UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

April 1, 2012

sock dyeing

Filed under: dye, socks — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:08 pm

I dyed socks in January. I was really impressed with myself.
sock 2 sock 2 sock 2 sock 2 sock 2, sock 1

I dyed socks again today. I am not as impressed, but not because of the dye job… I melted a sock during the heat set. I am still a-goggle about it.

The procedure I used for the first pair in January was to lay out plastic wrap and use ridiculously strong Kool-Aid powdered mix (in about 1 cup of hot water) and pour on stripes. I added some food coloring to get green and was quite happy with the way this came out. You can, however, clearly see the fold line and although the dye made it all the way through, the second side is weaker than the first. These were somewhat blotted, had a second layer of plastic put over top and microwaved.

The second pair I did had purple and teal mottled all over and was just tossed in the slow cooker.

Today I did one slow cooker pair and a handpaint pair and a stripe-pour pair on three different sock bases.

I suppose I should talk about the sock bases. I bought finished machine-made commercial socks from Sock Dreams. (I really like their products and their service. That is a recommendation.) Originally I bought 2 pair of “O Woollies” for the January batch. This batch was one pair of the “O Woollies”, one pair of “nylon trouser socks” and one pair of Bella silk+nylon socks with a mild texture.

Today I microwaved the two thinner pair and the all nylon ones melted a hole right at the center of the dish. If I had cooked them less, had flipped the packet, or added water underneath… any of that might have saved the sock. I want to find something else to do with it, because who does not need a polka dotted nylon tube?

There will be pictures soon. I want them to dry first. There will also be after washing pictures of the handspun yarn.

September 26, 2009

Origami Motley Slippers

Filed under: knit, socks — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 3:38 pm

I finished my slippers in time to show them off at Thursday’s library knitting.

Overall I think this is an excellent first garment project. I think there are possibilities for customization either with yarn selection or by fancy knitting, and these could be done just on the one feature square.

I neglected to give a pointer to the original Finnish pattern: http://www.kaspaikka.fi/neulonta-A&O/asusteita_vaatteita/sukat-tossut/palatossut.html

September 23, 2009

Progress on Origami Motley Slippers

Filed under: knit, socks — UndyedYarnpire @ 9:10 am

I have finished, including the seaming (which was a bear), one slipper. I have finished the knitting on the second slipper. I have taken pictures. [As always, click on the picture to be taken to its home location where larger variants are visible. I apologize for the lack of borders, but they are really painful to add manually.]

Two pics of the same (finished) slipper:

The project status picture:

I have several hours of news to watch, so I should be able to finish the seaming.

July 13, 2009

Maze of choices, and me with no breadcrumbs Hansel

Filed under: socks — UndyedYarnpire @ 4:11 pm

You know what Ravelry really needs in its pattern search? The ability to OR availability options.

Frex, I want to have a list of all sock patterns from books I own, or that I have added to my Rav library individually (via Rav download, they still do not have the ability to inventory individual pattern purchases from external sources), or that are available free.

I can get any of those, but if I choose “free” then it will not list things I already own, even though they are free-to-me.

I circumvented the problem by doing 2 searches. In library NOT free to show me all the patterns I have paid for. Then favorited patterns + free. It still omits the one stand-alone sock pattern I have, but it was not all that exciting anyway.

The thumbnails for sock patterns from the books I have bought are terrible, almost universally. It is rather shocking that anyone would look at the thumbnail and want to spend 60 hours making any of those. Sure if I put up a pattern as an amateur, my thumbnail might not be ideal. I probably do not want to make several instances of the same thing just to get a good image. But professionally published books should come with an example sock for each pattern knit in a solid color pictured in the thumbnail.

I have some “Winter Sky” Barefoot yarn by Mountain Colors. It really wants to become socks for me. It mewls in the nighttime out of loneliness. And I cannot find anything that suits it.

I am looking for something similar to the “Jigsaw Socks” which are pretty much the same thing as the “Zephyr Socks”. An all-over swirly type stitch-motif  that does not require purling.

And, just for follow-up. I do like Wendy Johnson’s book, Socks From the Toe Up. It repeats some of the structural elements from Cat Bordhi’s method, like the modified short-row heel that uses a gusset to make up flanking stitches instead of k3tog or the no-wrap&M1 method. The book has all the methods that I use for casting on, Turkish Pocket, Magic Cast-on, it explains things I had to “invent” myself when I was struggling with provisional cast-ons. It has several examples of those hideously ugly reinforced heel-flap squares (they look like the ass-flap of a union suit to me and I would rather darn than wear anything like that, but personal preference.)  And even better, these things are all collected together in the beginning of the book instead of scattered throughout as boxed asides in the midst of the pattern which introduces them.  Best of all, fully half the patterns in Wendy Johnson’s book are no-purl.  When a pair of socks has a similar number of stitches as a whole sweater, optimization becomes important. Basically, I feel like Wendy Johnson respects my time as a knitter and she does not need to send me rummaging through the whole book just to make one pattern. Each pattern is actually self-contained, unless you choose to swap in another toe or heel method. I am rather pleased for once.

But unfortunately for this particular yarn, none of the patterns in Wendy Johnson’s book are “swirly”.  I think I might use the Labyrinth pattern for my brown-black sock yarn.

May 21, 2009

half a sock is better than none

Filed under: knit, socks — UndyedYarnpire @ 9:44 am

I turned the heel on my first sock from handspun yarn.

March 6, 2009

March of Socks

Filed under: socks — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:36 pm

(This is a picture post, but you have to scoot down past my blather.)

I have started a second pair of socks concurrently. I wound up my handspun cable-plied yarn from the fiber club. (I still think the name sounds too sexualizable; seriously, “Fondle This!”? All it needs is an unwanted pregnancy and it could be a teenage “romance”.)

The yarn was originally PINK in various screamingly PINK shades from cotton candy to PeptoBismol (probably ™ or ® or © or whatever.)  When spun and plied, it melded into something eye-searing, so I over-dyed it with “Spruce” Jacquard dye.  The new color is beautiful. It has depth and vibrance. I should grab some pictures of just the yarn. done

I wanted something simpler than the dozen-row bias waves motif. So I am making ribbed socks. One of the benefits of thicker handspun yarn is that I needed vastly fewer stitches. The body of the foot is knit with 48 stitches on size #3 needles. This project will move in and live at my desk for when I am reading things online or watching podcasts. The more complicated project will move out to the sofa, next to the abacus for keeping track of the pattern. Stupid how mere placement of a very portable thing would keep me from working on it, but very true.

I am wondering if I can finish two pair of socks in March… It would be really neat if my unwillingness to keep going on boring parts would be ameliorated by switching off.

Now for the eye candy. As usual, click any image to be taken to the Picasa page with the big version. I have to manually add the outlines to each picture with this blog theme and it gets tiresome very quickly. I should pick a new theme or actually pay WordPress.com so I can fix this one, but it is a very low priority for me. You might generally assume that you can click a picture. Worst case, nothing happens. 

Lookingglass socks, toe done:

Sousa Tuesday socks, toe done; yarn was “Candy Butter”; yarn is now “Fat Tuesday Blues”):

March 4, 2009

From facts learned to weirdness shared.

Filed under: discussion, socks, stuff — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:52 am

I am working on my as-yet-nameless March socks. 

I have learned to read and chart bias-knitting textures. I understand how to get sharp diagonals and how to get smoother arcs. I understand that I can substitute an M1 (or M1b, or the Bordhi variants therein) for YOs. Assuming this comes out even tolerably, I will not be hurting for textures ever again.  I will definitely look into that “jigsaw” texture without the YOs. 

I kept looking at those brocades done with purl stitches and dreading that. The transistion between knit and purl takes as much time as a whole stitch. Then looking at the end result, it was still mediocre. 

The Schaefer Heather yarn in “Gertrude Ederl” is 3 colors and they form non-uniform stripes of about 1 row. This is giving me the effect of a self-striping yarn, so the motif should definitely skew the row height in some way, otherwise I might as well not bother since the colorway would overwhelm anything else. I think this yarn would look good in a ribbing, but I am not masochistic enough to voluntarily rib an entire sock without knowing what needs atonement.


I am wearing my Raspberry Friday Socks today. They are very comfortable and attractive in my maryjane shoes. 


I spun some more of the silk thread I am planning to use for plying the llama from February’s fiber club shipment. Then I started spinning the llama. I am going to buy more of this baby llama fiber in future, it is really wondrous. I would like to have a blended llama+[soft sheep wool]. 

I am starting to suspect that I will be buying a drum carder. 


I could use some help on the naming of socks. (And yes, I do have that “Naming of Cats” poem in my head right now.) I think this is yarn is a “dark” variant on twilight. It reminds me, strangely, of Alice in Wonderland, only shadier. 

I made a joke tonight, while chatting with a friend, she said that at least my socks do not need three different names… but that is why they all have the same surname, Socks. I was deliberately misunderstanding the reference. 

I wonder if it will sound like I am mocking Indians (not from India) if I called this project, “Gertrude Looking Glass Socks”. I would like it to have a dark equating adjective without sounding actually evil (since I am going to wear these and I do not need to jinx myself.) Maybe like Marjorie? The villain from “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”. Frankly I am thinking this is getting too weird for most people.

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