Friday, September 9, 2016




This photo, clockwise, from top: Patons "Lemongrass"; Patons, dyed with goldenrod; Patons dyed with Queen Anne's Lace


Socks: even though the possibility of ever being able to wear wool socks again feels a long way off (ohmygoodnessitisboiling) (itisnottoohotforcoffeeareyoucrazy) I am knitting them as fast as I can, and planning three pairs ahead. I'll probably run out of steam before too much longer, but I've been digging through the sock yarn stash and doodling on graph paper with a lot of unbridled enthusiasm. Right now, on the needles, a riff on Pia Kammeborn's Longing for Gotland socks--I'm using her basic design, with a change of motif in the cuff panel. I love those stripes. That lovely pattern really set my wheels a-turning.

Dyeing: the goldenrod results were very good--I got a great, acid-y, citrine from it, very reminiscent of my old friend Patons "Lemongrass"--I dare say the goldenrod yielded something even closer than Lemongrass to what it is I'm really looking for in a citrus-y yellow/green. I carefully mordanted two skeins of the ubiquitous Patons Classic Wool, "Winter White" with alum and cream of tartar and boiled a big kettle of goldenrod flower heads, with some leaves still attached, for about an hour. I put the wet yarn in the pot and simmered it carefully for about 30 minutes, then rinsed and dried it on the fence. I think a little bit of iron would make goldenrod dye even greener, but I didn't actually want green, I wanted something in between. Future experiments will tell, and there is a rusty shovel head soaking in vinegar at this very moment.

Unraveling: It is time to admit that my beautiful Levenwick cardigan is too big. This cardigan is knit in Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter, which, in case you've never used it, is the wooliest, sheepiest, tweediest yarn ever, and thus it remained committed to Levenwick, even as I attempted to unzip it. The bind-offs were completely permanent, apparently, and I had to cut them off with scissors, but eventually, the yarn was harvested and rewound, and I will knit another Levenwick, just as soon as I finish all these socks.

Planning: more colorwork--I'm so ready to cast on a "Jenny at the Fair" by Mary Jane Mucklestone. Yarn auditions are happening today. Also, planning to visit the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival next weekend--say hello if you see me! It will probably be too hot for any handknits, but Doc will be wearing a kilt. Rawr!


  1. I do share your love of these goldy greeny wonderful shades and your dye job looks GREAT! The socks are amazing. You inspire me to get back to mine, but I must finish my Milano first.
    I used to live in Ithaca, but never went to the festival. Tell the Doc to be sure to hydrate with a woolen kilt on!!!! HAVE FUN!

  2. Kristen, what beautiful natural shades your dying activities have produced! I now connect your name to all sorts of citrus-y shades. It would be grand for a yarn company to do the same!

    While you knit fabulous striped socks in the summer, I continue going round and round on the double points making mitts. Humidity is up today, so I might have to give that knitting a rest!

    The Festival sounds like fun. I've gotten an email notice from Purl Soho today that the annual NYC Yarn Crawl will be Sept 23-25. Some past years I have visited some of the Crawl stops, and some years was working and had to give it a miss.

    Happy weekend. xo

  3. Your dyed yarns are fabulous ~ I hope you get your exact shade soon. Your socks are beautiful, too. How sad that you had to rip an entire (gorgeous!) sweater!! I am only just learning to knit, and I've had very little time to practice, but it currently takes me about a zillion hours to make a washcloth. I can't even imagine the hours (lovely hours, I'm sure, but still...) that went into a whole sweater! I almost cried for you (although you seem to have taken the undoing of an entire sweater in stride)

    What color are your cabinets? I think I am looking for something similar for my lowers...
    ~ Tracy

    1. Hi Tracy, thanks very much! Unraveling is one of those things that hurts for a minute, and then feels pretty good after that. I still have all the lovely knitting ahead of me again, and Levenwick out there waiting. I do like that. :)

      My cabinets are in Benjamin Moore "Sparrow". An olive-y grayish. No color in my life is an easily explainable one! LOL!

  4. Wow what fabulous colours. How adventurous are you!! I hate frogging knitting I can never seem to get the sewn ups or cast offs out and end up cutting the yarn.

  5. Gorgeous colors! I can't imagine cutting into a sweater even to frog it. I get the shivers thinking about it and have no idea how anyone can steek a sweater. :-)

  6. Mmm! I love the dyed yarn. Such an in your face colour!

  7. The Gotland socks are next up in my que. love the colors of yours.

  8. Love all your dyed yarn and the socks are fabulous.Spring has sprung in N.Z.but still need socks some days. Shame re undoing your jumper but can relate to the reasons and would just get on with it with anticipation of better next time and soon:)

  9. very nice and cozy things. images are beautiful.

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