Saturday, March 21, 2015

When You Start Knitting a Gift the Day After the Baby Arrives

I finished the dyeing I wrote about at the end of my last post. I was going for a tonal (that's fancy dye talk for uneven) blue/green result.

I ended up with a tonal green. I started with a full immersion of the hank in green to get a base. As soon as that dye was absorbed, I pulled hank out of the water and let it cool enough to be handled.

Then I twisted it into a skein and dropped it into the water with some packets of blue KoolAid. I left that on the heat for a while and then to cool overnight.

The next morning I looked at what I had and it was not enough color, so I untwisted it and then twisted it again so different parts of the hank were exposed. I also twisted it more loosely so more yarn would be exposed to the dye.

After that cooled, I decided there still was not enough color even though I really liked the highs and lows of the blue. I decided to untwist it and dye the loose hank in another round. But I didn't have enough blue so I added more green to the final dye.

It turned the whole hank green. The blue KoolAid only has Blue 1. The green KoolAid has Blue 1 and Yellow 5. It's amazing to me how much influence the yellow has even though it "should" be a relatively weaker color.

But green is nice so ok.

While working with the yarn, however, I noticed that it was very easy to pull it apart. It hardly took any strength at all. That got me worried that this wasn't the best yarn for socks. (Of course, I've already made two pairs out of the sleeves and sent them to WoolAid. All I can do now is hope that they last.) And, of course, I can not repeat what might be the same mistake.

Also, my coworker's wife had her baby on Thursday and I was thinking maybe I should get working on a gift for them. I already had found this book
for them (we work at a haunted house, remember) but kept thinking I should add a hand knit as well. But they were having a boy and sorry boys, you're just not as much fun to knit for.

On Friday evening, however, while reading the forums on Ravelry, I saw someone's version of this sweater:
and I decided it was cute enough to make it worth the effort. It's Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down. I'm using the free version, but she also has a full version (more sizes, better tested) available for sale.

This morning, I picked up the green yarn and started to knit. After a couple inches, I decided the fabric was too stiff and my gauge was too small. Rip, rip, it went. Then I started again on a larger needle. After four rows, I decided it still was too small and went up another size (without ripping).

I'm still not quite at gauge, but the fabric feels good, so I'm going for it.

Besides the cute result, I also decided to start this sweater because so many Ravelers who made it said they got it done in a weekend!! Challenge accepted!

Here's what I have so far:
And now, if you'll excuse me, I have some more knitting to do...

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