Friday, August 31, 2018

Weekly Roundup - Stripes and Repeating Colorways

Self striping yarn is a lot of fun, but it isn't something that I have a lot of experience dyeing.  Some of my favorite dip dyed skeins do create repeating colorways that can almost look like microstripes or spirals depending on how they pool, but this isn't the same as a true self striping yarn which would allow you to get multiple rounds in one color on socks or mittens. 

In Dyepot Weekly #68, I used two balls of yarn to create a crochet chain of crochet chains.  I divided my 100 g skein bare KnitPicks Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn (Affiliate link) in two 50 balls of yarn and then crocheted two strands with a K hook into a long chain.  I wound this chain into a center pull ball, and used both ends of the ball with a size N hook (9.0 mm) to create a much thicker crochet chain of crochet chains.

In the video, I decided to fold the chain up and paint it so we could get a self striping pattern.  All of the stripes won't be perfectly even, but the two 50 g skeins are perfectly matched to be used together or separately.  

I just love how the yarn looks on the niddy noddy! 

In Dyepot Weekly #58, I did a similar technique to make my crochet chains, but I started with fingering weight yarn and some thicker hooks. First, I separated 100 g of KnitPicks bare stroll fingering weight yarn (Affiliate Link) into two 50 g balls.  I used the size N (9.0 mm) hook to make a super loose chain of the fingering weight yarn.  My chains got looser and looser as I went on, almost like I was n-plying vs crocheting.  Just like in the previous one, I used a larger hook (jumbo in this case) to crochet the two ends of this crochet chain together.  

Finally, I took the two ends of this chain and held them together to create one LARGE crochet chain.  This time I used my hands instead of a hook, just like if I were to crochet some roving.  This gave us a piece of yarn that we could dye to get some kind of repeating pattern. 

I decided to dip this braid into some Wilton's Violet food coloring to see how the colors might break.  The result is a speckled gradient that goes from purple to a pale blue.  Since the yarn was folded over on itself multiple times, this is a bit of a repeating gradient.  

I was a bit disappointed that the breaking wasn't as extreme as we see sometimes, but I think that I forgot that we had a LOT less surface area here, so the reds were able to bind to more of the yarn.  Nevertheless, the final result is STUNNING and I think that I would try it again sometime. 

I plan to do some more traditional self striping techniques in the future, but I thought it would be fun to try out another type of blank.  The benefit of these crochet chains is that anyone can create one pretty easily.  You can get a self striping pattern easier with a long and skinny chain than you could with a wider blank.  There is a lot of manual work involved, but I prepped all of this yarn in an evening while watching some TV.  

I look forward to playing with some more traditional self striping techniques, including multiple miniskeins and some VERY long skeins of yarn. I haven't started prepping for these videos yet, but they are certainly high up on my list!