started to experiment, and just sprinkled some of the dye powder directly onto the yarn. That’s what created the purple stars.
And then, last but not least, this one. Another Dylon experiment gone wrong, the idea was to dye a semi-solid grey. And sprinkle some of the left-over blue on, so it would have blue highlights. That didn’t work out as planned. As you can see, it’s purple with some grey streaks. I think I would have liked the grey … I’ll have to try again. Maybe less dye (I was using the full pack on a ~3l bowl), and maybe leave out the blue …