Of worthy investments

This is my newest toy, and boy, am I in love:

Yarn swift
Yarn swift

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 … )

Adventures in hand-painted yarns

The Poison
The Poison

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.

Light blue with purple stars
Light blue with purple stars

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.

Not grey
Not grey

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 …

Dying my own yarn

First home dyed yarn
First home dyed yarn

A few weeks ago, Rebecca of Chemknits blogged a tutorial about space dying at home, with food colours. I was immediately intrigued.

Continue reading “Dying my own yarn”