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My Very Own Special Yarn. Knitted Sweater Project, Post I, Dying of the Fiber

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So, I have set out to make a sweater.  What’s the big deal you might say.  I’m sure your just going to go to Hobby Lobby, buy some yarn and knit it up, right?  Wrong!  I want to make a special sweater.  The sweater you see on the left.  A sweater made of Merino Wool.  The softest, fluffiest fiber you’ve ever felt.  I don’t want some cheap acrylic or itchy wool.

There is something you probably don’t know about me.  Since I was a little girl I’ve had this “thing” paranoia about texture.  Any thing lacy, wool, or itchy, count me out!  I’d rather be boiled alive than stuck in an itchy wool sweater all day.  I have a phobia of sweaters unless they are cotton and unless I can have an undershirt on, so I can take my sweater off when I start to…you guessed it, SWEAT.  I hate to sweat in my sweater.  Ick!

I love the look of handknit sweaters.  The lovely textures and patterns.  What’s a girl to do?

Get her awesome friend to spin her up some yarn of course!

I wanted to share with you the process of what goes into a sweater.  A custom made sweater that is.

I’m talking about hand dyed, and then hand spun yarn.  From fiber to sweater.  I’m going to show it to you all.  Thanks to my super amazing, crafty, talented friend.  She has agreed to graciously document her part of the process.

She has purchased the fiber, had it shipped, separated it out, and here starts the journey of the dying process and so forth.

I’m sure the majority of my readers don’t have an obsession over fiber like I do.  It won’t hurt my feeling if you skip these posts.  I just thought it’d be super cool to show you what all is going into this sweater from start to finish.

I’ve never knitted an item of clothing before.  I really hope I can get the gauge (because I never check gauge) right.  If that is off then the sweater could be too small or large.

Also, I thought this might open your eyes to why handknit sweaters on Etsy are $200.  That’s right, I said $200.

This one is going to cost me around $40, but you have to keep in mind that is not including all the time going into such a beautiful project.

So stick around if you want to learn something a little different than the normal ‘Stacy’ posts!

A pound of superwash merino ready to be used!

A pound of superwash merino ready to be used!

Out of the roving ball.

Out of the roving ball.

Measured out the five ounces for the bare yarn.

Measured out the five ounces for the bare yarn.

 Meghanyarn_2698 - Copy

the dye in the bowl to 'dip' the fiber in, notice the grey already on the fiber, I did this several times.

the dye in the bowl to ‘dip’ the fiber in, notice the grey already on the fiber, I did this several times.

where you can see the dye swirling out into the water.

where you can see the dye swirling out into the water.

The first half of the fiber dyed and over on the plastic wrap waiting for me to finish the other half.

The first half of the fiber dyed and over on the plastic wrap waiting for me to finish the other half.

All sealed up to keep out dirt and keep the dye in.

All sealed up to keep out dirt and keep the dye in.

about 5 ounces of the fiber before being soaked in the water vinegar mixture.

about 5 ounces of the fiber before being soaked in the water vinegar mixture.

mashing the fiber down into the water vinegar mix. You really want the fiber to be really saturated so it will take the dye.

mashing the fiber down into the water vinegar mix. You really want the fiber to be really saturated so it will take the dye.

The second 5ish ounces all dyed and ready to be wrapped. This one was done a bit darker. I plan on spinning the light out and the dark (hoping to fit on two bobins each) and then plying them together.

The second 5ish ounces all dyed and ready to be wrapped. This one was done a bit darker. I plan on spinning the light out and the dark (hoping to fit on two bobins each) and then plying them together.

The two sections wrapped up in my dye bowl, ready to head to the microwave.

The two sections wrapped up in my dye bowl, ready to head to the microwave.

All ready to cook in my special dye microwave.

All ready to cook in my special dye microwave.

I zap it at about two minute increments and let it rest for about the same in between.

I zap it at about two minute increments and let it rest for about the same in between.

The cooled fiber drying in the shower. (With some other yarn also drying)

The cooled fiber drying in the shower. (With some other yarn also drying)

the pile of dryed fiber

the pile of dryed fiber

There you have it!  My fiber is all dyed and dried now!  The next step is the yarn making process….it only gets more interesting from here!

Stay tuned.

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Author: Jeff & Meg

This is a story of two lovebirds who got in a little over their heads, or at times it feels that way, remodeling a little home built in the 1940's. Our journey has bumps and twists, ups and downs, but we wouldn't have it any other way! Please join us and our two poodles as we flip this old house and work towards the adoption of our first child!

2 thoughts on “My Very Own Special Yarn. Knitted Sweater Project, Post I, Dying of the Fiber

  1. Pingback: My Very Own Special Yarn. Knitted Sweater Project, Post II, Spinning of the Fiber. | The Stacy Chronicles

  2. Pingback: My Very Own Special Yarn. Knitted Sweater Project, Post V, The Finish Product, Modeled. | The Stacy Chronicles

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