So … I got this knitting machine for Challenge #4 of The Fiber Factor. It’s really good at cranking out stockinette … so obviously, instead of working on the challenge, I packed up the machine and brought it over to Kate’s house. (You know, Kate, the amazing hand-dyer over at A Hundred Ravens.) We rigged up two swifts and two skeins of her sock-yarn base ( (aka Iachos). With her managing the swifts and me minding (and winding) the machine with the sock yarn held double, we cranked through 400 yards and created a tube-shaped dying blank about 5 feet long (tall?).
Why, you ask? Because with such a blank, we could do a fabulous gradient dye job! What fun! It took about 40 minutes (with two people) to make the blank, which is longer than it took to dye it. Later on Kate & Company reversed the process and made skeins out of the blank.
My desire was to emulate the beautiful fall leaves against a slate-gray stormy sky. With Kate’s guidance (and editing eye) we focused on the leaves on the test skein (dyed “normally” with short color repeats), starting with a pale yellow, moving through bright oaky orange and a cherry maple red, and finishing with a more mahogany color. I begged for a second skein of the slate gray to do colorwork with the short-repeat skein.
Here are those two colorways, skeined and then caked:
The gradient colorway is AMAZING in person — here it is in skein and cake:
I have selected Alexandra by Dee O’Keefe (shawlette size) — so far, I’m in loooove!