Thursday, February 03, 2005

More Dyeing Fun

By the time this picture is posted, this knitting will be no more:

cashmere hat

Yes, sadly, I had to rip. This is the same 3 ply cashmere yarn as the fingerless gloves in the previous post. I have lots left, enough for a hat, and maybe yet another pair of gloves. So I started the hat, but the gauge over stranded knitting is just too different: I need an inch more in width. The hat might fit, but it looks like I'm trying to be one of those skater-dudes in their little tight watch caps. Um, no.

The planning and dyeing for this cap has been way fun though (in the vernacular). I'm stealing, um, borrowing, an idea from my friend Nancy Roberts. She took her inspiration from an article in Threads by Rebekah Younger, about knitting fabric on a knitting machine, dyeing it, ripping it and reknitting it.

Nancy has taken this technique and, well, become obsessed. She has done samples, bags, hats, socks, sweaters and. . . you get the picture. The colors reknit into subtle and striking stranded patterns, looking like complicated color changes, when really it's only two strands.

Here's some of her dyed fabric:

nancy's dyed shetland

And then here's the fabric reknit using a strand from each skein:

nancy's shetland

The two colorways fit neatly together, making a complicated looking fabric.

She has also done knit-dye-reknit with a solid color yarn:

Nancy's bag

This is a knitted/felted bag she sent me. The leftover yarn is in the photo, showing the very long color repeats. It is this technique that I am copying, um, reproducing. I sent 3 skeins of cashmere yarn to Nancy, she knit them into a long strip for me on her machine, and I dyed it:

dyed knitting

Now I'm reknitting (or, as you now know, reknitting *again*) this yarn with the leftover plain burgundy yarn from the gloves. The colors are just beginning to change in my hat. The ball of yarn shows the long color repeats.

Nancy's done several whole sweaters:

Finished Gansey 022

The really exciting news is that she will teach this technique at this year's SOAR ! Yes, she will have knitting machines there. Yes, those lucky ducks who take the class will knit, dye and the begin reknitting their project. And the retreat class will learn Nancy's neat trick for dyeing a *pair* of self-striping socks that match:

nancy's socks


Blogger Valerie said... just gave me an idea for the 3 cones of 2/8 Australian merino wool that I purchased w/o a plan. Just moved them from one storage place to another, mumbling that I didn't know what to do with them. I have the knitting machine, the dyes, and the to play!!

8:07 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

That is extremely cool.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Charleen said...

I don't think I ever saw the original article, but I did see Nancy's stuff at SOAR. Great idea. I, too, have a couple cones of 8/2 wool.

Now I'm even more excited about going to the next SOAR.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

That is a very neat idea. The knitted pieces you show are stunning.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Joni said...

That technique is awesome! Now I know why I need a knitting machine.

4:47 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

This technique could make the sweater-recycling fad more interesting. Thanks for the lovely pictures.

6:35 AM  

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