Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

On our fall colors adventure weekend, day two, I started getting the itch to dye some yarn. I had seen in one of my natural dye books that yellow aspen leaves dye a yellow color. I wanted to give it a try!

IMG_8756Our second day adventuring in the mountains, we headed up to Bishop Creek. The color was just brilliant!


So I started collecting. The recipe called for a four to one ratio of leaves to fiber. And my family helped too!

tjp_1342_2459.ARWIt didn’t take us long to fill a couple of tote bags full of leaves!

IMG_8755Once home, the leaves filled a canning pot about half full, and their weight was six to one for the one skein of fiber I wanted to dye.


I started with two pots, one with an alum mordant for the fiber, and the second boiling the leaves. The timing worked really well. By the time the fiber was done mordanting and rinsed, the leaves were ready for the fiber.


I was pleased to see that right away the yarn began to take up a yellow color, always a good sign! I then simmered the yarn in the leaves for another hour. At this point, it was quite late in the evening, after hikng all day, bbq in the back yard with family, and lots of boiling. I turned off the heat, and let the yarn stay in the leaf water overnight.

tjp_1342_2481.ARWPulling out the yarn to rinse the next morning before I left for work, I was pleased to find the yarn a warm golden color!


Rinsed and dried, the yarn is warm, though not bright. It does have a hint of a dull tone to it, which I find quite nice.


I didn’t quite want to knit something all yellow – for whatever reason I wasn’t feeling yellow – so I thought something striped might be nice. I had some leftover pastel yarn from my last acid dye session, and paired the aspen yarn with that.


Here is the cowl further along. I added in some of my coffee yarn and some blue scraps I had left. I rather like how the yellow turned out paired with the other colors!

Thank you Treve Johnson and Aaron Johnson for sharing a few of your pictures with me to put on my blog. What a fun weekend it was!

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A few months ago, my good friend Lesley, an avid knitter, started a Thursday night knitting group amongst our bevy of ladies. Always being one to love a crafty get together with friends, and having never tried knitting before, I was up for the adventure.


Of course, the instant I decided to start a knitting project, I wanted to dye the yarn. Lesley suggested this wool from Flint Knits as one she liked. I purchased six skeins and dyed them yellow with rabbit brush flowers. You can read more about that and see lovely pictures here.


Many of us were interested in knitting a sweater, and Lesley suggested the February Lady Sweater as a good beginning sweater to knit. At the first Thursday Night Knitting get together, I wound my skeins into balls.


Then, we learned to cast on.


And then we learned to knit. And then pearl.


The February Lady Sweater is knit from the top down, so here’s the beginning stitches, which would be the neck on the finished product. Sweaters have such humbling beginnings, don’t they?


The garter stitch went quickly, and soon it was time for the button holes. Yikes! Three of them. Soon, the top shoulder piece was done.


Then began the body of the sweater, learning yarn overs, knit two togethers, and the like to make the lacy pattern. I enjoyed the challenge of following a pattern and the look of the lace as it emerged.


Soon, the lace body was getting long enough I needed to try it on for size. Looking good!


The knitting nights continued, and soon I was on to the sleeves. There were a plethora of knitting projects being made, from little knit animals to scarves, hats, and quite a few February Lady Sweaters. Through it all, Lesley tirelessly troubleshot our mistakes, fixed dropped stitches, helped interpret patterns, and encouraged us to continue on despite the odds.


And just in time for Christmas gifts, the sweater was finished. Last step, blocking. I’d never heard of this step before. We got the sweater wet, lay it out on soft tiles, then pinned and stretched it into shape, leaving it for a few days to dry.

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For the last piece, I sewed on big wooden buttons, wrapped it up, and presented it to my sister for Christmas.

IMG_0039What’s next? I’ve been knitting a scarf over the holidays with the remaining rabbit brush yarn. Another challenging and complicated lacy pattern. More on that when it is complete!

What have you knit recently?

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