Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Not a Bad Dye Job

Here are yarns spun from the "two Pams". The yarn below is spun from Pam's original dark roving (see small hank in previous post). The yarn above is spun from my copy. It is lighter overall but has the same color balance. It is missing the delicious dark aubergine areas that really excited me about Pam's original, but I still like it and it totally coordinates with Pam's. Not too bad for a first try.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Flamingo and Mitt

Sandy, you are a bad, bad influence. Now just look what's in my yard. Shame, shame. Not only is she completely tacky, she's missing one leg to boot, but seems unphased. As a side note, the mitt I"m wearing is knit from the dye along yarns. I had to knit something very textured to match the feel of these yarns. Instead of using a fair isle pattern like the one in your mitts, I used the interrupted rib from my sock book and turned it into a mitt. I like it.
I really wanted more of Pam's dark roving from our dye along, but by the time I realized that both Sandy and Pam had spun up all of it. So off to the dyepot to try and copy a hot pour. Good luck. But as luck would have it, I did ok. Below left, the small piece is Pam's, the big hank is mine. Now I do have enough for a pair of plain, wear-'em-into-the-ground socks...the kind I like best. I'll spin the big hank for the main part of the sock and keep Pam's original for heels, toes, and other places that I want darker.
Now that I"ve made mitts, I"ll use the rest of the yarns for something else. But this has been fun because I discovered within this melange a few new simpler color combinations that I really like and am racing in a new direction with these.
And I'm dyeing yarns too, which has been very very satisfying.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Endless Combinations

Whenever I start combining colors and colorways, look out. Once that train gets arollin' there is no stopping it. I spun up a smattering of all of our colorways and plied them on themselves...and you've seen those already on Sandy's and Pam's blogs. So I"ll go into how I started messing with them beyond that point.

First off, I loved Pam's so much I didn't want to mess with them. I am saving them for socks...will just spin em up straight and ply on themselves and hoard in the stash. I did separate the darker (above left) and lighter (above right) bits of her darker colorway and spun small samples. Although I like these, I really like the entire thing all spun together(above, second from right), and since there is no way to duplicate this baby and there isn't enough to play with and still have enough for socks, I'll spin it straight. I really do like my purple (above second from left) yarn with it as an accent tho (see below for more on the purple yarn).

I wanted some yarns that weren't quite so variegated
so decided to take half of my darker colorway and split
it up into three main sections. Above left you see the
piece of roving as it was dyed. Center left you can see
how I divided the red/orange sections from the blue/green sections and the purple/violet/aubergine sections. I
stripped these and spun them lengthwise, alternating one
strip from each hunk of color.
I took some lime green out of Sandy's darkest roving and combined that with my blue/green sections, alternating a
strip of each (below left). The resulting green and orange/red
yarns are shown below flanking a skein of one ply Sandy's
and one ply of my darker colorways.

Now the challenge is to knit something from these puppies. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Dye Along

Sandy, Pam and I did a dye along yesterday. Sandy worked in her studio in Oregon, Pam and I in my studio here in Tennessee. We chose three stock colors (Sabraset Scarlet, ProChem Washfast Acid (PW for short) Bright Orange and PW Ivy) that we would all use plus one extra of our own choosing. My extra color was PW Brilliant Violet. Even though we started with the same colors we decided we could mix or dilute them to our liking. We'll swap, spin and knit from these, blogging along as we go. We were interested in seeing how different our stuff could get using the same materials. BTW, this is all on superwash colonial fiber. Check out Sandy and Pam's progress.

Using the cold pour method, I grouped my warm and cool colors in mini gradations. I wanted there to be a large area of brilliant color with smaller areas of muted ones. I got that funky tobacco brown by mixing brite orange and ivy...tres cool. Brilliant violet dilutes to a very clear light violet, and I really like how it balances the denser looking hues of scarlet and ivy. I left a fair amount of water in my roving so the colors could migrate before striking. This helped to make beautifully intense colorbands with none of the pale spots that superwash is prone to. To my surprise, scarlet and ivy are true compliments, so mixed in equal amounts they really make I found out when I went to mix aubergine (Sandy and I are aubergine freaks from way back). These colors are pretty, but much deeper than I had envisioned, so I tried a lighter version.

This time I poured several dilutions of Ivy first, then spotted the white areas with various dilutions of the other colors. I didn't mix them to mute this time, just added water. I love the effect. I was inspired by a quilt in Kaffe Fassett's Museum Quilts. I'm hoping I can spin this to resemble some of those fabrics.

BTW, Pam and I were of the same mind and wore almost indentical socks. Pam's are merino/tencel she spun and knit from a Sandy roving. Mine are from superwash colonial I dyed.

Now we get to spin! I'm going to make yarns to knit Sandy's mitts below.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Free Pattern

Sandy knit these tres fun mitts from her handspun stash. Want the pattern? It's free. Just go to wool etc. and check it out. I love the assymetrical effect, but those of you who are symmetrically inclined get a twofer! You can add thumbs to these too...instructions are in the pattern. Check out her blog for her three versions.
Sandy, Pam and I are going to do a dye swap. We'll pick three stock colors we all have, then use them any way we wish, and add one more color to the mix. Pam and I are getting together here tomorrow to dye our fibers for the swap. We'll blog our results as we go along...the dyed fiber, the yarn, the knitted item. I'll knit these mitts with thumbs...probably with a few small changes too...can't ever do anything the same way would be against my religion. Anyway, I'll tell you what I did when I do it. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Lynne Vogel * LV ltd * limited edition

Yes, there was quite a dry period there for a while…one might call it a drought. But my second book, The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters, a Knit to Fit Workshop is in the final stages of production, due to arrive for my review in about two weeks then off to the printer. Finally! So with nothing to do (yeah right) I started a yarn line. Good handspun yarn is one of those pricey yet priceless commodoties…when you can find it. And I knew I could never spin enough to have a line all by myself. But after mind melding with Carla Kohoyda Inglis of Michigan’s Spinner’s Flock and Pam Harris of Twisted Friends, spinners started stepping out of the woodwork. I dye the fiber, they spin. Kismet.

The line is called Lynne Vogel * Limited because it is just that. Limited amounts of one-of-a- kind colorways. Don’t expect to find enough yarn to make a one color sweater here. Do expect to find dazzlingly beautiful unique yarns for small projects or for use in combination. And do expect to find impeccably soft and touchable yarns…no scratchy, lumpy, greasy stiff stuff full of veg matter here….no way. Yarns are mostly two ply (with the occasional laceweight single) and range from Blue Faced Leicester wool or superwash Colonial sock yarns to Merino/Bombyx or Alpaca/Tussah luxury blends. There are no special orders available…sorry. What you see is what you get. After all. This is the nature of handspun.
At this point there are only two places you can buy my yarn. La Petite Knitterie in Ladera Ranch, CA and Harrisville Designs in Harrisville, NH. (You can find my handdyed fibers at Harrisville as well.) Production is in the baby stages, so internet sales are not an option yet and these yarns aren't on their websites. But call them if you can't visit in person. They'll be glad to help you.