One of my favorite things about knitting is all of the different varieties of yarns out there. I love a good work horse yarn (among my favorites in this category is Stonehedge Shepherd's Wool, so soft and comes in many colors!), but I also adore all that can be found in the indie dyers realm. It becomes so interesting to see how different dyers can take a similar (or sometimes even the exact same) base, and then what colors they apply to it, what technique they're using to dye, variegated, solids, semi-solids, etc etc to create such different yarns.
I've been designing or even just playing around with different indie dyers recently, and here are some of the projects I've been working on:
Here's a sneak peek to my next pattern release! The hat (will be called Maggie) and cowl (Cunegonde) are both done with a yarn called Pendragyn DK by DragynKnyts. The yarn is soft, and has a nice drape to it, especially for a 100% merino! The hat is a direct match to Cunegonde, and I only used one skein for BOTH the cowl and hat (smaller sized cowl and M hat).
There's a major chance that I'll be purchasing another skein of this, potentially in the exact same color (Libation) because someone (not a knitter) has already begged me to make her one of the hats. I'm not arguing with having a reason to buy more of this yarn... ;op
This lovely sparkly DK is Tidal Twinkle, a heavier DK hand dyed by Tell Tale Yarn Co. This is destined to become another hat design of mine, and I have to say, I'm quite taken with this yarn. It is a bigger contrast that one might think to the Pendragyn, given that they are both DK and primarily merino. However, this DK is a heavier DK than the Pendragyn, and it appears to have a higher ply count, which leads to a rounder yarn with more spring. For a yarn that has such a delicate look (sparkles!), it holds up really well! I know because I've ripped out my project four times already (hey, a designer just has to know when a pattern isn't going right...), and it's still looking really good! :o) All in all, this is a really awesomely soft yet still robust yarn with a bit of subtle glam. Highly recommend!
Up next is something I've already talked about on the blog. The Stitchjones Neon Collaboration that I'm doing with Cory of Indie.Knits and Ariel of Stariel Knits! You're getting a tiny sneak peek of how that's going along. :o) The first of the collection, Torrance Mitts, has already come out, and the other patterns are zipping along; you'll hear more about these in the nearish future! This indie dyer is known for "taking color to eleven," so we knew we were going in the right direction when we asked her to be our Neon Challenge dyer!
The yarn used for this challenge is called Merino Sock, and I found it to be a very hardy, heavier sock weight. I used US2 needles for my mitts (both patterns), and found the fabric to be firm. I know a lot of people would use much smaller needles for their socks (I typically use a US1.5), but I might actually suggest US2s for socks with this yarn, even. I can tell the high twist of this yarn will help with the long life of your items. :o)
If you can even remotely ignore that darling husky who rode the bus with me that particular morning, the yarn in this picture is Forage dyed by Bumblebirch. This is a 100% merino worsted weight yarn. It is very soft, and I think is going to make the most perfect Marion (by Andi Satterlund) ever. I'm about 1/2way done with the cardi, and I'm pretty thrilled with it. The only thing I've adjusted is the gauge, so far. I found myself in the awkward place of being between sizes, and my st gauge was a bit tighter naturally, so I went with it. It's turning out pretty much perfect because of that! (Note: this pattern relies heavily on row count. My row gauge was actually spot on, but with tighter st gauge. I'm doing the larger of the sizes I was between, and it's been working out well!).
So, there we go. That's been the majority of what I've been knitting on lately. All indie dyed yarns, three of them 100% merino, the other still 80% merino, and yet all of them are knitting up differently, and all of them have their own unique look to them. <3 that so much! :oD