Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Socks on a Plane

This is what became of my new home dyed sock yarn - a pair of simple vanilla socks with a twist. These are for a friend who asked me for a pair of wool socks.

Pattern: Socks on a Plane
Yarn: Alize Superwash, hand dyed, 70 g
Needle: 2.5 mm circular
Time to knit: 4 days

Not much to comment on these - toe up, Judy's magic cast on with 2x12 sts, increase to 60 sts, Fish Lips Kiss heel, Lori's twisty bind off. I reversed the cable on the second sock to reflect the symmetry of the pattern.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Beli Iskar Nature Trail, Rila 2017

A quick trip today to my most favourite of our mountains - Rila and a leisure hike along the nature trail, following the bed of Beli Iskar river. The trail is in the low parts of the mountain, only 7.5 km long and the elevation is from 1215 m to 1528 m altitude. Though it was just a puppy hike, we had some 3 and a half hours of active walk and fresh cold mountain air - priceless!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

New Sock Yarn and WIP

And my latest yarn dyeing results - a set of two colorways for a pair of socks. The grey for the toes and the heels was dyed in the microwave. I placed the yarn in clear water with citric acid and then poured the dye here and there on the yarn to create slight variations of color.

The yarn for the body of the socks was kettle dyed, using the twisted skein technique. First I applied the light grey color, washed the yarn, retwisted the skein and applied the light pink color and after washing again the yarn and retwisting it yet again I added the third color - light lilac.

The combination is a bit outside of my comfort zone, as I am definitely a red-yellow-orange person, but I intend to gift the socks to a friend and I think these might be more her colors.

And a sneak-peek to my WIP - a sweater for Gaby I cast way back in February. It's half brioche, it's thin yarn, it's black - and it's taking forever! I knit the back for almost a month and abandoned it for more interesting projects. Recently I resumed my work on it, but now and again I feel the urge to diversify with something smaller and more colorful for some instant gratification. I do hope the sweater will turn wearable in the end, as being short and boxy it is quite far from my preferred forms, but we'll cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Bistritza - Simeonovo and back, 2017

Something strange is happening to weather forecasting lately, at least for our region - they seem to get it wrong more and more often :( And as hikers we do rely on forecasts when planning our outings. Thus yesterday it was supposed to rain all day, so we abandoned our plans for a hike, mostly stayed at home and finally went for a short, about an hour walk in the Central park as the forecasted rain never came. Subsequently the forecast for today changed to sunny with clouds, we packed our backpacks and hiked on Vitosha. The day was cloudy, foggy and not only the sun never showed, but in the early afternoon, right after we were back in the car, it began to drizzle!
Anyway, we had a most wonderful hike along the low trails on Vitosha and the fog only made the scenery even more beautiful and majestic.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Biker Chick Imitation Yarn

For my new yarn dyeing I chose the colorway of one of my favourite yarns - Miss Babs Biker Chick. The yarn is far beyond my yarn budget and I've only seen it on photos, but I love the contrast between the warm orange and the cold grey and black.

The dye technique I used is fairly new to me and proving to be my favourite - literally painting the yarn drop by drop, eyeing the end result, retouching and overlaying colors until I get it as I want it. For this yarn I used two yellows, one red and one orange dye for the warm colors and a grey and black dye for the dark colors.

Then I wrapped the yarn in a foil and microwaved it for a total of 6 minutes. The results are quite satisfactory - the dye didn't leak to the neighboring sections and the whites stayed white, the dye bled almost none when I washed it afterwards and this process is much more tender to the yarn as it gets almost no manipulation compared to kettle dyeing. This is definitely my technique of choice for multicolor colorways.

And I reskeined the yarn to show how the colors would mix during knitting.

It looks so great in the ball, I should buy a cake winding machine, even if only to show off my hand dyed yarn :)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Plana, Alinski Monastery 2017

Today's hike was a familiar trail in Plana mountain to the ruins of Alinski Monastery, of which only the church has remained. The day was cloudy and coldish, but without wind. Without sunshine the pictures are somewhat dark and gloomy, but that's autumn too. Among the pictures you'll find a sneak peak to my latest dye experiment - it was dry only this morning and I took the skein with me to take a few pictures of it, if I could find a suitable place. But more about it - next time :)