For the last few weeks, I have been trying a different dye technique that I stumbled upon when I was trying something else — isn’t that how most great discoveries happen, when you’re aiming for something different? Anyway, using a lighter dye solution and partial layering in different sections, I can achieve deeper colors by simply repeating layers, but if a section is too deeply saturated it can’t easily be undone.
Mostly I am aiming for colors to blend into each other instead of having abrupt color segments. That kind of color change is wonderful, of course, and it will achieve a certain look in your knitting — for example, a sharply contrasted yarn can be smashing when color-stranded with deep charcoal or black for a stained glass effect. But for this technique I’m going for something where you can easily see at arm’s length there are different colors on the yarn, but when you are knitting, the colors flow and blend into each other. It makes for a visually softer look on either plain stockinette or even fancy lacework, where abrupt color changes can interfere with textured stitching.
And yes, there is a reason for this madness — a couple years ago I bought ten skeins of really really long hanks of a merino/nylon sock yarn. The hanks are labeled at 460+ yards each, but they were put up in hanks more than 8 feet long, laid out end to end, or about 16 feet around. For reference, my normal hanks are 2 yards around or about 36 inches laid out flat for dyeing. I was thinking these super long hanks would be cool for making self-striping sock yarns. Silly me, I suppose.
Given the constraints of my working space, I have barely enough room for my standard hanks to be laid out for dyeing. And then once the super-long hanks were dyed, I’d have to configure both of my swifts outside, about 6 or 8 feet apart, in order to properly reskein these yarns for twisting into hanks for presentation; think ‘horizontal squirrel cage’ configuration, if you’ve seen vertical squirrel cage yarn swifts. Or, in the alternative, find one or more brave souls willing to buy the dyed hanks and then reskein or ball them in their own ways.
Once I figure out a good way to dye these, I can tackle the reskeining problem afterward. I am becoming happy with this light solution layering technique for making gentle color changes, so these long-long skeins may be appearing here sometime in January. Oh yes – and the challenge of taking pictures of the long hanks before reskeining — I can’t imagine hanging them on preview racks in my normal manner.
Speaking of the preview racks, I have dyed this week’s skeins of Phydlbitz sock using mostly this layering technique, and I am pretty happy with the experiments shown below. They nearly all have at least 3 different dyes applied, except for Twinset #1101-1102 (many layers of Christmas green) and #1105-1106 which is a layered light navy fade.
All of these are Phydlbitz II sock – 75/25 Superwash Corriedale/Nylon, 430 yards, and they were all dyed as Twinsets. You do not have to take both skeins of a Twinset, just claim the ones you want.
Phydlbitz is normally $27.00 per skein, but for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you may claim any of this new collection (BRS21 – #1085 – 1108) for just $24.50 each.
To claim the ones you want, just send me an email with your numbered selections. I expect these all to be reskeined and ready to ship on or before Tuesday, Dec 21. Once I turn packages over to the US Postal Service I cannot guarantee delivery before Christmas.
And, of course, if you wish to give Knitivity yarns for someone else, I am happy to ship to any U.S. address — I can send gift yarns OR a Knitivity e-Gift Certificate so you gift recipient can select their own choice of available yarns or request a custom dye job. Just make sure I know the recipient’s name and email address, as well as how many skeins you’d like your gift recipient to receive. Also be sure to let me know any gift messages you would like me to include, and the date you’d like me to send the email notification. E-Gift certificates are $30.00 per skein, which will cover the cost of yarn and U.S. shipping, so your gift recipient doesn’t incur additional charges.
eta: The yarns not claimed during the Preview Pricing period have now been posted to the Blog Reader Specials page. Click through to see all the beautiful yarns waiting for your selection.