Discovering natural dyeing

I recently followed a workshop on natural dyeing and I’m thrilled. It’s so bonding with nature and the result is like magic.

We learned about “Grands Teints” and “Petits Teints”. “Grands Teints” indicates that the color has proven to be sustainable overtime even when being exposed to light.

We mainly used “Grands Teints” material like walnut, onion shells, cochineal, madder root and reseda.

We first learned about the traditional and ancient dyeing technique according to precise recipes.

Another method was to apply the dyes directly and randomly onto the yarn with a table spoon, wrap the yarn and put it in the microwave or steam oven. Aren’t these two skeins lovely?

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Cochineal and blue-wood.

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Cutch, reseda and a few onion shells.

Finally, we did some solar dyeing.

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Cochineal, walnut leafs, and – sorry for the latin name – Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ all went into the pot and then the sun could do the rest.

And here’s how it came out:

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About a month has gone by and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
I’ve been collecting stuff I could use (you need a lot!) and made others collect for me too.
I’ve ordered undyed yarn and mordants.

I think I’m almost ready to do my own natural dyeing.

FO Friday – Stormy weather

I was lucky having the chance to testknit this great sweater for Maarzi.

I made a few changes to make it more like me, like a bit of color and no cables at the sides.

This project is RAVELLED here with additional information.

I am very pleased about the result and my daughter is totally happy with it! I think it really looks great on her.

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Recently I did a lot of very colorful projects – so much fun – but this time I felt I wanted/needed something more solid.

I still couldn’t help to add a bit of color though on the neck and sleeve borders.

I underestimated the work on this one because I used sock yarn, as in the description, and a needle size 3 mm (US 2.5), also as in the description.

My gauge was 28 stitches x 41 rows and so you’ll understand how slowly this one grew.

To be honest, it was a bit of a boring project to me. Stockinette stitch? I think I got it now:):) But as I said, I’m really happy with the result!

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Again I had a surprise with the online ordering of a colorway called “Gothic”.

I expected to get a very dark grey and I got purple.

In retrospect, when I go back to the website I can see the purple shine now, but I can still see how one can think it’s dark grey.

And admittedly, the name doesn’t really help neither, it can perfectly go both ways.

But I don’t think those small risks from online ordering will stop me now!

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The yarn is from Northbound Knitting. It’s very soft and it must be really ideal for socks (not for sweaters!). One skein still had a lot of white spots, as you can see in the lower part of the body. It’s a perfect example of how useful it can be to alternate two skeins…

Northbound Knitting – Superwash Merino Fingering
Nld size 3 mm (US 2.5)

Lopapeysa

I finally finished my Lopapeysa or Icelandic sweater.

I love Icelandic sweaters or in fact any knitwear with Scandinavian patterns.

I don’t mind the scratchiness of the yarn, I think that once you have it on you get used to it and it’s really nice and warm.

I already casted this one on in January and knit both the body and the sleeves until the underarm in no time.

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But then I had to start the yoke, the fun part, the part that magically turns this sweater into an icelandic sweater.

I realized that I only ordered 5 different colors, whereas I needed 7 colors. Don’t ask me why.

I also realized that I would need more contrasting colors to bring forward the dark brown in the yoke.

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Fortunately I had exactly what I needed: white and grey.

See, you always NEED to have an important stash in order to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances:) like this one.

I had to do some thinking to determine the order of the different colors, taking into account all the contrast.

It’s not as simple as it looks, especially when no exact examples are available.

So I tried some color combo’s on paper.

I knew I had no choice on the lower and upper band of the yoke since those had to be worked like the borders of the body and the sleeves.

I decided on the two center colors (white and red) and then used the same color order below and above the center lines.

The project is RAVELLED here with additional information.

The pattern is a free download!

Léttlopi
Nld 4,5 mm (US 7)

Midsummer Travel

I’m so excited about my latest Stephen West project “REIS”, which means trip or travel in Dutch.

As soon as this pattern was released months ago I couldn’t stop myself going back to it, over and over again.

I thought I would probably enjoy it as much as I did my Enchanted Mesa.

And yes, I confirm, all I had was great fun!

The project is RAVELLED here with additional information.

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I love playing around with yarn and color. I used a total of 18 different yarns! The sweater is supposed to be worked in DK. I didn’t have enough of that so I used fingering and sock weight yarns held together and played around with the combinations.

When so many different colors are involved in one project, I always find it challenging to find a right balance between keeping the colors interesting enough without overdoing it.

I just followed my intuition as I went along and hoped it would all come together in the end.

For the body I mainly used blues and pinks in all varieties and for the sleeves I mainly used grey and blues. I added small spots of yellow & green in order to break the other colors.

Malabrigo Rastita

The pattern I chose for this cardigan is from the wonderful designer Veera Välimäki. In my opinion she’s without any doubt one of the leading ladies in knitting design.

I’m so happy with this cardigan and I absolutely like everything about it!

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This is the first time I tried “Rastita” yarn that belongs to the wonderful Malabrigo family. What a very nice discovery!

But to be honest, it sure wasn’t love at first sight, especially not the color!

When I ordered this yarn I expected to get some kind of deep yellow with little bits of brown. So when the yarn arrived I was quite surprised and even disappointed to see it was so much darker and browner than I thought it would be.

But gradually this color totally grew on me and now I just love it! The yarn is fantastic, so soft and light and I just love that warm autumn color.

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This project is RAVELLED here with additional information.

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Malabrigo Rastita-colorway Glitter
Nld 6mm

Attersee Test Knit

I was so pleased to test knit this beautiful shawl for Monie!

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There is so much I like about it: the size, the color, the weight, the texture, and last but not least …. the ruffles!

I absolutely LOVE the ruffles!
The major part is quite simple with the texture and so the ruffles add that little something without overdoing it.
I love that little touch of frivolity.

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It will make such a nice wrap for autumn and I’ll rather wear this for the first chilly days than a vest or a cardigan.

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The color is really mysterious, neither blue or green and changing with the light. It’s hard to capture it in pictures but I finally managed to come close to reality.

The project is RAVELED HERE with more additional information.

The pattern will probably be released by the end of June or beginning of July.

Madelinetosh Sport
Nld 4 mm

Oyster Shawl KAL

Forgive me for saying so myself, but I’m proud of this one.

I joined the Oyster Shawl KAL on May 18th.

It made me realize I should do more of those KAL’s.
I suppose it’s a bit of an online substitute to a real knitting club that is hard to find in my neighborhood (to my regret!).
I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s progress and choices made for one and the same project. How different they all became.

I decided to make a beaded version for my Oyster Shawl. The name of the pattern inspired me because it got me thinking of sand, seashells, soft natural colors and PEARLS!

You can find more pictures on my Ravelry project page here.

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Madelinetosh tosh light – Antique Lace
Merinoull 2-tråds
Nld 4mm