Dyeing Sock Yarn-to-Be

So, this was a Sunday of r & r. We had a nice Saturday afternoon, our string band playing in the park in High Springs during their Pioneer Days celebration. Being old farts, we were tuckered out today.

Sock Madness is in no way over. We’re knitting a “bonus round” this week, with the moderators getting some much deserved rest, and knitters under no guns at all. There are 4 rounds left. I will be amazed if I survive the next. All the same, I plan on knitting all the SM10 socks whether or not I am bumped from the competition. So, I just plain need more sock yarn.

That’s where this spate of dyeing comes in. I have tons of food dye, and I’m not afraid to use it. Many colors. American, Mexican, Indian. I figure…I have to wash fiber ANYway, why not fool with it?

So I dug out a bag of mohair (for blending to make strong toes and heels) and some Raymond, and some alpaca, and some light and dark grey/brown Gulf Coast from Louisiana, and had at it. Some of the Raymond fiber was already carded into batts. Some of the fiber was already washed. And all of it dyed up just great.

I’ll make 50:50 minis with the GC and mohair. The rest (GC or GC/alpaca) will be spun pure.

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Spring Green – GC Raymond Batt and Mohair

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Berry Parfait – GC Raymond Batt and Mohair

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Red Hots – GC Raymond Batts, Black and Tan Alpaca, and Mohair Locks

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Red Sky in Morning – GC Raymond (overdyed sandalwood) and Amber Batts and Mohair

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Remus Holding Down the Morning Sky Locks – GC Raymond and Mohair

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Gigi Having a Lie Down on GCNI Amber Dyed Yellow

Dolly’s Spiegel Dress

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Dolly’s Spiegel Dress – Gulf Coast Native Sally dyed chartreuse and fuchsia

In 1959 or so, my mother ordered a dress from the Spiegel catalog. Big skirt. Daring back cut in a V all the way to the waist, deep V neck, sleeveless to show off her strong tan arms, and a nipped in waist. With the blonde updo and wacky straw and wood heels from Mexico, she was quite the wild one in our little RI village. I don’t think she ever wore it “out,” but she did wear it around the house, especially in the back yard, where she had incredible exploding gardens. Pretty cool, how this totally unexpected dye strike (I used violet and lime green) has brought back such memories.

Sock Madness – Round 3


Waimakariri designed by Sonya Newstead

The winding rivers of New Zealand translated into sock form. Yep. This cast on was another challenging one. It begins with a cable. And the foot grows from there. Intelligent heel. Bizarre, creative design for the foot and ankle, braided cables up the back and front and top into the cuff, and even a detailed ribbing for that. Not one single row was a “just knit it” row. These, I cast on at night on April 4 and finished in the evening of April 9. Not bad for an old arthritic lady.

Still in the competition. Round 4 comes up soon…

Sock Madness Round 2


Rose & Thorn designed by Ronni Smith

This was a crazy difficult (for me) cast on. A beaded cast on, picot cuff, and smooth knit into the leg…well…just took a ton of focus and hours.

I dyed this yarn in the cake…the outer layers absorbed the the dye more thoroughly than the interior. I was amazed to see that most of the cake dyed fairly evenly. Love it. Dyed with sandalwood from Dharma Trading.