Blue Stripes

I had last week off the day job and lots of knitting time, enough time to finish a pair of socks. Critical to this was my husband also having the week off… so I actually got to sit occasionally, and not just run after children all week. Bliss. I read a whole book in 3 days too:)

Last year I knit a pair of socks for my Aunt, the family matriarch. When I saw her in July she was very complimentary of her hand knit socks, and (kindly) asked for more. When I asked what colour she’d like, she said ‘any’.

stripey bluesYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock

I think blue qualifies as any, so these are going to her. She’s visiting me this month, and it’ll be nice for her to have a fresh pair of socks before winter really sets in. Pattern is the usual, make it up as I go along. This time toe up, the exact oposite of the traditional top down sock with a slipped stitch heel. I could easily have done these top down, but I thought black toes made more sense than light blue, and that’s as good a reason as any. I’ve probably got enough yarn left for fingerless mitts, she may get some to match if I get around to it.

That is the same wall I took last year’s sock photo against. Apparently the ivy is not so slowly taking over. And here we thought we were winning the battle.

Second verse, same as the first

I am a little way into my blue stripey socks, and they are just not stripey enough. I did know that would happen when I dyed it, but obviously totally ignored it.

blue socksSo when I got a bit bored, I did another skein. More stripes. Rainbow stripes.

rainbow in progress

My problem is the skeining. It’s a real pain to get it back into a ball or a skein. Very labour intensive. I’m sure there’s a trick out there, because lots of people do stripes and I can’t imagine they take hours to reskein each one. Do they?

rainbowStill, the end result is very pretty, and will be lots of fun to knit with. I think my red is a bit too pink, and my orange maybe a bit to red. But I’ve wanted to do a rainbow for a long time, and it’s fun to play with the primaries

The only problem? A real bitch to get back into a sensible state. I need to find a way to do the skeining easily.

Still

Experiment results

I’d been thinking about this one for a while, but earlier in the week this skein finally went into the dye pot. It looks pretty normal in the before picture.

experimentingBut with a little work, I’ve got some beautiful self striping yarn.

gradientIt goes from dark to light and back again, all in the same skein. And it wasn’t as hard as I worried it might be, although to do it again I’m going to have to work out the winding a bit better. My plan is to make toe up, two at a time socks. One from the outside and one from the middle. That should give me two exactly identical striped socks.

two at a timeBy plan, of course I mean I’ve cast on already. I think I’m in love.

Studio Tour

Dublin Dye has had several homes over it’s lifetime. We started in the studio over This is Knit. From there we moved on to Elana’s ‘cottage’, the converted garage beside her house. But about 2 years ago that suddenly became unuseable, so I had to move. Fast.

shedNow the studio resides in my back garden, just there past the barbeque. I did a bit of shopping, and ended up fitting in (and fitting out) a 2*4 metre metal shed in the garden. Thankfully we have a relatively big garden (by Dublin city standards anyway), and room for such a thing!

kitchen sinkInside I’ve got a slightly ramshackle kitchen, which was kindly ‘donated’ by my in law’s in law’s, who had replaced theirs recently with something a bit more modern. An electrician and a plumber paid me a visit, and I was up and running! It is working out great to have the studio at home, because I can run in and out while minding the kids or cooking the dinner. The little ones are well used to me telling them ‘I’ve just got to run out to the shed for a minute, no fighting!’

shelvesAt the other end, I have storage. Lots of yarn, both dyed and undyed. And some tools and toys, because you can’t have a shed in the garden without everyone else trying to take it over. There’s even a snowman stuffed under the shelves, and usually a small bicycle or two shoved down this end as well.

potsI really like the skylight, it’s in the perfect location to see the yarn colour. I mostly use the pots for yarn, although the crock pots get used for roving. I’ve also used the ‘exposed beams’ to string a washing line back and forth across the ceiling, so I can hang yarn inside somewhere other than my diningroom on a rainy day.

So what’s cooking in the shed today?

experimentingThis skein doesn’t look like much, but it is the subject of a little experiment. If it goes well, it’s going to make some fabulous socks for my aunt.

Edinburgh bound

It’s been busy here lately, although you probably wouldn’t think from the online world, I fear I’ve been letting that slide. But I have been beavering away in the background, preparing for March… Specifically the 14th and 15th of March I’ll be at Edinburgh Yarn Festival! I’m pretty excited and working hard to make sure I’ve got enough yarn that there will be something for everyone.  As well as my existing yarns and colours, that includes small amounts of new yarns

Alpaca SportAlpaca Sport – This went out as part of the Irish Yarn Club February shipment. It’s an 80% Alpaca 20% Silk sport weight yarn. I have only just started knitting with it but it’s a luxuriously soft and a joy to work with. That’s it above, it’s a shame a photo can’t show you just how soft it is.

Plump Lace – This heavier lace weight yarn is the same as our Merino Lace but twice as thick. So 600m/100g, great for shawls and light sweaters. I actually bought it with a project in mind, I really want to knit Pivot out of it but just haven’t found the time yet. Or decided on a colour… Maybe Black Cherry, or maybe Charcoal. Or Purple?

Depending on what comes back from the show (All of it? None of it?) these will be available on the website afterwards. And of course some or all of them will be regular features in the Etsy shop afterwards. If you’ll be there and there’s something you want me to put aside for you to pick up at the show, get in touch.

My only problem is since I’m going to Edinburgh as a vendor, I’m not going to have a chance to wander the show or do any of the amazing classes. If you’re going to be there leave a comment to let me know, and make me jealous of all the things you will see and learn!

One step forward

For a while it seemed like my knitting was taking two steps back every time I thought I was making progress. Mostly my own fault of course. But finally, I’m getting somewhere.

I decided on Black Cherry for my Follow your Arrow 2 shawl. I did clue 1A and 2B and then saw 3A and thought it I’d really like it with 2A. So I tore back 2B and tried again. I’ve spent all week working on clue 3A (the smocking takes forever!) and yesterday started on 4A finally. I’m nearly caught up!

arrow2Yarn: Dublin Dye Merino Sock in Black Cherry

And I’ve also been working on these little socks. When the first one was half done, I decided it should be a bit bigger. As in wider. Time to start over again. I’m supposedly working on these between arrow clues, but the shawl has taken all my knitting time.

howth smallYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Watersprite

I’m not even entirely sure I have enough yarn for these. They could end up with a contrast cuff yet 🙂  These are for the little boy, who is also very much one step forward two steps back at the moment. We’re potty training. All my patience is shot. But whenever I got him to try on his socks he tells me ‘keep knitting mummy’. I guess I have to follow directions, he is in control around here.

Guild Dyeing Workshop

Dyeing process

On Sunday I ran a dye workshop for the Irish Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. I think a good time was had by all, certainly some beautiful yarn was painted… I almost asked a few people to write down what they’d done so I could repeat it for the shop 🙂

Dye workshop 047

The wonderful Jenny at Crafty Tails declared herself dye photographer, and kindly let me use her photos since I took none of my own.

Dye workshop 081

Everyone got two skeins of yarn each, one the Swing Sock base (75% merino, 25% nylon) and the other Merino DK.  They had a selection of primaries to mix and play with, and come up with whatever colour they could think of. I helped where needed but mostly they played with colour and yarn. And they came up with some beautiful colours, don’t you think?

Dye workshop 064

They all went home happy with yarn dyed by their own hands, I can’t wait to see what they look like knit up!

And since today is cyber Monday (and I’m feeling a bit of pre-Christmas cheer) I’ve put FREE SHIPPING on everything in the Etsy shop. Just for 24 hours!

Knit and Stitch!

It’s here, it’s here! Today is the first day of the Knitting and Stitching show at the RDS in Dublin. I did seriously consider taking a stand this year, but in the end it was too much to take on at the moment. Maybe (hopefully) next year! But I did get asked by the Weave Spin Dye Guild to supply them with some hand dyed hand knits and some yarn.

dublindyeThis isn’t just any yarn though, it’s special Guild yarn!

spin yarnThey asked for a custom colour, based on their logo. Special, just for them. And who am I to say no to any colour request? So they have their own yarn now, with their logo on the label and everything.  There will also be a limited selection of other colours (mostly Swing Sock) at the guild stand all weekend (stand C60, along the back), so be sure to check it out and say hi if you see me. I’ll be there on Friday, I might get to show off my newly found spinning skills.

handspun

I’ve become a little obsessed. S Twist will be at the stand too, maybe he’ll give me some pointers 🙂

Penrose Tile

Carol Feller released a pattern today, Penrose Tile!

penrose tile 2

Photo Joseph Feller

This beautiful shawl is knit with two skeins of Dublin Dye Swing Sock. Carol used Mustard and Ripple for hers, I’m thinking of Black Cherry and Charcoal for my own, but I’m changing my mind every day. Carol is offering a discount on the pattern for the first week and when you buy the pattern you get a discount code for Dublin Dye as well!

To go with the pattern, I’ve done a massive update of Swing Sock in the Etsy Shop. I have been avoiding the computer a bit but the dye studio has been busy and I’ve finally put all that yarn on to the website 🙂  What colour will yours be?

Silken Lace

I’ve been a little negligent of the blog lately. My excuse is I was working on my first ever magazine pattern proposal.  It’d be amazing if it got accepted, but I’m definitely not counting on it!

In the mean time, the new Silken Lace went up on the etsy shop with no fanfare. It’s feeling a little unloved, honestly.

silken lace yarn hand dye

But I do love this yarn, even if it’s been a little overlooked. I made the beautiful Portico out of the sample skein. A lovely pattern and lovely yarn to go with it.  This is a 45% silk, 55% merino blend, strong and shiny and soft. A pleasure to work with. It’s currently being offered at an introductory price of just €20 a skein!  If this goes into a brick and mortar shop the price will have to go up, but for now it’s online only, and that means an online price. Don’t miss out!