November 30, 2013

Well I had planned in my head (and on my to do list) to write about Shiver before the shop update which happened last night. I update the shop once a month on the last Friday at 7pm GMT.

I wanted a seasonal yarn that didn’t scream “OMG! It’s Christmas!” I didn’t want a yarn that was some weird variegated red, green and white that would look revolting when knitted up although it would look fairly cool as self-striping. So I went with something wintery, something I don’t usually do – pale.

I don’t usually dye pale yarns for two reasons.

  1. The way that my dye technique has evolved means that I mix my colours in the pan, on the yarn itself, building up in layers. This creates the colours that I am after and it’s a fairly slow process that I hugely enjoy doing. Normally pale is my first layer so I scratched my head wondering if I could do my technique to achieve pale. It turns out that I can.
  2. I hate to photograph pale colours. I have a certain style that has evolved of how I like to photograph my yarns. I’m no photographer, I have no training and although I feel fairly confident in how I’ve nailed photographing my yarns, ask me to photo a pale coloured one and I start to struggle. But that’s okay, it means I need to take the time to learn this skill and life would be boring if we weren’t constantly learning new tricks.

So nervously, this is what I came up with – Shiver:


This is what I absolutely LOVE about dyeing, every yarn base is different due to fibre composition, whether it has been superwash treated, thickness, alignment of the planets … Starting in the top left is baby camel and mulberry silk lace, top right is Swiss mulberry silk, kid mohair and nylon heavy fingering/sportsweight, bottom left is Bluefaced Leicester and Masham (my new absolute favourite yarn but that’s a whole other blog post) and lastly in the bottom right is merino, nylon and stellina sock yarn. Completely different but using exactly the same formula.

The undyed baby camel and silk is interesting because it is a mid brown colour so immediately that means the dye will take deep and dark. The BFL & Masham mashup is a light oatmeal marled colour to begin with so that creates tons of texture when dyed. The mohair silk is a bright icy white and the merino stellina sock yarn is superwash so the dye is drunk up quickly and brightly.

I’m trying out using a new foreground with my photos too, mainly to help getting the photos of pale yarns just right. It might be a keeper.

I knitted up a sample of Shiver using the BFL & Masham yarn using Lisa Mutch’s pattern Ingotwhich is fabulously mindless in a rhythmic way if you get what I mean. I love the resulting cowl and process so much that I have cast on for another one.

Knitted cowl

Shiver sold out immediately on the silk/mohair base and the camel/silk base and seeing as though we are approaching the season of goodwill (and frankly the amount of emails and messages that I’m getting along the lines of “I’ll give you my first born and perhaps my second too if you dye this yarn again NOW” is getting silly) that I will have a SURPRISE UPDATE just of The Philosopher, the name for the silk/mohair yarn in a small range of colours. I cannot tell you when this will be, just it will happen very very soon with my fingers crossed. I just need to get the sledge load of orders from this weekend sent out as a priority and then, and only then will I start to dye and prepare for a one-off surprise update. So bear with me, there will be some more very soon.

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