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.

December 27, 2010

Projects Status

Filed under: project lists — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:13 pm

Progress on the Phantom Phonebooth (Tardis pattern) socks proceeds. I have 2.25 inches completed from the toe. It is about 2.5 rounds per centimeter and it takes me about half an hour to do that. After which I want to do something else. Two-at-a-time on two-circs is a lot of shuffling things around. But the socks match and there will not be that point where I feel “done” but am only halfway because there is still another entire sock to go. No pictures yet because it looks like a pair of small blue pockets.

My revamping of the halfaquin sweatervest is stalled while I work on the socks. I can see it in my mind’s eye but actually doing the work is much more laborious than anticipated.

These are my only active projects taking up space in my brain because the loom shipped today!

Dreamwidth does not have an automatic crossposting to WordPress tool. But the cut and paste works really well because it preserves formatting.

December 4, 2009

Lots of status update.

Filed under: fiber, I hate sewing, knit, project lists — Tags: , , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:39 am

The fiber club did not work out. PayPal hates me. It is mutual, so I do not feel slighted. PayPal refused to allow me to use my credit card for the transaction for no apparent reason.

This, however, did work out rather positively. Crown Mountain Farms announced a sale on BFL, SW Merino, Corriedale pencil roving, and some sock yarn. 20% off. That more than covered my shipping expenses. I like how their fiber spins up better than almost any other dyer. $20 for 8oz of hand dyed BFL is a good deal especially if you like that dye work. I got more fiber and spent less money than the club would have cost and I got to pick exactly what I wanted in which fibers.

I would have asked for the fiber club as a holiday gift, but, even though it was a good price/fair deal, overall it is too expensive to be a gift.  Family say I am as hard to buy for as my father ever was. I am an established, childless adult. If there is something I want, I buy it. If I have not bought it, there might be a reason I am waiting.

I solved my need for woolly socks in a hurry. I ordered from sock-dreams.com . I really like them and their service. They have great selections of kneesocks (and who wants to knit kneesocks when their feet are already cold?). There were no good woolly kneesock options, but shorter wool socks and cute cotton kneesocks were both ordered.

I got personally invited to the Knit-One-One show tomorrow. I imagine that I would like the space better if I was not planning to sit for a long time. Their chairs made me feel like a Peanuts character. A Verb For Keeping Warm is having a something tomorrow too. I might go to something but I suspect I will end up at the World of Good warehouse sale hunting for last minute gifts for people I have not seen in years and who do not like me. But better to shop than to waste knitting time.

I have knitted the legs and body of my elephant. The yarn I spun is ideal for this, I just have to say.  Today did not go well for other reasons and there was a time when I was laughing to myself remembering the song Hugh Jackman sang on Inside the Actors’ Studio about an acting job where he was the hind end of an elephant. One of the lines was about him winking at a pretty girl from the hole in the elephant’s bottom. My elephant is being knitted flat, so right now it feels like it is all hole and no bottom and certainly no elephant. But if you send Hugh Jackman, with advanced notice, I promise to finish it in time to hand it to him to autograph. (I am not serious about sending Hugh Jackman. That was supposed to be funny.)

The hand warmer issue was resolved with very little active effort on my part. A really nice pair of commercial socks (fair isle, soft!)  has enormous holes in the heels. It went from “thin” to “gone” in one washing. So I will be cutting and running them through the sewing machine to keep the edge from unraveling. Still 5-10 minutes is a good investment to have really cute things ready-to-use.

I am itching to start on the legwarmers because it has been frigid. I do not have enough hands for foreplay that I can expect to seduce the weather.

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.

March 2, 2009

Socks Hopping

Filed under: dye, project lists, socks, yarn — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:34 am

On the plus side, I am no longer a photo slacker. I have tolerable pictures of everything I bought. I posted the photos of my completed socks. I even avoided making the joke about being caught flat-footed. If you want to see more of the completed Raspberry Friday Socks, the thumbnail here links to the full-size image in the album. Or you can look at the previous post.



Today’s project was to pick the new sock yarn and choose a pattern. I know I want to make the “Naginirav_link” socks from the Knitpicks “Essential” yarn. Unfortunately,  I knew right away which yarn I wanted to use next— because I am suckered in by the shiny just like everyone else. But hey, I bought that Schaefer Heather yarn for a reason.


So I did some looking to see if I was attracted to anything particularly. The new yarn is a bit stiff and holds stitch definition well, but I am easily dissuaded by complicated projects. I even spent some time reading the textures/motifs book I borrowed from the library. Nothing seems perfect. I did a swatch in the quilted lattice stitch and would pull out all my hair if I had to do it for a whole sock. (I have the perfect 8sts/inch gauge though.)

Before 90 people jump in and recommend “Monkeyrav_link“, I really dislike that pattern. The alternate versions are somewhat better, “No Purl Monkeysrav_link“, “Staggering Monkeysrav_link“, and “Los Monos Locosrav_link“. But it starts to look like work… like I would be creating my own texture because I would prefer no yarn-overs, I know it will go faster without purling, and I want to go toe-up, and I prefer the ovals to the inverted-Y shapes.

I have come to no conclusions tonight.

Today also had the over-dyeing of the January fiber club yarn. The color is vastly improved from the sickeningly bismuth pink color. Pictures are waiting on the yarn to dry.

Pictures of Stitches West purchases later this week.

February 19, 2009

Here I am.

Filed under: fiber, knit, socks, spin — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:00 am

Hi. I am an idiot. Feel free to point and laugh. My computer got a virus. I could not fix it. I did have anti-virus. I did have anti-spyware. I did have router firewalls in place. Nothing worked. I got help. The help could not fix it. The whole thing had to be wiped. I did retrieve my data and most things are back to normal. But the remaining things are going to especially affect you my readers. I cannot get pictures off my camera. Admittedly, this will be relatively easily solved by the installation of some software, whenever that becomes a priority. 

I received the February fiber club shipment. It is a really ridiculously soft baby llama fiber and a spool of embroidery thread for plying. The llama is a hazel gray color that goes between oatmeal and sea green depending on the light and what the ambient colors are. The embroidery thread is an unfortunate shade of electric turquoise and is 100% polyester. However, I have a plan. I have some dyed silk fiber. It looks fabulous next to the llama. I am so excited about this that I am finding it hard to finish working on the January fiber. 

The second Raspberry Friday Sock is progressing. I am about halfway through the foot now. I have finished 2 of 6 pattern repeats. 

I realized that I am on track to knit 12 pair of socks this year. I sort of want to push for that, but sock knitting really detracts from other fibery projects. Weighing in the other pan is the fact that I have decided to bail on the 50 books per year for the first time in about 5 years– (Feel free to email if you want to discuss my reasons.) so it might be nice if there was something to measure my progress through time against.  Plus I have bought the yarn, I better do something with it.

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