Friday, June 13, 2008

To Dye or Not To Dye...Another Contest!

My knitting just isn't doing it for me lately. My Tiger Sock, while awesome in theory, is just not attracting my attention. It's not going to fit Matt for birthday socks, it's too warm for socks for months to come, the pattern is boring, and though I love the tiger stripey-ness, Opal is not my favorite yarn to knit with. So, I've mostly been choosing to read when I have free time. I do have friends who are expecting a daughter literally any day now, and I have a bag of lovely alpaca yarn, but it's handwash only and they are not knitters. I feel it's mean to make them a baby blanket and expect them to handwash it. I was looking around for machine-washable yarns, and haven't some trouble. I like Knitpicks, but their pink machine-washable options aren't really calling to me. I really don't like knitting with Crayon all that much (and the pattern I was thinking of won't show up anyway). I like Shine, but I'll have to do like 7 Russian joins. I guess I'll have to do that anyway, if I'm talking superwash wool. I love my spit-splicing! I've found some glorious hand-dyes on etsy, but they're 1. usually not in a quantity for a baby blanket and 2. a little pricier than I was hoping for. Anyone have a favorite machine-washable yarn that's soft enough for babies and comes in a non-boring pink? There might be a stash prize in it for the best one :)

I was kicking around the idea of getting some Knitpicks Bare and dyeing it, but I've never dyed yarn before, and I'm not sure I'm up for the ordeal. Although it would make it more special and I could get the variation I was hoping for (dark and light pinks and maybe a bit of purple). Maybe, if I do it right, and it doesn't look like I just dragged it through the mud or something. I also wasn't sure about 100% wool for a summer-born baby. Maybe Wool Cotton would be better? It's not all that soft, though it's sturdy. I'll have to look at TurtleGirl's Bloggy Thing for tips since she's practically a professional dyer. Then, I thought, natural dyes would be neat, like lavender and beetroot and stuff. But I have to look up how to do all that and then actually do it, two kind of big obstacles.

Okay, enough rambling. Send me your favorite pink, machine washable yarn ideas or how to make a memorable pink yarn with dyeing. If I get an awesome suggestion, I will gift you something lovely from my stash!

To make this post less boring, here are random pictures of the kids, in no particular order:

Knitting: A few rows on Tiger Sock #2. Not to the heel yet.

Reading: Ah, here's where my time has gone...

Bobbie Faye's (kinda, sorta, not exactly) Family Jewels by Toni McGee Causey
Murder at the Murder at the Mimosa Inn and Dear Miss Demeanor by Joan Hess and Dig Deep for Murder by Kate Kingsbury

I signed up as an early reviewer at Library Thing and got a book from the May batch, The Master Bedroom by Tessa Hadley. I'm almost done with it. Oddly, this book is already out, and I just got it from UPS two days ago. But I'll do a review anyway.

Writing: Haven't gotten my groove back yet :( I did actually get up in the middle of the night because I DREAMED a children's book idea. I wrote it down, figuring it would seem awful in the morning, but it's actually kind of interesting. I'm jotting things down about that so I don't forget. My mom is visiting for a week and a half (she gets in tomorrow), so maybe I can establish a nice routine for writing while she's here.

Cooking: The Malaysian rice noodles with egg from Cooking Light, and the Pasta with Lemon, Beans, and Greens again. I know! Boring. I'm making pesto to go over gnocchi tonight, and this chocolate mousse recipe only with Frangelico instead of Amaretto, and my Ghirardelli chocolate chips instead of vegan. And maybe a couple other changes. I hope it's okay. I've meant to try chocolate mousse with tofu for ages, but I've always chickened out.


Annie said...

Brown SHeep Cotton Fleece - it's a wool cotton blend. I throw it in the was on delicate and air dry. Seems to do fine...

turtlegirl76 said...

"she's practically a professional dyer" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

YarnThrower said...

Oh my goodness! Lilah looks sooo grown up now!

I don't have a good synthetic to recommend -- many of them end up sticking to the dry skin on my fingers as I use them...

Have fun with Mary Poppins! I always like it when my mom visits, too!

Turtle said...

Such fun pictures! How summerey!

I loe the knitpicks bare and dye with it all the time. Their dyes are fabulous as well. If you want something simple and easy to toss into the washer i found some fun bernat yarns at the local wal mart that worked great for a baby blanket. I even knit one and dyed it changing it up even more.

Elaine said...

I am an utter snob when it comes to yarn. I like very high end yarn and have been knitting since age 5 (a long long time ago) and have knit literally hundreds of sweaters. I say this as background.

When I knit for babies (including my own, now in college) I use (shudder) acrylics. If you get a high end acrylic, they wash beautifully and stay looking nice forever. They don't pill and they don't have to look stupid. Even Red Heart winds up looking nice and comes in tons of colors.

When my daughter was a baby I made her a wave patterned crib blanket in shades of pinks and lavenders and purples and it still looks beautiful. I used Red Heart. When she went to college (she's now a junior) she wanted me to make her an afghan for her dorm bed and wanted it to look just like the baby one, but in different colors. We went to a large yarn store and she picked out Red Heart in 3 shades of blues and 3 shades of purple. Even though it is 3 years old, she doesn't wash it at all during the school year, and last summer kept it crammed in a carton at school since she worked there over the summer, it still looks beautiful. Like the day it came off the needles.

I have done hand painting and dying and personally I wouldn't recommend it for a baby blanket. Babies can have very delicate skin and you cannot predict what they might be allergic to. If you haven't washed all the excess dye out, it will come out when it is being washed too.

allergicmom said...

Have you checked out They've got a few nice (and inexpensive) yarns with lots of colour ranges. There is a really soft superwash merino, with a gorgeous pink called "Regency Rose."

Alternatively, Littleknits has Classic Worsted Tapestry which is a worsted weight yarn, but with patterns like you'd find in sock yarn -- and that's so much fun for a baby blanket. 7002 is shades of pink, too.

Good luck!

Darcy knotty Knitter said...

Pink machine washable yarn:Plymouth Fantasy Naturale Yarn
• Soft and pure cabled cotton yarn has a lot of yardage.
• Since it’s machine washable, it’s terrific for kids—and great for adults, too!
• 100% mercerized cotton medium weight yarn.
• Machine wash. Imported.
• 3.5 oz/100 grams/140 yard/128m hank. 18 stitches=4" (10cm)/size 8 (5mm) needles.They sell it in pink and hot pink

Baby blanket free pattern: I hope this is helpful when making your decision.Hugs Darcy

Jenny M said...

Cascade Superwash Yarn is great. There's a pink, but the magenta's a much more interesting shade of pink.

Stefaneener said...

She's so big!

I love the cotton idea. Nice for a summer baby.

lizardknits said...

Cascade 220 superwash - they have lots of pretty pink shades.
has it on sale, and free shipping over $50. You could probably make a baby blanket with about 3 skeins, and worsted weight works up fast.

5elementknitr said...

Love the Cotton Fleece (brown sheep) - so washable, so many colors.
mmmmmm, cotton fleece, mmmmmm

Dove Knits said...

I know you've already rejected Knitpicks, but have you looked at their Swish yarn? That's got some pretty pink choices, as it's designed for baby wear. It spit-splices pretty well, too. Or maybe Dale of Norway Baby Ull? I've not tried it, but people swear by it!

Your daughter is so sweet!

Anonymous said...

Take a look at Berocco Comfort. They have a colorway called Nosegay Mix that is several shades of pink. I'm using a solid in this yarn to make a sweater for my neice. Washable. Soft.

JackieCastsOn Ravelry

Wendy said...

I've done several baby projects in Lion Brand Cotton Ease as they are soft, warm, and washable. I also like Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece because of it's softness. Berrocco comfort is also nice for that.

Andey Layne said...

My suggestion is that you go to and create an alchemy request. You explain what you want, people tell you how much they'd charge to make it for you. Worst that happens, nobody quotes you a low enough price, you don't accept any of the bids. No harm, no foul.

If it was me, I'd order some knitpicks Bare superwash merino worsted weight, and use neon food dye. Merino is super soft, and food dye isn't likely to bother a baby. Course, I'm a dyeing fiend so I might not be the best person to listen to. :)

Good luck whatever you pick.

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

I have to give a big ditto to what Elaine says about acrylics. Many of them are soft and cuddly, and the color and weight ranges are remarkable.