Sunday, January 14, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 53 - Monster Taming

Another Double Demonstration Episode! This time I'm showing you how to use a pom-pom to make embellishments (poms) and I'm showing you another multi-process dyeing technique. General life discussion regarding setting boundaries, knitting discussion in which I show off a project bag, discuss having multiple projects going at once and why, current sweater project, and an exclusive pattern available to patrons and coming up in my shop as a kit!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Colorway Chronicles: She's Waiting For You

This is one of those sock blanks that I'm tempted just to edge and use as a completed piece. I think it would make a lovely wrap just as it is.

"She's Waiting For You" is another double process sock blank, in which I dyed the blank, then airbrushed stenciled designs over the pre-dyed piece. This particular colorway was actually inspired by a favorite movie of mine Steel Magnolias (the original, I haven't seen the remake). I so love the scene in Truvy's where M'Lynn is countering Shelby's description of her wedding colors (Blush & Bashful) with her own colorful description "That sanctuary looks like it's been hosed down with Pepto Bismol!" I'm of the belief my sock blank is more appealing then digestive stomach aid in its blushing and bashful tones. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Knit Up and Dye Episode 52 - So Much Gratitude!

Double Demos! In this episode, I demonstrate how to make bobbles and I show a sock blank being dyed using a double process - a ruched resist technique, then air brushed and stenciled. I also show off my completed Coexist sock, some available sock blanks, talk about my patronage program and an upcoming exclusive pattern, as well as a kit that will be offered at a discount for my YouTube subscribers. Winner of the January patron drawing announced.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Colorway Chronicles: Bleeding Aliens!

Here is a perfect example of a happy accident.

This colorway was born of poor multi-tasking. The day I dyed this I was really pushing to accomplish a lot of work and had multiple techniques going on all at the same time in my kitchen. There were two pots on my stove-top working kettle dye yarns, two roasting pans on my counter ready for some regional dyeing and I had my airbrush set up on a table for sock blanks. There were timers ticking, microwaves beeping, steam rising... in short, dyer chaos, and a lot of fun!

I had just mixed up four dyes - three were meant for my roasting pans, and the dark teal you see in the skein photo above to go into a kettle dye for a tonal yarn. I got my dyes confused, grabbed the dark teal and poured it in into the end of the roasting pan directly onto yarn, instead of into the kettle it was meant for. I realized my error at once.

Yes, I gasped. Suddenly there was dark teal all over one end of yarn meant for other colors, and no plans to make anything like this. What to do? Improvise of course! I set the teal in my stove, then picked two other colors and scribbled them onto the remaining white end. I chose a chartreuse and a periwinkle. Again, things didn't go quite as I imagined, and the chartreuse struck brighter and harsher than the more subtle tones I had anticipated. All the colors applied were still within the same color family, just with more contrast than I'd intended.

Washed and dried, I found I LOVED this "mistake" but found myself at a loss for a clever name. I twisted up a skein and ran out to my husband working on his motorcycle in the garage.

"What does this remind you of?" I yelled over the Ramones din from his beat up shop radio.

He's grown used to these bizarre interruptions from me. "Looks like alien blood."

Perfect!  He got a kiss, I got a new colorway in my catalog, and you got "Bleeding Aliens!"

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Knit Up and Dye Episode 51 - Here Comes 2018!

I finished socks for my husband after a considerable amount of math - finally achieving a pair that fits him after years of ill fitting hand made socks. I'm currently working on a pair of Coexist socks (pattern by Claire Ellen - available for Free on Ravelry) and, of course, continuing my work on my How To Eat An Elephant blanket. I show of some yarny acquisitions - all wonderful gifts, and have a general discussion of goals and upcoming projects for the New Year.

Also, I discuss Patreon.

I’ve started a Patreon page!

What is Patreon? Patreon is an online membership platform that helps artists, like myself, get financial support from their fans. Patrons can elect to pledge monthly support (in very affordable small amounts) and receive special rewards for doing so.

Rewards vary from level to level, but are always knitty in nature. Current rewards are listed on my page. Every level of patronage has a tangible reward!

All funds collected through Patreon will go toward supporting the filming and publishing of the Knit Up & Dye Podcast, tools, equipment and products for demonstrations and giveaway prizes, as well as travel to knitting related events and classes to develop better knitting and dyeing techniques to be shared through the podcast, yarns and patterns.

And, I have a bigger goal in mind. When I reach $500 per month, I’ll be able to offer exclusive online knitting classes to my patrons in which I’ll teach specific projects and all the techniques necessary to complete them. My dream is to be able to create a knitting class online that you can take from the privacy and comfort of your home, no matter where that may be.

If you are interested in learning more, please take a moment to explore my page.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Colorway Chronicles: Gold Dust Woman

This colorway scares me half to death every time I make it, only because it's one of those combinations that initially looks awful, but somehow magic happens and the colors become something so much more than the parts.

"Gold Dust Woman" is exactly that... worth much more than the glittery powder she's made from.

To make this sock blank, I utilize a couple of techniques. First I work controlled wall pours in my roasting pan with bright teal and orange dyes and carefully tilt the pans to allow these colors to swirl and bleed together. This bleeding together patinas the teal and tones down the vibrancy of the orange, turning it to a pretty copper. This copper always amazes me. I've never been able to replicate that color by any other method, and it is hard to control.

Once I'm happy with the way the colors have blended (stopping short of making mud) I bake it off to heat set the dyes. The blank then gets a wash and spin dry before heading off to my airbrush table. I then airbrush in reds and navys to accent the southwest feel of these colors, whilst making use of the voids and adding some unexpected features to the piece.

These processes worked together allow me to offer a blank richly saturated in color, with the whimsy of applied imagery. I'm currently addicted to this process and filling my shop with a bunch of one of a kind pieces.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

3 Month Sock Blank Club!

I'm VERY excited to announce I'm starting a Sock Blank Club!

My first club will be three months long beginning in January, 2018. Each month you will receive a 100g/463 yard single knit sock blank of a unique design and colorway. Yup, that's right... each one will be a delightful surprise in your mail, with shipments posting by the 20th of each month.

This club is VERY limited. If you are interested, don't wait. Purchase your membership today. Next club won't be until April, 2018.


Free US Shipping on any order of $50.00 or more until January 5, 2018 - no coupon code required.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Colorway Chronicles: Waiting for Monet

Some colorway effects take longer to produce than others. In this particular case, I knew I wanted to create a sock yarn with bright jewel tones but with a watery tonal effect, rather than fully saturated blocks of color.

For this project, I opted to experiment in my roasting pans with a combination of poured and scribbled dyeing techniques.

I soaked my yarns in a high acid solution in my roasting pans until fully saturated, then added a rich purple color to just one end and allowed it to set in the oven while I mixed up a medium sapphire blue and an emerald green and loaded those to condiment bottles for a scribble application. I applied these colors to the remaining white end, heat setting and then reapplying multiple times to achieve a layered and yet clean, not muddied look. I was careful to carry the scribble application of the dyes into the previously dyed purple to provide a cohesive blend to the overall skein, rather than leaving distinct color blocking.

As I worked each application, I found myself waiting to see if it would muddy or retain the water color look I was hoping for.  I am very happy with the end result. These skeins reminded me of the works of Claude Monet - his beautiful waterlilies and riparian representations, and thus I found with each batch, I had been "Waiting for Monet".

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Instagram Flash Sale Today!

Do you follow me on Instagram? If not, you should. You can find me there as dyemonkeyyarns.

Today I'm dyeing sock blanks and posting pictures of them as I work, not only so that you can see the process that goes into them, but also to give you first chance to nab them for yourself.

If you see a sock blank you love, simply direct message me through Instagram to claim yours! I'll have all the details in the post.

Remember, each one is a One Of A Kind - so grab what you love while you can.

Go spoil yourself!