The EXACT blue that I wanted

I don’t do a lot of dyeing, but once in a while I very much enjoy playing around with yarn and dyes. Hence the name – Knitter’s Kitchen :)

Today, I want to tell you a dyeing story.

So, I was persuaded to join a KAL (knit-along) in the Joji Knits group on Ravelry, where you could join with any of the patterns Joji Locatelli has designed. My reasons for participating were (among others) these:

  1. I met Joji at Unwind Brighton 1½ months ago. She is so nice!
  2. Joji designs some really cool stuff.
  3. I had my eyes on the Grandpa Cardigan ever since it came out.
  4. I saw a gorgeous gorgeous blue when someone else had swatched – according to that person the blue did not come out right on the photos, but for me it was the perfect color!
  5. At Unwind, I had bought 5 skeins of undyed yarn from undyedyarn.com, a lovely DK weight Polwarth.
  6. I’m pretty ambitious at times.

So I decided to go ahead and try to make that blue I wanted myself, instead of going yarn shopping to find it.

I had an idea of which colors were needed to make this particular blue (with a sea green/petrol/dark turquoise aura), so I mixed everything together and put the 5 skeins of yarn in the pot. My mistake? Thinking that hey, it needed to have a hint of sea green, I should add a little bit of yellow.

I should so not have done that!

My yarn turned out very green. Thinking to remedy it with more blue, in the end I ended up with 5 skeins of very dark green with a blue-ish aura. Very pretty, but so very much NOT what I wanted!

Having used all my DK weight skeins, I would have to either order more, or live with the green. Being stubborn, I ordered more.

Before the second attempt, I thought to try out my “new” recipe on a couple of skeins of fingering weight yarn, just to check if I was more right this time. And I was, the color was perfect! So in we went with 5 more skeins of DK weight yarn, and out came the most gorgeous blue on a squishy DK Polwarth yarn.

I was happy, and couldn’t resist the yarn sitting there waiting for me to finish something else first, so I cast on for the Grandpa Sweater (and #jojifallkal2014) almost immediately.
And that’s the happy ending, right?

#jojifallkal2014 - Grandpa Cardigan in progress
#jojifallkal2014 – Grandpa Cardigan in progress

After using 2½ skeins, I started faltering. If it continued at this rate, the 5 skeins I had wouldn’t be enough! I know the pattern had called for 6 skeins for the size I’m making, but always-gambling-me was too lazy to crack open another 5-pack of yarns (I was so foreseeing to buy more than 5 skeins for the second round!).
What to do?
Dye some more, of course! :D

I followed the exact same recipe on two more skeins of yarn (of course adjusting the amount of dye to the amount of yarn). Now, the yarn being entirely dry, I am happy to report that once again, I DID IT! :D :D :D

The final test comes once I get to the point where I start knitting with it. Keeping in mind that hand dyed yarns always have some level of variation, I will be alternating between skeins anyway – but I believe in it.

One of the first dye bath (to the right) and one of the second dye bath (to the left). Matchy matchy!

 

Grass Stained Jeans

Last weekend, I was playing with the dyes and yarn, with a whole new colorway as a result: Grass Stained Jeans

I love these colors. The jeans blue is a little variegated, and the streaks of green complement the blue well. This skein would be perfect for small shawl projects like the Graphic Kerchief by The Uncommon Thread, or the Hitchhiker shawlette that thousands have knitted. It would also be perfect together with a more solid yarn in a stripey shawl.

I will most definitely try to repeat this color!

Shop open!!

I just opened my Etsy shop!

I got some lovely yarns there. A little taste:

“Granite” on Merino SW Fingering

 

“Bounty Island Ocean” on Sock

 

More yarns are added all the time, and I am also planning to add stitch markers and project bags within the next weeks. Stay tuned – and go have a look!