So now that you’ve had a chance to absorb all the information about the dyeing process, and I’ve had time to take a few more photos I have some dyeing results to show you. Once again there’s loads of pictures.

Since I talked so much about those sock flats let’s see one of those first…

In my opinion this is the most successful gradient dyed sock flat. It does have one stark shift in the middle, but it also has shading and shifts gradually from dark to light except for that one distinct change. It also is made up of colors I love that are soft, but still have depth of shade.

This flat also has the least “heathering” from spots where the dye didn’t penetrate the stitches. So while the colors shift, it appears nearly solid in each section. I’m really looking forward to knitting this one up and seeing what happens.

You can get a different perspective on the transitions by seeing the yarn wound. The cake on the left transitions from light to dark moving outwards and the cake on right is the opposite, with lightest on the outside and darkest on the inside. I really like looking at these particular cakes. I’ve been doing it at least once a day since I wound them. (By the way, these cakes are courtesy of my new ball winder & swift set, which I adore).

Ok more sock flats later on to some kettle dyed skeins…

Although the gradient dyeing was time consuming and exciting because it was new, the real purpose of dying day was to dye these. Liz went to Vietnam after Christmas and brought back lace weight Vietnamese silk as gifts. My Mother and I were both lucky recipients of these amazing yarny treasures. Instead of splitting our share half & half my Mom generously let me take a bit more so I ended up with 2000 yds of the stuff. My goal was to do two differently colored batches, each of 1000 yards, but as I mentioned before they turned out the same. Above is the batch I’m leaving alone & the other batch I will overdye later (you can see it once it’s done). While it was not at all what I had in mind this yarn is really gorgeous. The color is so vibrant, and combined with the sheen of the silk I find it irresistible. I want to cast one with it right away, but I’m so bogged down in WIPs (more on some of those soon) I must wait for a bit. For reference it is not quite as pink as it looks in the photo, it is a bit closer to beet, which is why I have decided to call this color “Beet Out the Purple”.

The two skeins you see above were also dyed from gifted base yarn. My friend Maureen recently traveled to Peru (if only I got to go some of the places my friends go…) and brought back tons of alpaca. She generously shared some with me including some undyed skeins. The blue was supposed to be navy, and I had hoped for a light and dark pair for some colorwork, but I actually love this shades together and might still use them for some subtle colorwork.

Recently I came up with a new Project (with a capital P).  The difference between a Project and a project is that a project is just one thing, and a Project is a series of projects or pieces that have some kind of overarching theme and that fit together in some way.  I want to devote a post to this Project, so I’ll wait to tell you about it, but it needed some yarn & this is the yarn I dyed for one part.  This merino lace weight was the yarn that was supposed to be red and came out pink.  It’s not quite hot pink, although it looks it in the picture, but it is certainly not a red.  I have decided to call it “Better off Red”.  This is mostly for humors sake, I don’t mean to give this poor yarn a bad wrap.  It will still serve its purpose, and I have a feeling it will be appreciated just the same.

Ok back to sock flats…

This is the flat that came out a true half and half.  Not what I had in mind.  One half is quite dark, and the other is quite light & there’s not much variation in each section.  Considering the amount of time that went into trying to make it a gradient this was a bit of a bummer, but I am not the type to be disappointed by new yarn.  Ever.  It took me a little brainstorming to come up with what I might do to maximize the potential of this somewhat surprising result and I came up with this:

I’m not generally a huge fan of stockinette only socks, but I have been really wanting a pair of striped socks lately (erm, ok I have been really wanting a pair of handknit striped socks lately since I have at least 8 pairs of machine made commercial ones).  It occurred to me that if I pulled from the dark end of one ball and the light end of the other I could have a pair of adorably striped tonal socks.  I whipped up a little swatch to decide what I truly thought & I love it.  So add that to this list of things to start soon.

This flat looked very promising after drying.  It was still a bit on the dark side, but it did have a real gradient to it and the color was really lovely.  Then I wound it up and saw just how many white spots there were from those pesky stitches.  I’m learning to love it for what it is, but it doesn’t have the same depth of color that it showed when in flat form.

So all in all, some lessons learned, some experiments started (but certainly not finished) and some yarn stashed. How could one be sad about those results?