Monday, 2 November 2015

Necessity is the mother...

A week or so ago, a friend posted a link to this gorgeous shawl:

Yes, that's a knit Maple leaf to use as a shawl.  The pattern is on Ravelry:

Most of you reading may think that this post will be about how I knit this gorgeous shawl and want to show it off, but not yet. I decided that I must knit this shawl. I set out about finding some appropriate yarn with which to knit this shawl, but stopped myself.  

As I got to thinking, I realized I have some Bare superwash wool (with 25% nylon, but that is less important for this project than some) from Knit Picks. I also have Jacquard acid dyes, so I set about to dye some yarn for this shawl. That way, with some luck, I could get exactly what I want.

The pattern calls for fingering, but says you can use sport and it will be more of a wrap. I'm good with that. It calls for 766-984 yards, so I dyed 4 skeins of the Bare, which will give me 1096 yards. This will also give me a bit extra for any shrinkage in the dyeing process.

The colors I used were fire red and brilliant yellow although, since I looked at the color in the tub rather than reading the label, I ended up with a bit of chartreuse in it as well. No matter how yellow it looks in the tub, chartreuse is actually a green. I noticed right away when sprinkling the powder on the yarn, so I stopped and got the actual yellow.

Here you can see the green. It wasn't tragic in this project as a bit of green in the leaves is OK. The yellow was rather chunky, so I added a bit extra. I put the red on both ends. This is before much mixing.

I wanted the yarn to be mostly red with some orange and perhaps a bit of yellow, so I made sure to mix them.

I put on the vinegar, made sure to mix it well, so I wouldn't get white spots and turned on the heat.

The hard part was waiting for it to finish and then waiting for it to dry.

The yellow turned out a bit more yellow than I had planned. I guess it needed more mixing, but I didn't want to have the red completely take over.  There were a few whitish spots, mostly around a couple of the ties, so I went back and painted those. 

They didn't turn out quite how I had envisioned, but I'm happy with the result. I hope it will look good in the shawl. 

The finished (almost dry) yarn. The red isn't as pink as it looks in the pictures. I need to figure out how to get more faithful pictures.

(almost) Time to cast on!


  1. I saw the pictures of the dyed yarn on FB and thought it was gorgeous -- and I think even more so now that I know what it's going in to! That shawl will be beautiful; I'm not a shawl person, but I could easily see myself paying good money for one of those, and wearing it all fall long.

    1. Thank you! I'm finding that I'm not really a shawl person myself, but there are so many beautiful shawls out there and I enjoy making them. I'll have to start wearing them more.