Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dyeing to Knit

Recently I became fascinated with creating my own colors for yarn and have taken the leap into dyeing yarn. Wool requires a dye that dyes protein, the same dye will also be useful for silk when I get there..In any case a very nice creative woman in my machine knitting guild has expanded on a technique she stumbled across and I just love it! Kind of like painting! Technique is done on a preknit piece of fabric from the yarn you wish to later use as a main color or background.

She is starting to teach out of her home and at some fiber “festivals”. She’s great. Her day job is an attorney for a firm specializing in workman’s comp. Gotta love it.

A bit complicated to explain but suffice it to say, it will be very useful and fun. The color gradiations possible are going to look very nice as the background on a 2 color piece. For starters.

My first experiment was taking two matching pieces of preknit (hooray for knitting machines as fabric producers!) which were laid out side by side and carefully dyed via brushing on matching bands of color. The idea was to have stripped socks in my choice of color combo and ultimately have 2 pairs of perfectly matched striped socks,without the hassel of carefully counting rows and changing yarns. In my choice of colors, the colors produced where the bands met ( to form ann additional color as well) are really interesting too.I’ll be doing the other idea mentioned already after I finish the socks.

Anyway, color work on my yarn is turning out to be quite the addiction-to-be as well. I have a close friend who just went back to Chile for a while and will be returning with a mega treasure trove of Alpaca for me to use for all this -some nice hand processed yarn to work with.

Nuf for now! Happy holidays!

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About Me

Marin County, California, United States
I work for 2 non-profits in Marin County CA (near SF) that serve the Developmentally Delayed. I was introduced to weaving and knitting at a very young age. Over the years I have always had knitting on hand. There was a time where I was severely chastised for being so old fashioned, so it is great to see the upsurge in the home arts now going on! I have expanded into machine knitting; fortunately there is a great Guild nearby that has really been great. Spinning Fibers is a new thrust as well, and felting has creeped in too. If only I had more time...