Sunday, September 25, 2011


I'm a little jealous of my cobloggers' spinning abilities for one particular reason:  color control.  I love yarns with long, subtle color-changes (well, who doesn't?) and the sight of all the different varieties of hand-dyed roving at fiber festivals is almost enough to make me want to learn a new hobby.  And then I remind myself that I already have 8 different knitting projects that I consider to be works in progress ...

And speaking of works in progress, I recently decided that I needed to make a baby surprise jacket.  Out of yarn that went through a long color change between green, teal, blue, purple and fuscia.  It had to be exactly those colors in exactly that order.  I don't know why my mind produces such unreasonably specific demands.  Can you imagine me calling around to local yarn stores, asking if they have a fingering-weight or sport-weight yarn in exactly those colors?  And it should be mostly wool too?

In this kind of situation, one has little choice but to take matters into one's own hands.  Fortunately for me, I had already planned a trip to see my friend and fellow mathematical knitter sarah-marie, recent proud owner of a sock-knitting machine and kool-aid/easter-egg-dying-enthusiast.  Unfortunately for me, she laughed at my incredibly specific color demands.

But the internet didn't!  The internet said I could have whatever freaking colors I wanted, if I bought Wilton's food dye in the right shades.  (This knitty tutorial was a great resource.)  I won't bore you with the color mixing details (they're on my ravelry stash page if you want 'em); but I mixed 'em up and mashed them into my sock blank and nuked them in sarah-marie's microwave until it looked like the colors had set; and the result was everything I'd hoped for, with a cherry on top.

(What I really love about this shot is how you can see that my bra and tank top exactly match two of the colors I'm dying with.)

From there, it was a simple matter of finding enough patience to wait for the (no longer blank) blank to dry and unraveling.  Something magical happened to the yarn at this step; the pure saturated colors that were visible on the blank became more subtle and just barely speckled when the yarn was unwound.

I can't wait to see what this yarn looks like knit up!  The BSJ it will eventually turn into is for our very own baby surprise, arriving this December if everything goes according to plan.  We don't know yet whether it's a girl or a boy -- yet another reason why this yarn is perfect.  Aren't surprises great?


  1. I love how your mind demands such specificity, and it's obviously even better that you could then go out and achieve that :) Great colours.

  2. But those are the consummate space unicorn colors! I'm not at all surprised that you wanted them. I used to have a stamp ink pad in this exact color progression.