Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

overdyeing

WIPs & FOs: Shibui Socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heel & Hermoine's Everyday Socks

WIPs & FOsJean ChungComment
Plain socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heel, in Shibui Sock "Orchid" colorway & Kroy Sock Yarn "Black" colorway

Plain socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heel, in Shibui Sock "Orchid" colorway & Kroy Sock Yarn "Black" colorway

I finished two sock projects last week - my Christmas Socks in Shibui Sock and my Hermoine's Everyday Socks

Shibui Sock was one of the first non-acrylic yarn I ever worked with. It was when I sample knitted a hat for Anne Kuo Lukito, of Crafty Diversions back in 2009. I was so amazed with its elasticity, so I bought myself a couple of skeins when I really got into sock knitting.....but then I made myself a pair of fingerless mitts with one skein just because. =X

So I had one 50g skein left in my stash, as well as some 15g leftover from the fingerless mitts. I decided to use them all up in my Christmas socks, and use a contrasting yarn for the toes, heels, and cuffs.

This was taken when I was almost done with the first sock. I tried to use short-row heel on it, and as the result, the front of the sock showed that black contrasting yarn. I didn't mind it too much since the socks were for me and not a gift for someone else. 

Then I learned about Fish Lips Kiss Heels, and I decided to try that on the second sock. The result was amazing. I never really hated the short row heel but these were perfect since it didn't require me to go around the sock after the first half of the heel, which mean no black contrasting yarn showing on the front! 

After some consideration, I decided to rip back the first sock to the heel section, and re-knit the heel with the new technique. I'm so glad I did! I love them, and they feel so warm!

Pattern: No pattern, just plain Stockinette.
Needles: US 0/2.0mm Chiaogoo steel DPNs.
Yarns: Shibui Sock (now discontinued) in "Orchid" colorway + Patons Kroy Sock Yarn in "Black" for toes, heels, and cuffs.

 

Hermoine's Everyday Socks in my own handdyed Cascade Heritage Silk.

Hermoine's Everyday Socks in my own handdyed Cascade Heritage Silk.

A while ago, I overdyed some yarns in my stash. One of them was this Cascade Heritage Silk sock yarn in "Citron" which is a lime green colorway. I overdyed with some orange and green, and the yarn came out perfectly autumnal. 

Finished Hermoine's Everyday Socks!

Finished Hermoine's Everyday Socks!

I think this pattern is just perfect for variegated yarns like this. The texture is really squooshy and interesting. It does get a little monotonous after a while though. I used the stitch pattern only, and improvised for my own short-row heel and sizing (I have skinnier ankles and feet, even though the WIDEST part of my feet are still 8").

Pattern: Stitch pattern based on Hermoine's Everyday Socks; number of stitches and heels are my own pattern.
Needles: US 0/2.0mm
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk in "Citron" overdyed with orange and green.

 

WIP: Plain Stockinette Socks for Marty

WIP: Plain Stockinette Socks for Marty

Currently my favorite WIP is these plain Stockinette socks for Marty (He's been getting a new pair of socks from me almost every week since last month!)

I tried this new heel technique, "Thumb-Joint Hat Top Heel" by Lara Neel. It's in the free pattern that is supposed to be used with her new book, Sock Architecture. I just purchased this book last week! I haven't really sat down to read each page yet, but I flipped through it and the book has SO MUCH information and different techniques that you can try on socks. It even comes with patterns, so I think I'm going to work on the patterns and read the parts of the book that are applicable for each pattern at a time. 

Anyway, this heel technique is supposed to be perfect for self-striping yarn. What do you think? It was super simple, and fun way to do an "afterthought" heel before the foot section. 

Marty just looked at me funny when I just measured his thumb joint without any explanation while he was playing his video game. He didn't ask. He looked at my knitting, my face, and back at my knitting, gave ma an awkward chuckle, and then went back to playing his game. =D

I can't wait to try other types of heels from the book!

Other Obsessions: Dyeing Yarns

Other ObsessionsJean ChungComment

As soon as I was comfortable enough to knit a sweater in a week, I started experimenting with overdyeing. Back then, all I could afford on a law student's budget was big box store yarns, mostly acrylic, but I did get a lot of wool-ease, which has SOME wool in it. Even Patons Classic Wool was pricey for me, and they didn't have that many color selections yet.

Over the years, I started getting fancier with dyeing, especially when I started spinning. I have a good collection of food dyes now, and have a huge thing of citric acid, as well as some other fabric dyes I've collected from LA Fashion District.

The other day, I was looking at my stash, thinking about what to make next for my #DestashChallenge, I found 2 skeins of yarns that I once loved but wasn't loving anymore. 

Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, "Mica"

Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, "Mica"

toshsockinfo

I decided it was time to overdye. I wanted this to be a very saturated colorway, since the original color was so subtle. 

After overdyeing in red and orange in one pot, blue and black in another pot.

After overdyeing in red and orange in one pot, blue and black in another pot.

I love the result! I can see very simple socks out of this yarn, Stockinette foot with some kind of textured stitch pattern leg.

Cascade Heritage Silk, in "Citron"

Cascade Heritage Silk, in "Citron"

The next one I tackled was this skein of Cascade Heritage Silk yarn from Purlescence Yarns in Sunnyvale.

I grew up in Cupertino, a small town now well known to Apple fans (since the default city on all Apple products is Cupertino), so I go back to the Bay Area quite often. I had to go on a business trip to Cupertino one day few years ago, and I literally had 2 hours before I had to be at the airport. I took a detour to Sunnyvale so that I could check out Purlescence's newly renovated store. 

By the way, this was also the day I saw Jasmin and Gigi of Knitmoregirls Podcast at the store. I was incredibly shy back then (still kind of am) and didn't have enough time to introduce myself that day but I was thoroughly starstruck, having been a long time listener :) 

Anyway, I picked up this Heritage Silk yarn, because I had just knitted TWO Citron Shawlette by Hilary Smith Callis, and wanted to make the third one in this color. 

Then I found out that I had a lot of other patterns in my Ravelry queue and never ended up getting to another Citron.

So that one turned into a orange and green with a hint of brown:

This right now is becoming Hermoine's Everyday Socks

I'm really in love with the color variation and the textured stitches on these socks. I have a feeling I'm going to make a lot of Hermoine socks in the future. 

So someone asked me on Instagram what kind of dyes I use, so I'll give a brief tutorial here:

1) I use separate pots for dyeing purposes and mark them "DO NOT USE" with permanent markers all over the pots. In the US, food colors are acceptable for consumption but in many other countries, they are not. I'm thinking, there must be a reason. Besides, I don't know whether the chemical process of dyeing fiber in a pot could potentially be harmful. So just to be on the safe side, I buy cheap pots from 99 cent stores and such and use those for dyeing.

2) Pour some citric acid in the pot, with cold tap water, and soak the fiber in it. Put it on the stove.

3) On medium heat, slowly "cook" the fiber. Do not agitate.

4) While the pot is getting hot, I prepare the dyes. I mix and experiment with food colors in a plastic cup, mix in citric acid, and fill the cup with tap water.

5) I slowly add this color mix to the pot.

6) Dyeing happens when there's heat and citric acid/vinegar. As soon as I start seeing bubbles forming from the heat, I turn off the heat. Let everything sit for 10~15 minutes.

7) I check the water. If the colors are all soaked up in the yarn/fiber, the water will look almost clear. 

8) I pour the water out in the sink, and gently move the fiber into a mesh basket  to coolThis may take up to an hour. 

9) If the fiber feels cool, I squeeze out the water as much as possible by putting the fiber in a big towel, gently roll up the towel with the fiber in it, and squeeze the towel.

10) Let dry in shade. California dry weather definitely helps.

11) When it's dry, skein it and then take beautiful photos for Instagram and Facebook :)