I'm over it, so I'll overdye it

From purple cabbage to Great Blue Heron

Taylor Suir

Hey y'all! Welcome to this week's blog. I will talk about overdyeing some yarn to better fit in with my wardrobe, what's on my needles for WIP Wednesday, and a little bit of daily life in C'est la vie.

In 2019, I started playing around with dying yarn using natural dyes. After experimenting with various plants and spices on mini skeins, I started to dye with a specific project in mind. Browsing Ravelry and considering the style of clothes I like to wear, I decided on the Boxy sweater by Joji Locatelli. I have spent a lot of time cultivating a capsule wardrobe that works for me as a stay-at-home mom that is both comfortable and appropriate to wear in public while running errands. I stick to a color pallet that can easily be paired up to make dressing quick and simple as I get the girls ready for their day. Most of my days are spent in leggings and tunic style shirts. The Boxy pattern will fit into my wardrobe perfectly. At the time I selected the pattern, I was intrigued by the idea of dyeing with purple cabbage, since the results can differ. Purple cabbage can dye yarn anywhere from a light blue to a purplish/pinkish color depending on the pH of the water. Rather than spending money on a pH testing kit for my tap water, I decided to dye the yarn and see what color I got. I ended up with this beautiful blue color and as a bonus, I learned that I have pH neutral tap water. I was very happy with the resulting color so I decided not to add an acid (in this case, vinegar) to change the color. I let the yarn dry and added it to my stash.

Five skeins of light blue yarn

Since then, I have reevaluated my stash and have been uninspired with the color. I know the Boxy will fit in with my wardrobe very well, however, the color of the yarn I have set aside for it will not. I stick to a color pallet of mostly black with rosy pink, maroon, white and grey thrown in for a bit of variety. The light blue color, while beautiful, is not something I will often reach for to wear. Each time I would look at the yarn I felt stuck. I had this beautiful yarn for a pattern that I really wanted to add to my wardrobe, yet the desire to cake it up and knit it was never there.

When I started Yarnithology, my intention was to sell knitting accessories as well as hand-dyed yarns that were inspired by nature. I ordered some acid dyes and they have lingered, unused, since last summer. As I mentioned in last week's blog, It's been a while..., life and family issues kept me from growing Yarnithology on my original time table. I decided these five skeins of yarn were the perfect way to dip my toes into the world of yarn dyeing with acid dyes. I knew that I wanted to create a colorway that would both work with my wardrobe as well as become a shop regular. I used the Great Blue Heron, a bird common in the swampy areas of South Louisiana, as my inspiration for this beautiful blue tonal.

Great Blue Heron yarn drying on a clothes rack outside

WIP Wednesday

I don't have much change to report this week. I have knit a few more colorwork rows on my Tecumseh sweater and I have cast-on my second Witches' Brew sock. I have knit exactly two rows of ribbing on the sock. I started them using magic loop but I want to switch them over to DPNs for the rest of the ribbing and I haven't gotten around to that yet. I hope to have more progress to talk about next week.

C'est la vie

Well, we are all sick again. Amélie has had a lingering cough since getting the flu and we decided to take her in yesterday to make sure nothing serious was going on. Her doctor thinks that Amélie was infected last week with a new and different germ. We just have to wait this cough out. Honestly, I knew a new germ had been introduced into the household when Kevin woke up Monday morning feeling very sick. I started feeling bad yesterday and now we are taking turns laying in bed and entertaining the girls. We hoped the illness would skip over Charley, but she woke up this morning with a runny nose and cough. We will spend the rest of the week resting and letting our bodies heal from this new germ. I hope next week has a much more exciting C'est la vie section for you.

Thanks for reading this week's blog. You can find me on Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/yarnitholgy and on Instagram. Starting in March I will be uploading biweekly vlog style podcast episodes, so stay tuned!

A king cake surrounded by Mardi Gras beads and Yarnithology products