Friday, August 7, 2015

Samples for Lady Dye Yarns (and Overcoming My Fear of Variegated Yarn)

First, let me apologize for abandoning my blog while I was in Europe. I wish I could say that I was too busy exploring German countryside, hiking the Swiss Alps, knitting with the finest of Wollemeise and drinking wine, but alas, that was not true. Instead, I was hard at work and putting in a lot of hours at the lab. While that might sound lame, the truth is, I really enjoy working in the lab in Germany. It was really great to see some old friends again and make some new ones too!I did manage to do some knitting while I was abroad, but I'm going to fast forward for now -- I promise I'll come back to Europe in later posts.

These past few weeks I've doing a lot of knitting and I'm excited to show off some of my recent FO's!
A few weeks ago now, I saw on Facebook that Diane Ivey of Lady Dye Yarns was looking for knitters to make samples using her yarn to display at Stitches Midwest. And for payment, a few skeins of her yarn! Let's be honest, who wouldn't knit for more yarn?

Lady Dye Yarns

When I picked up the yarn from Diane, I asked what she wanted me to knit, assuming she had a pattern in mind. But then the deal got even sweeter..... she said it would be great if I could make a hat, but it was up to me to decide what to make. How awesome is that?? Not only did I get the fun of knitting with something with free funky yarn, but also I got an excuse to browse ravelry for a few hours with an actual purpose.

So here's a picture of the yarn she gave me for knitting the sample -- two skeins of her Worsted Superwash Merino. Now, I'll be honest, I rarely knit with variegated yarn. Initially, I didn't know what would be the best type of pattern for this yarn... simple, textured, lacy, cabled? Not to mention that "blue-orange" is a bold color combo. Luckily Diane did give me a little direction saying that something cabled would look better than something lacy.

Superwash Merino Worsted Yarn from Lady Dye Yarns

FO - Neon Ski Hat

With that in mind, I searched ravelry with terms like "cable", "hat",  and "variegated" and eventually spotted the pattern for the Neon Ski Hat. I remembered this pattern was used in a reddit KAL, and I just loved the projects that came out of it. Specifically, I liked that the hat was not a regular, old hat. It has a unique shape and a ton of texture, giving off a fun and jovial vibe to match that of the yarn. In the end, the hat actually turned out even better than I imagined!

Neon Ski Hat

So a few notes... You might have noticed that one skein was a bit lighter than the other. The simple solution to that was to alternate the skeins every round and every two rows when knitting flat. Also, the "body" of the hat is initially knit flat and then joined in the round, but the stitch pattern didn't line up when I went to join in the round. Fortunately, I found notes from MooBooBaby's project which described exactly how to avoid this problem for a large size hat.

Me modeling the Neon Ski Hat and Maine Morning Mitts.

FO - Maine Morning Mitts

I had some yarn leftover, so I also made some mittens to match! I wasn't sure exactly how much yarn I had left, so I opted for making some fingerless mitts. The Maine Morning Mitts pattern I used was quick and easy. I managed to finish them in one afternoon. No significant mods here, except that I made them a bit shorter than original pattern called for. 

Close up of the Maine Morning Mitts

Lesson Learned

From this experience I've learned that I need to be less hesitant my yarn choices. Me of the past would steer clear of variegated yarn, because I didn't know how to use it. Fortunately now I have a bit more confidence with choosing good patterns for variegated yarn, which is perfect since I have two more skeins of Lady Dye Yarns to play with!

Yarn from Lady Dye Yarns for more fun variegated projects!

Thanks again Diane for the awesome yarn and for changing my mind about variegated yarn! Have fun at Stitches Midwest this weekend!!

Lady Dye Yarns Team at Stitches Midwest


  1. Those came out so great! Sometimes I get stuck trying to find the perfect pattern for really variegated yarns, but when it works, the FOs are usually incredible! Those are so bright and fun, they definitely look like enjoyable knits :)

    1. Thanks Kat! I think my biggest problem is that if I see a colorful skein in a store, I have no intuition how it will knit up, but I assume that comes with experience and swatching many different yarns. I got lucky with this project!

  2. That hat is FABULOUS! Variegated yarn always stumps me too, but this pattern really capitalizes on Diane's yarn!