Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Calico Cat

The last of the new colors for the Fall and Winter of 2010 (so far...hopefully there will be more) is "Calico Cat"

I plan on doing more versions of orange, black, and white for a couple of reasons.  First, Halloween.  Second, I know a lot of people who are fans of Scott Sigler and this color scheme plays prominently in his book "The Rookie" as they are the colors of the Kraken team. Many of these folks have football jerseys and I thought it would be fun for them to be able to make socks and/or other accessories to match. Third, I just love calico cats.  Yes, I am that weird sometimes.

This first version is designed to be mostly orange with speckled stripes of black, grey, and white swirling around the sock.

A rich true orange with highlights of black, grey, and white.

Perfect colors for Sigler fans or Holloween!

I love the thinness of the black/grey/white stripes!

That's it for new colors for now...
I have tons more color combinations and patterns swirling around in this crazy head of mine.  Hopefully I will find more time in the coming weeks as the kids go back to school to make some more of these a reality.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The fourth new colorway for the Fall and Winter of 2010 is called KnitYeah.

I recently discovered when I started following @KnitYeah on Twitter that not only was she also from Harrisburg but she in fact lived just 4 blocks from me and her birthday is 5 days before mine.  Yes, the world is getting smaller  by the day.  It just so happened that I made these realizations on the day of her birthday.  We were talking about yarn colors so I inquired as to her favorite color.  The answer was unequivocally GREEN!

So, I took all of the greens that I had in my arsenal of dyes (I'm up to 6 different greens now), added a little royal blue and some gold and the result is "KnitYeah".  Of course, the first skein went to @KnitYeah herself as a slightly belated birthday present and as a thank you for so graciously allowing me to use her twitter name as the name for one of my colorways.

A mixture of light, bright, medium, dark, and olive green with blue and gold.

You can see the highlights of blue and gold here.

I love how the brightest and darkest greens match up and make these stripes that seem to vibrate!

The final new colorway, coming up tomorrow, is Calico Cat....

Monday, August 23, 2010


The next new colorway for the Fall and Winter of 2010 is "Blueberries".  I love the color turquoise.  I love just about any color with black.  I was originally going to combine just turquoise and black but at the last minute decided to also add royal blue.  This was a good lesson in why "going with your gut" is a good thing.  The royal blue adds a depth to the yarn that makes a huge difference.

I'm hoping to do something similar with black and other colors....

Turquoise and royal blue alternated with black.

Great for men's socks!!

I love the way it stripes!

Next up is KnitYeah!....

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Next up in the parade of new colorways for Fall and Winter of 2010 is "Hayride".  

Most of my colorways are of the 'painted' variety.  That means that when I am dyeing the yarn I lay the skein out on my work surface flat as a stack of ovals so that I can see the whole skein.  I then apply the dye to the skeins in sections, working it into the yarn by hand to make sure I have the saturation level I want.  The sections of color might be as big as half the skein, or as small as just an inch or two in length.  When I have finished, if it is a new colorway I draw a diagram that shows me which colors went where on the skein and add any other notes I might need to be able to replicate the colorway again at a later date.  These notes include things like dilution strength or other dye mixture notes.  Then, the next time I need to make a batch of a particular colorway I just pull out my notebook, open to the page for that colorway, and away we go.

Every so often I will do a colorway that is 'container dyed' instead of 'painted'.  This means that I put the skeins to be dyed in a container and apply the dye in a more random way.  I usually start by either pushing the skeins off to one side and pouring the dye into the container next to the skeins (for a more diluted, pastel effect) or by pouring the dye down over the yarn and then submerging the yarn in the liquid for more saturated colors.  In either case, I then turn the skeins over to expose the still undyed parts and repeat.  Depending on how many colors I am combining I will leave some yarn exposed for the next color.  This continues until I feel like I am done.  For new colorways it can be hard to find this point.  It can  be hard to find the line between not quite ready and overdone.  Later, when I need to repeat the colorway it is easier because I almost always keep a reference skein of these yarns around to remind me what it should look like when it is done.  The notes for these colorways are a lot different and much more subjective.  "Twelve pours of yellow, five pours of red" is the first instruction for "Early Autumn".  I kid you not.

Recently I had a request for a colorway that had pumpkin orange, brown, sage green, and purple in it.  I don't have a 'sage' green so I decided to use 'spruce' instead.  I decided to make this one of the container dyed colorways.  The result of those colors and that method is "Hay Ride".

The colors of hay, the hay wagon, indian corn, fall.

I love the speckles of purple and green!

Next up Blueberries...

Saturday, August 21, 2010


The first new colorway for the the Fall and Winter of 2010 is called "Rhinebeck".  I wanted to make a colorway that reminded me of the fall foliage that to me is synonymous with the New York Sheep and Wool Festival that is held in Rhinebeck, NY in mid October.

I used two different browns, burnt orange, gold, and a handful of reds.  However, I didn't want to use primary red or yellow.  While those colors can certainly be found in the leaves at that time of year I wanted to avoid them since they are already featured rather predominantly in some of my other colorways.

The colors are placed on the skein in such a way so that similar colors line up together.  The effects is swirling stripes of gorgeous fall color.  Perfect for this time of year!

Reds, gold, orange, and brown swirling leaves

I like the tonality of the reds and golds.

Swirling around the sock.
Coming up next....


Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Colors Fall 2010

So far, I have five new colors for the Fall of 2010.  They are:






Calico Cat

I will be doing detailed posts on each of these colorways in the coming days plus adding a few more as they are dyed.