March 9, 2009

Yarn Modification

Filed under: Knitting — maryparadox @ 11:16 pm

My dad gave me three big batches of yarn for Christmas that I’ve been trying to match to projects. Part of the problem was color — they didn’t quite match what I needed. So I decided to make some modifications. One batch was worsted weight blue wool (or BLUE, as my dad calls it) which I’ve wound into skeins and am planning on dyeing — probably half purple and half dark blue/green. I still need to match this to a specific project before I dye it.


The original balls of BLUE yarn.


Winding the balls of yarn into skeins on the back of a chair.


The resulting stack of skeins. They won't all fit into one pot so I'm thinking of dyeing one batch purple and on batch blue-green.

The second batch of yarn was two strands of cream twisted together with one strand of camel. Separately these are nice, together, not so much. I tried dyeing some samples but decided what I liked best was the colors separated, so I untwisted the yarn over a couple of evenings. The technique I finally settled on was to stick the ball of yarn in a ziplock bag with just the center-pull strand sticking out the top. Pull about three feet of yarn out and begin separating, twisting the two strands into separate balls. As the twist moves down towards the bag lift it off the ground so that the yarn can untwist. Repeat. The bag helps hold the ball together and allows you to lift the ball up off the ground to get the twist out.


Four types of yarn dyed four different colors -- using Jacquard dyes in jars in the microwave.


Unwinding the balls with my patented plastic-bag method.


The original yarn on the left with some of the unwound balls on the top right.

I’ve already done a swatch and am attempting to design a lace shrug with the 4ply camel colored yarn. I’ll post as soon as I have something respectable! The ball with the straggly bits in the photo below was mauled by Hunter while no-one was looking :)


This resulting balls of yarn. The camel is actually quite pretty, but I might still dye the cream sink I don't wear white much.

It’s funny, I never liked the color “camel” until my housemate came home in a camel colored sweater about a month ago. I ended up buying a similar cardigan a week later and now really like the color. It’s odd to my how your color tastes can change — and it worries me too. I always remember looking at “old” people when I was a child and wondering how they could dress so terribly, perhaps this is why!


I should be working but instead I'm playing with my phone camera.


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