I've been dying to show you... (and a Giveaway!)

You might have heard we had a dyeing swap this winter in my Ravelry group.... I love hosting swaps that engender learning (and yarn!!!!)

In my past career I used to dye (alot) but I did precision vat dyeing with the goal of achieving the exact same results every time. I did a little bit of "creative" dyeing for weaving projects, but it had been a long time since I just played with dye.

The first thing I did was sign up for Sarah Eyre's Professional Yarn Dyeing at Home on Craftsy
 (this link will get you the class for 25% off, it is a coupon code that is applied at checkout).
Then I started reading EVERY POST all the other members of the swap wrote, and I learned a ton just by seeing/reading about their trial and error!

Right around the same time Felicia Lo from Sweet Georgia released a great resource on dyeing.. Dyeing to Spin and Knit
So, I bought that and started reading! Sarah teaches dyeing techniques in a loose and artful way that encouraged me to play. Felicia's book explained the science behind dyeing and had techniques that required precision. This combination of these two resources turned out to be perfect for me.

In the meantime I gathered supplies, some Acid Dyes and Citric Acid from Dharma Trading, some undyed 75% BFL (blue faced leicester)/25% nylon sock yarn (also from Dharma Trading) and some undyed Meridian from Karen at Seven Sisters Fiber Arts. Luckily in December I got an Instant Pot (which I love, and deserves it's own blog post) which meant I could dedicate our old slow cooker to yarn dyeing...
I kept watching and reading and learning, but totally procrastinated on the dyeing until last Saturday when I finally dove in! (and oh my goodness I had FUN!) In less than 3 hours I had 4 totally unique skeins dyed, I played with speckle dyeing, veil dyeing, low water immersion dyeing, and resist dyeing.

You'll notice that all my skeins are green, that's because my swapmate Lois (who was easy to stalk) LOVES green.... the perfect color to dye given the grey winter we are having! For those of you who are interested, I used 601 Sun Yellow, 624 Turquoise, 626 Navy Blue.

Skein of yarn I sent to my swapmate Lois!
I can tell that starting to dye yarn is a rabbit hole of good times! I purposefully didn't write down exactly what I did as I have no intentions of recreating these skeins, but I do give a short explanation here. I have a DEEP respect for dyers who can consistently replicate their colorways, particularly speckled and veil dyed ones. Just imagine the amount of skill it takes to dye uniform sweater quantities!!! If I had intentions of dyeing another one of Lois' skeins I should have written down what I did and measured as I went...

So, I've got a little giveaway for y'all! Who wants to win a 460 yard skein of sock yarn I dyed (75% BFL /25% nylon sock yarn) AND a copy of Felicia's new book Dyeing to Spin and Knit?

Just leave a comment below sharing a bit about your dyeing experiences with me (it's ok if you don't have any, just say that!) Don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you... I'll keep comments open through Feb 22nd and announce a winner here!

Congrats to the winner....
I've been following everyone's inspiring dyeing adventures. Totally cool! I haven't done much dyeing and have a couple DIY projects planned for March. But after seeing the wonderful snow dyeing results and how rapidly the snow is melting, I decided to do a little experiment with Wilton's violet on some roving this morning. Eagerly awaiting the results. So much to learn!

Ravelry ID: dmbellantone


Vindur and Gola: Choosing a Size and Modifying for Your Body Shape!

Have you seen my new sweaters Vindur and Gola?

They are the same basic pattern, but Vindur is in bulky weight and Gola in DK weight.

Vindur and Gola are constructed in a simple but unusual way: First the right arm is worked from the cuff to the underarm and a short row sleeve cap is worked. Then stitches are provisionally cast on for the front and back. The shoulder is then worked and the stitches are split for neckline shaping. The front and back are worked at the same time and rejoined to work the left shoulder. The front and back stitches are put on holders, and a short row sleeve cap is worked. Next, the left sleeve is worked to the wrist. You then have something that looks like this:

Finally, the sweater is folded in half, and these two halves are joined together by a garter stitch side seam that is worked perpendicularly to them. These start at the hem and end at the cuff of the sleeve joining the front and the back of the sweater and sleeve together.

The first decision you have to make is what size works for your body? 
The pattern includes a detailed schematic (above) and lots of measurements (below) take the time to compare these to YOUR body when choosing a size! 
Grab a measuring tape and measure yourself at your full bust.
Vindur and Gola are designed with 3 inches of positive ease, so choose your size based on your measurement, and the sweater will have 3 inches of each (extra fabric) at the bust and hip.

If your bust measures 40.5 inches make the Medium, not the Large... the large will be comfortable in the bust area, but the shoulders will be too big.

Example:Here's me in two different sizes of Gola, I have a 32" bust.
This version is an XS and you can see that the shoulder fits perfectly....

This version is a small, you can see that the shoulder drops down a bit, but it is still flattering.

So, you've chosen your size, but how is the length for your body?
This is important.... not everyone has the same waistline and what is flattering on one person is not going to work on another body type.

My friend Rebecca was totally excited to knit Vindur for Rhinebeck this year, she chose the correct bust size, got gauge, cast on and KNIT... but her torso is WAY longer than the schematic called for and her sweater ended up looking a wee bit short on her. When she knits her next one she is going to add some length.
So, grab a measuring tape. and measure from about an inch below your armpit to where you want the longer side to hit. Then check the schematic (C). The asymmetry is written so that the shorter side (D) is 5 inches less than that. Use the measuring tape to check that measurement as well on your left side.

You want your sweater to be 2 inches longer (what I think Rebecca should do):

Take your stitch gauge (which is 3 sts per inch for Vindur) and multiply that by 2, which is 6 sts.
So, add 6 sts to your provisional cast on when you set up for each side of the body, VOILA! You now have a sweater that is 2 inches longer!!! 
(If you are working Vindur stitch gauge is 4.25 sts/in so you would add 9 sts)
You will then have extra rows to work on the side panels, so be sure to add those in.

My hips are a bit more generous than allowed for in the schematic, what should I do?
If your hips are more generous, you can make the side panels wider and decrease them down as you go towards the bust. The side panel starts at 3.5 inches at the hip and goes down to 1 inch at the sleeve. Keep an eye on this measurement if you add significant length to your piece as your measurement at your upper hip might be smaller than farther down : )! (I know once my bum is part of the equation this measurement increases)

Example: "Clarissa" is making the Small but her hip is 38 inches without any ease.
Clarissa needs to add in 2 more inches (the small as written has a 39 inch hip with 3 inches ease). Clarissa will add 1 inch to each side panel, if she is making Gola she would add 4 sts to each side panel and for Vindur she would add 3 sts.

But what if you don't want an asymmetrical hemline?
All you have to do is ignore the directions for the hemline shaping…. Then it will go straight across the bottom. I did that with my Vindur for Yoga, you can read more about that in this blog post.

Any Questions? 
Ask below... I am happy to help and don't forget there are KAL's for Vindur and Gola in my Ravelry group!
Vindur KAL
Gola KAL