Category Archives: dyeing

grape koolaid mittens

I finished these a week or two ago and took a picture with my usual speed. Then the internet went down 😦 so instead of posting, I watched a couple episodes of 24. Mr. T and I are halfway through disc 5 of season two (there are 4 episodes per disc, 24 episodes per season). We’ve been steadily watching 8 episodes per week which isn’t actually as guilt-inducing as I’d feared.

I have some sock yarn stashed away for a very long time. I posted about it before but still haven’t done anything useful. Reasons include: 1) I was stressed with school, 2) I hate my 5″ bamboo needles with a passion even though I have all the sock sizes 3) I convinced myself I couldn’t make jaywalkers in self-patterning fair isle sock yarn which is ironically all that I have, and 4) I didn’t know how that toe up stuff worked and didn’t want to learn it with 9 stitches per inch.

With my leftover grape koolaid yarn, I made top down mittens instead to ‘practice’ the figure 8 cast on using directions from knitty. I’ve made many a pair of mittens with wool ease on size 8 (5mm) needles using the numbers in Ann Budd’s book so I know that 40 stitches in worsted weight yarn fits my hand. I found out however, that 40 stitches twisted is much tighter than 40 stitches untwisted so my mittens are much roomier than normal which is actually preferable.

I don’t actually remember how many figure 8 loops I started with – I think I ended up with 12 on one mitten and 14 or 16 on the other (should have taken better notes huh). I used magic loop for this because dpns really stressed the joins since I was only using two needles. I knit in the round for 1 row then started increasing. I increased on the sides with M1L, k2, M1R (or the reverse…can’t remember) pretty much every row until I had 40 stitches.
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I really love the shape of the mitten top with the shaped increases on the sides (and they fit comfortably)

For the extra thumb stitches, I used the figure 8 caston with my working yarn – when I tightened the loops at the end, I worked the extra yarn towards one side and used it to secure the hole between the thumb and hand. Here I used SSK and K2Tog decreases to make the thumb gusset. I also decreased a couple times on the opposite side since the mittens were way too roomy for my wrists. I was down to 32 stitches at the end which was perfect with a 2×2 rib.

next time: I’ll dye more yarn, write down how I actually make them even though it’s fun to reinvent the wheel, and find a stretchier bindoff for the wrists.  Maybe then, I can have matching mittens.



I”ve been seeing dishclothes everywhere! On all the blogs. Mostly the Mason-Dixon style washrags which I guess are properly known as ‘ballband dishclothes’. I wanted to make my own so I tried dyeing cotton with coffee which made my ecru yarn into light tan and was not convincingly colorfast. In the end I wandered to the craft store to pick up these


which were right next to these:


which I had to take home with me. Then I found a calligraphy pen and ink to address my wedding invitations which hopefully arrive Friday so I can address them over the weekend and pretend that people will get them 6 weeks before the wedding.

Then I made the dishcloth with the free pattern I found here where it’s called ‘textured slip stitch’.


The back isn’t anything special but before I found a pattern for this, I wanted to know what the back looked like to see if I could figure it out on my own.

grape koolaid dyeing

I wanted to post something more interesting than moving and unpacking when I realized I had pictures of my grape koolaid hat I’d never blogged about. I dyed this yarn with the fruit loop yarn in the end of December and made a hat.

I started with this:

knitpicks bare peruvian wool

added some koolaid,

and got this:
IMG_2931grape koolaid hat

First, I made a 6 x 70 inch skein using the warp board Mr. T’s dad made me. I first saw such a warp board during one of my many google searches for dyeing stripes. Ysolda, along with Eunny described how to dye yarn in stripes. I also used yarns to dye for which I got for christmas to go with the warp board and the bare wool. To decide the length of the skein, I started knitting a hat out of the bare peruvian wool and then I unraveled it and measured to figure out that the average length of yarn I used for each row was 70 inches. My warp board was 35 inches wide so that wrapping the yarn from the left to the right and back to the left would be 70 inches. I wrapped exactly how Ysolda described in her warp board tutorial (click on the link above).

warp board

Next I decided what stripe pattern I wanted. The way I wrapped the yarn doesn’t give a long circular skein, it gives a long skein with two ends which is why the blue stripes frame the dark purple stripes even though I dyed equal lengths (2 x 70 or 140 inches) with each of the three colors.

Dark Purple: 3 packets grape and a pinch of tropical punch

Light Purple: < 1/2 packet grape

Light blue/purple: 1 packet ice blue lemonade and 1/2 packet grape.

Then I mixed the koolaid with minimal water in guinness pint glasses which hold more yarn than normal pint glasses because the top half is much wider than the bottom half (I dyed 100 grams in 3 pint glasses so ~34 grams each glass). I stuffed each section of wet yarn into the appropriate pint glass, put all the pint glasses into a pyrex pie pan, and stuffed the whole contraption into my microwave. I was impatient. I microwaved for a few minutes until everything was warm, waited for the yarn to cool, rinsed it, and let it dry. I mostly used the knitty tutorial for kool-aid dyeing although I modified it by using the pint glasses to dye all three colors at once.

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I just realized I only have a 50 gram ball to get through before I allow myself to dye more yarn. I think this  might be a good time to try finger-to-cuff mittens with a figure 8 caston. I’m scared to try a figure 8 caston with sock yarn until I’ve practiced.

Kool-Aid makes Fruit Loops

I jumped on the Kool-Aid bandwagon and dyed some yarn a while back. I did mine in pint glasses in the microwave (no pictures because it was dark and I didn’t have my digital camera) because I didn’t have 3 pots for the stovetop and I wanted instant gratification. This is all that’s left of what I usefully labeled “~enough for 2 hats” in my knitting journal.

I’m calling the colorway Fruit Loops because these colors look like they belong in a bowl of milk.

I’m guessing it’s a few yards – I cut it pretty close. I wound a 420″ or 35 foot skein (thanks to my soon to be father-in-law who made me a warping board). I used 2 packets orange, 2 packets tropical punch, and 2 packets ice-blue lemonade mixed with 1/2 packet lemon lime. Then I made a hat for my friend Jess – she likes bright colors.
fruit loop hatfruit loop hat

I had some yarn leftover and wanted a quick project to delay starting my real print o the waves shawl – even with my swatch, I’m scared of being frustrated and annoyed with the real thing. I made some mittens to match:
fruit loop mittenfruit loop mittens

yarn: Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool (a little bit itchy but Jess says she doesn’t mind)
needles: size 6 for the mitten ribbing, size 8 otherwise
pattern: generic hat and mittens

Since I had the mittens with almost perfectly matching stripes, when I started to worry about running out of yarn, I just dug into my ball to check if the next stripe color was in there. It worked out perfectly but I’m sure I couldn’t calculate yarn for matching hat and mittens this perfectly if I tried (even with a scale). I’m happy I don’t have to figure out what to do with leftovers 🙂