Mad march challenge….

Welcome to March everyone, and our new challenge. This month we’re going dying crazy, anything goes as long as it is hand-dyed (by us!).

The rules? Simple. Any project which is both dyed, and knitted(*) within the month of March counts for double points. There are no limits as to how many projects you can complete, and you are allowed to combine hand-dyed with commercial yarn, as long as at least 50% of the project is dyed.  (  *  or crocheted/weaved etc).

We are all pretty excited about this challenge, and have been planning and buying supplies in preparation. I got completely carried away and actually completed a project today, sadly it doesn’t count for the doubling as I did my dying in February, but I’ll share anyway:

Amy’s ridiculously fast cowl:

Tuesday night – a dying frenzy. I started with 100 grams of South African Fine wool, which I dyed using Kool-aid. I was aiming for a purple tonal effect, so added two sachets of grape flavour to tepid water, and added the fibre in sections. I’d been warned that purple as a colour is notorious for separating, but wasn’t quite prepared for how dramatic that separation is.

The darkest purple was in the pan longest, absorbing the most red.

The mauvey shade was in next, and then the very pale blue was last in, it’s a really icy blue which I love.

I added a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to the pan, which apparently isn’t entirely necessary with Kool-Aid, but I wanted to be sure the colours were fast. Then I bought the water to almost a boil, covered it and left it for half an hour. Easy!

On Wednesday morning, after leaving the fibre to dry overnight I made a braid of the fibre long enough to take a photo:

and then headed straight to the wheel!

By this time the ‘purple tonal’ idea was clearly out the window, so I decided to challenge myself with a self striping yarn, and pulled apart long strips of fibre. Once I’d got my bobbin of yummy singles (left) I’m afraid there was just no stopping me, so I jumped straight into plying, and made my first self-striping yarn (navajo plying once again):

Not bad for two days hey? No? Well, this morning I cast on, and after a coupe of false starts (wrong needle selection and unrealistic yardage needs), I knocked up a sweet little stripey cowl, ready to send to a loved one tomorrow:

Hoorah! So so pleased with it (if I do say so myself). Points?

Dying = 1 point.

Approx 60 yards of 3ply = 180 yards singles = 2 points.

Plying = 1 point.

Basic accessory = 1 point, knitting yardage 60 yards = 0.5 points.


5.5 points to add on, a fun dying and spinning experiment, and a present for a loved one – fab!

Let the dying commence ladies!


About amy j

temporarily retired at 32, motivating myself to get off the sofa with a series of challenges...
This entry was posted in Knitting, Spinning, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Mad march challenge….

  1. Julianna says:

    It looks great, Amy. Your spinning has come so far in such a short period of time. I’m super impressed 🙂

  2. ematiszdesigns says:

    you started that at 2:45 this afternoon!

  3. amy j says:

    And it was finished by 4:30pm…..with tea and biscuit time included!
    Thanks Julianna, for the compliment and the inspiration! x

  4. Pingback: The making of a manatee….. | Knitters Rumble!

  5. Pingback: Hand-dyed Star-Crossed | Knitters Rumble!

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