April 19, 2021
It's been a while, hasn't it? I don't want you to think for a minute that I don't love talking with you about what I'm knitting, because I do...a lot in fact. It's just that it's been so crazy busy in the dye studio that I come home at night and pretty much drop into bed, sleep like the dead, and then get up the next morning and do it all again. But I really enjoy writing a bit about what is on my needles and I'm hoping there's at least a few of you out there that feel the same way about reading it...
So, right off the bat I'm going to warn you that I'm pretty sure the 'crazy' in the dye studio (crazy goodness by the way) has jumped onto my needles in a frenzy of cast-on-itis. I make no promises regarding a faithful follow-through on any one project. In fact, it's more than likely I will switch projects throughout the week with such speed as to make you slightly dizzy. If this is going to make you nuts, I totally understand! (Imagine how I feel!) If you are one of those lovely knitters that ever only has one project on the needles at a time, you may wish to stop reading right now and come back and read the project notes when the shop model is finished. I get it, believe me, and furthermore, I promise to still love you every bit as much as I do right now!
So without further ado, today's knit is called the Adventurer Scarf & Wrap (I'm knitting the 'wrap' version) designed by Ambah O'Brien and I'm knitting it out of one of the new 'Fractal' infinity fades paired with the semi-solid color, 'Oatmeal' (2 skeins).
The pattern calls for 60 yards of fingering weight yarn per color and the mini-skeins in the infinity sets are each 70 yards. I did the math and figured out that I should have enough yarn in each mini skein for an additional pattern repeat (20 additional stitches) so this shop model will be slightly wider than the pattern calls for. I'm a little obsessive about my sheer hatred for leftover yarn and I try like mad to avoid it at pretty much all costs. So I'm all about any little way that I can come closer to using up as much yarn as possible. My plan is to alternate each color with the semi-solid, 'Oatmeal', and then run through the colors of the 'Fractal' infinity fade in order. It totally doesn't matter which color in the infinity fade you start with but for those of you who want to make an identical twin of this shop model, I began with the 'Nightshade' mini skein. The lace pattern is fairly simple with strong geometric lines. I cast in on Friday but didn't really work much on it until Sunday. The little progress photo below is what I worked in about 5 hours so it moves rather quickly. I adore the little 'pin stripes' between the color blocks! And changing colors every band makes for fast knitting because I am always looking forward to the next color in the infinity fade! This is a fairly large project with over 1600 yards of fingering weight so I'm all for the knitting to seem like it moves right along...hoping that 'black hole' of knitting doesn't time-suck this project on me!!
Since I know someone will ask if I'm scared of dye transfer from the deep intense colors of the 'Fractal' infinity gradient to the very much paler 'Oatmeal' color. I'm not the slightest bit worried. I know that sounds cocky, like I'm throwing down a challenge to the Fates, but I promise you it's all good. So long as EVERY solution that this yarn touches is both at a cool temperature and an acidic pH, not one iota of that dye will come off! The water used for blocking will be drinking water clear and free from dye and there will be no dye transfer within the piece. When it comes to indie-dyed yarns, pH is the knitter's magic wand and you want to always keep that pH around 3ish (a couple of glugs of vinegar to the soap/rinse/blocking solution is all it takes and it doesn't need to be exact. If your solution smells strongly of vinegar, you will probably be ok.
We introduced the infinity fades about a month ago with the concept that you could pick your own starting and ending colors within the fade, and since the colors were designed to be cyclical, knitters would have a lot more freedom in playing around with color. I've always adored having a wide berth when playing with color and thought other knitters might like options as well! However, because this cyclical fade layout is a new concept in the yarn world, some folks were a little puzzled over how to use them. The answer is literally to use them any way that you would use a conventional fade set...just decide which color to begin with and then work in order to the final color to get back at the color you started with.