bleeding dye, broken hooks and socks

Last year I dyed some yarn. This week I tried to use it. I knew I was going to have to wash the item afterwards because the yarn never rinsed clear but I didn't realize just how much I was going to have to wash it. I washed it in the sink with textile detergent (the Dharma version of Synthrapol) then I soaked it in vinegar and washed it in the machine with hot water and the textile detergent. It's still bleeding. On everything. I'm very frustrated. Dyers out there, any suggestions on setting this crap? It's procion fiber reactive dye on a cotton/rayon yarn. It's frustrating because I think the color is pretty and I loved how it looked in this pattern (the darkside cowl – Rav link).

Another frustrating thing happened when I was crocheting a baby sea turtle for Stefan.

Cute, right? Yes, but this happened.

Sigh. I have to say I'm not having much luck with the Kollage square needles and hooks. I have an I and J hook that are solid wood and work very well but this one, clearly, has issues. Or had. I glued it with Erik's model epoxy (my go to, must stay glued, glue) and it seems to be holding so now I can make the legs for that little guy. Then Niels wants the robot from the cover there.

Last, but very much not least, a pair of socks in the self-patterning cotton sock yarn I got at Sock Summit.

This picture is from a few days ago, I'm almost to the heel already. I was making the Upstream architechture from Cat Bordhi's book but I decided that I'd rather have the increases on the foot so I'm flipping it over and making it a Foxglove sock instead. Gotta love Cat's genius socks. And they aren't even bleeding or broken!

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Sock Summit report

Like many other knitters, I was at Sock Summit this past weekend. I drove up with my whole family and we stayed with some friends just outside of Portland so my trip was a mix of Sock Summit stuff and visiting friends and family. I don't feel like I got as submerged in Sock Summit as some.

I took "Knitting without Wool" with Amy Singer. I got to see a bunch of socks knit with nonwool yarns that I had heard of but never seen. Wick, for one. I'm glad now that I never tried it for socks because it is very thick and I like my socks to be on the thinner side. We also learned a stretchy bind-off that will be in an article in the next Knitty. Ironically, the socks I was working on at Sock Summit and the pair I started on the drive home are both top-down. Generally, I knit all of my socks toe-up! I'll have to do a pair next to try that bind-off.

I didn't take many photos at Sock Summit, but here's one of the cool pendulum in the convention center, of Freecia at lunch with a giant pita at Nicholas Restaurant and of the luminary panel.

pendulum in the Oregon Convention CenterFreecia vs the Giant PitaLuminary Panel at Sock Summit

I actually finished a pair of socks during the luminary panel but I can't post photos of them because they are from an unreleased pattern by Cookie. You'll just have to take my word for it that they are gorgeous.

On Sunday before the panel I walked around the marketplace a bit with Cookie and Anne Hanson, who I had never met before and who was very nice. She was working on some gorgeous orange socks (seen in her most recent blog post) that were making me sad that I can't knit with wool. Ah, cootton, why can't you take color like wool? I did do a bit of shopping, but not much. Like Stitches, the nonwool, nonlace options are few and far between.

Here are some individual shots of the yarn and of the square needles and crochet hook that I got.

self-striping COTTON sock yarn!kollage lusciousmill dyed sock candykollage square needles and hook


Anabel told me that she tired the square circular needles in size 0 and she wasn't crazy about them for reasons that totally sounded like I wouldn't like them either. In the heat of the moment at the marketplace I forgot that and bought the exact same needles and am having the exact same problem: the cord is too flexible and the join too bumpy for magic loop. The actual knitting is fine but when it comes time to pushing the stitches back up to the tip of the needle to work on them it's incredibly time consuming and a big pain. I am considering emailing the store where I got them and asking if I can trade them for something larger with a shorter cord because I think they'd be great for actually knitting in the round. I haven't tried the hook yet, but I have a couple of their square hooks in larger sizes (this one is an F) so I expect to like it.

The yarns are, from left to right, Sockina, Kollage Luscious and BMFA Sock Candy. They're all cotton blends. Luscious and Sock Candy both just have elastic and Sockina has Polyamide and Acrylic. i'm looking forward to knitting with all of them but have to settle on a pattern, and finish the sock I started on the trip home!


That would be the Bosnian Toes & Turkish Heels sock by Lucy Neatby (Ravelry link) from Knitter's Magazine. I usually just get Interweave unless I see something I really want to make in one of the other magazines. My aunt, however, gets Interweave, Knitters and Knit n Style and has decided that she doesn't like any of them. She gave me a big stack of Knittters and Knit n Style and a book she doesn't want any more!


I need to go through them, decide which ones have stuff I want to make, read the articles I want to read and then I will probably be sharing the wealth at BobaKnit.

I was considering calculating my stash number again but I think it's a bad idea. I have been mostly working on gift projects with yarn that came from outside of the stash so I don't think I've taken much out of the stash recently. The Lucy Neatby socks are going quickly, though, so that yarn should be taken out soon. I don't think I'm going to make my goal this year of using up 5 more miles of yarn. That sounds ludicrous to me right now since I just bought yarn and Linda destashed some cotton and silks to me. Oops.

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lots of wips, no fos

I have been a bad blogger. Part of the reason for that is that I now have an abundance of projects on the needles and I am not being monogamous with any one project, therefore nothing is getting finished. So, we are going to have a parade of WIPs. First up is the project I started first, my Woven Ridge socks. I started them (and completed the first one) while we were in the Netherlands in the summer. I cast on right away for the second one but it's been languishing ever since.

I like these socks and I want to wear them, so I need to finish them! I have made some progress in the past couple of weeks, so that's good. Also, Cookie gave me some Sock Candy for catsitting for her cat and I am itching to cast on with that… or my Panda Soy. So much yarn, so little time. Anyway, I also got some Bamboo yarn from Jeni's going away, she was destashing. I had to tackle Lisa for it, but she was nice enough to give it up.

sock candy thunderYarn Place Vivace

You can't see very well in the picture, but that is four hanks of Sock Candy. So either I'm going to make two pairs of socks or I need another project. I was thinking about a scarf. I hope that two would be enough, because I do really want to make socks with some of it. The bamboo is from Yarn Place. Freecia (I think?) mentioned that they make socks from it but it's 100% bamboo with absolutely no give, so I'm not sure that is going to be my plan. We'll see.

Next up in the WIP parade is Niels' sweater. I finished the front and back and started the first sleeve but then I got distracted because I need to recalculate the decreases. His arms are much longer than the pattern size and I don't want to have all the decreases before the elbow and then the whole top straight or something. It's getting close, though! Other than all the ends to weave in, of course. Maybe I should focus on finishing it for Christmas. Maybe.

Last, but very muc not least is my Tapestry Cowl in calmer. I love this pattern, am entranced with the technique and I am loving how it's turning out. It needs a lot of focus though, to follow the totally non-repeating chart.

Also, the farther I get into the more the thought of having to kitchener stitch the front to the back looms over my head. That's 110 stitches of each color! I don't generally mind kitchener stitch, I have to say. I think that comes from having started my knitting career on diaper soakers. Theresa and Pam helped me to cut my teeth on knitting in a small, managable format. Theresa, by having very clear instructions in her patterns and Pam by being my friend and encouraging me as well as including me in all of her classes on her forums. I wouldn't be the knitter I am today if it weren't for them. Anyway, when you knit a soaker you have to kitchener the crotch closed. Luckily, though, you use large yarn and it's generally not very many stitches. I'm not sure I'd be so comfortable with the technique if I had started on sock toes with their tiny tiny yarn. This yarn is fairly tiny but it's the sheer volume of stitches to be sewn together that really makes me nervous. I should stop worrying and just knit, right? I'm only on row 20 and I have to do 64 rows of chart and then a few plain rows before the finishing starts.

So, since I got new yarn and have finished at least one project I thought I'd check my stash totals. I am currently up to 60889.6 yards of yarn or 34.6 miles. Um. Oops. That's up a mile since last time I calculated. I haven't purchased any yarn, it's just been finding me. Does that make it better? I didn't think so either. In the interest of decreasing the stash, I put my Regal Silk into my Sell or Trade Stash on Ravelry. I have five hanks of it that I was going to use to make a silk corset for myself. I've basically decided that if I do end up making the silk corset, It's not going to be out of variegated yarn. It's really pretty yarn, though, but I don't know else to do with it. I'm asking for $75 for the whole lot, plus shipping. You know you want to give this gorgeous yarn a home, right? If not, you must have a friend who does, of course. (Please buy my yarn.)

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sokjes, dyeing and manon

I finished the socks for my niece. They turned out as anklets, but I think they are cute. I hope she likes them. They are the Rushing Rivulet socks from New Pathways for Sock knitters. (Ravelry details)

Last week Anabel and I had a mini dyeing party. She wanted to dye some curtains and I had some undyed Panda Cotton and Henry's Attic Soie Naturelle that I wanted to dye and some Henry's Attic Riviera that I wanted to overdye because the hanks were two different shades and I didn't like the color. Here are before pictures, notice my very cool homemade PVC niddy noddy!

PVC niddy noddybefore

And here are after pictures. The very dark purple is the Riviera and the orangey-red is the Soie Naturelle. The two two-tone hanks are Panda Cotton.

hand dyed silk, oxbloodoverdyed cotton, imperial purplehand dyed panda cotton

These aren't real after pictures because the yarn is still. Not. DRY! Right now they are spread out on a drying rack with a fan underneath and they are progressing much more quickly towards being dry. I like the purple of the Riviera (sorry, Cookie) but I'm a bit disappointed in the silk and the Panda Cotton. Both have lightened significantly as they've dried. Ah well, it's my first try. Maybe I'll get better, if I get up the nerve to try it again. The rinsing was endless.

In other news, I started a new sweater project. On Thursday evening I was talking to Anabel about my failed sweater projects. Well, failed as in I don't wear them: Tomato and Ribbi Pulli. She encouraged me to think about the projects that I've made that I do like and wear, in other words: Rogue. She asked me what it was about Rogue that I liked so much. I've decided that two of the biggest selling points about Rogue for me are that it's All Seasons Cotton, which I love knitting with, and it's a cardigan, which I find easier to wear. So after talking to her I went home and started a new cardigan in All Seasons Cotton, Norah Gaughan's Manon. So far, I love it. I hope my love continues. I think it will, I also really love this color and how the yarn looks with the cables and texture.

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making a deal

I have been busy, traveling and knitting and… buying yarn. You saw the yarn I bought in the Netherlands. I then bought some hemp yarn in Philadelphia and Teenuh picked up some Sugar' n cream for me at Michael's because it was dirt cheap (DIRT CHEAP!) and then I had a bag of All Seasons Cotton waiting for me when I got home.

IMG_2071.JPGIMG_2069.JPGIMG_2068.JPGIMG_2067.JPGIMG_2066.JPGIMG_2064.JPGIMG_2063.JPGIMG_2060.JPG

I finished an Ilene Bag, a double flower dishcloth and the socks for my nephew Sven.

ilene bagdouble flower dishclothsokken for sven

So, I'm realizing that I'm drowning in yarn. I keep buying sweater quantities but not finishing sweaters. I made a deal with Kristi, a yarn deal. The deal is that if either one of us buys yarn we have to pay each other $5 per 8oz of sock yarn or fiber or 16oz of sweater yarn. The exception is if we have used up twice what we're buying. I updated my Ravelry stash page tonight. I currently have 19805.7 yards of yarn. I used 90 yards of that to make the dishcloth, so I am counting that towards my next yarn purchase.

Now I'm off to work on my socks so I can get yarn to knit another pair. Wish me luck!

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heads and toes

I finished my dream swatch headwrap last Wednesday. I had to block it to try to get it to curl less and we went away for a bit but, of course, that doesn't work very well and it still curls a bit. I don't think you can tell when it is on, though.

finished headwrapknitting "finished object" "dream swatch headwrap" sonata "wendy bernard"

We spent a couple of days in the woods with Erik's brother and had a long drive to get there and back, so I got almost a whole sock knit. It's Wovn Ridges from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

My nephew was fascinated by the process of sock knitting so I measured his feet and am going to knit him a pair. I have a ball of Panda Cotton to use but I haven't picked a pattern yet.

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road trip knitting

We drove up to Portland this week to visit family. That's 10 hours of Erik driving for me to knit! Well, I drove for a few hours on the way up, but I did get a lot of knitting done. On the way up, I finished my Mingus socks, knit a couple of fish tawashis for the boys and knit part of a dishcloth that ended up being ripped out. On the way back, I made a lot of progress on my Chocolate Tomato.

long drives are good for knittingfinished socks!fishie tawashi

In other news, the views on the way were amazing. I continue to be astonished by the California landscape.

Then when were in Portland we drove out to see Multnomah Falls and I learned just how gorgeous Oregon's scenery is as well.


The kids brought their umbrellas and were hoping to get splashed by the falls.

niels got a ride downstefan and his "brella"

There are also gorgeous views to be had of the Columbia River Gorge. Of course, the photographs don't do it justice.

Then there was the drive home, which involved snow and below freezing temperatures! Talk about crazy.

snow on our bumperit was 27 F up there

Nuts!

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not knitting, but finishing!

It's not that I have been knitting, I have. I'm working on Mingus, by Cookie, but I'm doing them toe up. Just since this is a knitting blog, I'll give you a quick peek at them. It's not terribly exciting. Actually, they're much farther along than this now, I just haven't taken any more photos.

They're panda cotton on size 1s. I just ordered some of the smaller size 1s (2.25 mm?) to try with this yarn. I wonder if it will be better, it's a pretty thin yarn.

Okay, so the knitting is out of the way, now I can talk about what I made today: an Amy Butler Frenchy Bag.

I think it turned out super cute. It's not perfect, but that's life, as Niels' kindergarten teacher has taught him to say when he can't get what he wants. I didn't use Amy Butler fabrics. These are some other "name" fabrics, but I can't remember which. I got the fabrics and the pattern at Bobbins Nest Studio and the interfacing and magnetic snap cam from Eddies. I made the handbag size but put on a not-quite-shoulder bag length strap (I didn't have enough fabric for a full shoulder length strap due to a cutting mistake). It's the perfect length, though, it fits over my shoulder nicely.

I think if I make another (and I might, in the shoulder bag size) I would use the decorator fabrics and sew down the middle of at least one of the pockets to give a smaller pocket option and also to keep them from flopping open quite so much.

Those lining dots could give you a seizure, eh? God thi

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my new favorite socks

I finished my Jeweled Steps socks tonight, from the Cat Bordhi book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters. They are sidestream architecture. (Ralvery details.) So far, they are my favorite of the socks I've knit from this book. I might have to revisit that once they've been worn and washed a few times, but they sure are gorgeous and they feel great right off the needles!

It probably helps that I am utterly and completely in love with this colorway. I bought some of it in Bamboozle to make a Ribbi Pulli, along with the Bamboozle that was my last failed attempt at the Bombshell Tee. We'll see how that goes. The only negative thing about these socks was my own fault, I had a major case of second sock syndrome partially because I couldn't find my notebook with my measurement and stitch numbers in it so I had no idea how many stitches to increase and all that. Silly me. I'm glad they're done and I look forward to wearing them!

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