Saturday, December 14, 2013

Space dyed yarn

Its a while since I did any knitting and using spaced dyed knitting yarn was new to me. It gives the effect of fair isle knitting but without the careful counting of stitches and the changing of colours every few stitches. The results seem unpredictable until you've knitted a few repeats of the dyed lengths of the yarn, but its intriguing to the last stitch. 

This was for my soon-to-be 1 year old granddaughter. The pattern was a free one from Red Heart and the yarn was Sirdar Snuggly Baby Crofter double knitting.

If you are looking for a good wool shop in Cape Town try Orion Wool and Crafts in Gardens. Roger provides a friendly, helpful service and has a good range of knitting yarn and some embroidery threads too.

At the same time as I knitted the pink jersey, my daughter knitted a tiny blue one using King Cole Splash double knitting.  We had quiet, companionable evenings sitting together knitting and comparing notes as we went along. Yes, we knitted in the steamy heat of Bangkok! Who notices the heat when you are visiting from another continent and you have an opportunity to sit and knit with your daughter?

The blue jersey is a very small size and the repeats of the dyed length are longer so the results are quite different. I just love the pretty band of coloured fair isle of this one.

One thing we did discover is that to get the fronts to look similar, and the sleeves to look similar, you have to make sure that you start the second front, or sleeve, at the same spot along the length of the dyed repeat of the yarn. We really wanted those bands of colour to match up on each side or we'd have had the random look which seemed a bit too busy for a baby. We were a little puzzled as to how we were going to do that, but once you have knitted the back and then one of the fronts you get to know the wool and how the pattern of the space dyed yarn works. Perhaps this is all quite obvious to experienced knitters. It took us a while to figure it out.

Knitting for babies is rewarding because it goes quickly. The fair isle effect of the space dyed yarns makes for interesting knitting and I'd love to try another little jersey soon.


  1. I tried to leave a comment here before going away to Goolwa for a few days with our two eldest grandchildren, but it was lost in cyberspace! I too have purchased some space dyed wool to make a tea cosy - originally as a Christmas present but I won't manage that. I really love the blue in your daughter's jersey, but the pink is so elegant - I love it.

    1. Hi Jillian. Thanks for your comments. I hope you enjoy knitting your space dyed tea cosy as much as I enjoyed knitting with the space dyed yarn. I'd love to see a photo when you finish it.