Thursday, 30 March 2017

Spring Brioche

At the beginning of the month I was at a bit of a loose end with my WIP's and decided I needed to cast on something new - whilst I was intent on finishing all my current projects, my mojo was fading somewhat and I wanted a challenge.

I have been admiring several brioche knitted shawls on Ravelry but had never tried the technique.  Whilst browsing I found a free pattern for a brioche cowl in DK and decided it was a good opportunity to, well buy more yarn!  I have hardly any DK in my stash as I rarely use anything other than sock weight now so I brought some lovely West Yorkshire Spinners Wensleydale Gems DK in Tourmaline (Pink) and Peridot (Green) - I've been wanting to branch out of my usual fibre comfort zones but generally fail miserably!

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Wensleydale Gems DK in Peridot & Tourmaline

Unfortunately, after caking and casting on, I started getting hives along my fingers and a few rows in my hands were extremely sore so I had to abandon the lovely Wensleydale.  I dithered over whether to order in some undyed yarn but didn't want to wait so found some Merino/Cashmere DK in my stash and dyed them up - pink and green, because I'm slightly predictable and I think they go so well together!

After a quick read of the fabulous instruction on the Brioche Stitch website I found the brioche incredibly easy and SO much fun!  (Please ignore the inconsistent colours - my camera hates this shade of pink!)

Yarn: Kingcraig Merino/Cashmere DK (dyed by me)

I find learning new techniques really satisfying and enjoyable - this literally flew off the needles and and was such a great pattern for learning two colour Brioche techniques!  I love the texture that the brioche lends to the finished fabric and have to say I found it much squishier pre-blocking so may consider soaking again and letting this dry without any blocking for a cushier feel.  I reduced the width of the cowl pattern - only casting on 176 stitches and I think if I were to remake this I would knit an extra pattern repeat to make it taller. 

Yarn: Kingcraig Merino/Cashmere DK (dyed by me)
I can't wait now to cast on the Sizzle Pop shawl that I have had on Ravelry queue for ages.  The plan is to use a skein of the Merino/Yak/Silk singles that I dyed green and another I've dyed black - because matching your shawls to your hair is totally acceptable hehe!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Dye all the things green...

I completely forgot to blog about my latest dyeing adventures - both my hair and yarn!

It's been almost two years since I decided to change my hair from red to black and pink.  I LOVED the colour but my hair had started to break from colouring and bar regularly trimming it myself I haven't had a decent chop for six years!  I started chopping a few inches off every time I cut my fringe - taking it from my lower back (when straight) to about bra strap length - whilst I pondered whether I had the courage to cut it short, which I had wanted to do for a few years,   The week before Christmas, with badly faded pink, roots and lots of white in my black, I shut myself in the bathroom for a few hours and chopped it all off.  A bit of bleach and a couple of pots of dye and I really rather love the results!



(Excuse the twatty face - it is, however,  the best picture of the haircut!)  I've since trimmed it again and it was much less nerve racking the second time round - I have a rather odd fear of hairdressers (amongst many other things!) and since I cut everybody else's hair in the house as well as a few other peoples, figured I may as well carry on doing my own too!   I do have a dog grooming qualification and years of experience in that and people are much easier LOL!  I love having it short - it has to be literally level with the bottom of my ear lobes to not curl - and the green makes me SO happy!  

On to the yarn dyeing...I saw this amazing base from Chester Wool Company and had to grab a couple of skeins.

This is Yak Singles - 65% Merino, 20% Silk, 15% Yak, single ply with 480 metres per 120 gram skein of lushiness!  The undyed grey base in itself is beautiful - the silk means this really shines.  And after a dip in Chartreuse and Kelly Green Jacquard Acid Dye, they turned into...

There's not a huge colour difference in the two skeins and I'm still debating giving one skein a dip in something a bit darker.  I have absolutely NO idea what they are destined to become but it's such a gorgeous, luxury base that I am very likely to be getting more!