Dye & Prep to Spin with Louet & Gaywool Dyes

Spinzilla is fast approaching, and now is the perfect time to prep your fiber for easy spinning! Click here for our previous post which covers more ideas for fast-spinning fiber preparation; today, we’ll focus on dyeing natural colored spinning fiber with user-friendly Gaywool dye to make striped rolags on the Louet blending board.

Supplies:

Prepare to Dye

Since we are planning to make striped rolags with one color that will be more dominant than the other, you will want to divide your fiber into two sections for each color. Color A (shown here in Iceberg) will be approximately 2/3 of the fiber your have on hand to dye; Color B (shown here in Rosemary) will be 1/3 of the fiber. Be sure to write down the exact weight of each set of fiber, because this will help you to determine how much dye to use in your bath later on.

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Your fiber will best absorb the dye if you soak it in warm, soapy water ahead of time. Fill a sink or basin with enough water to submerge your fiber, and leave to soak for about 15 minutes. Carefully squeeze to remove excess water from fiber before proceeding to the next step.

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While your fiber soaks, begin heating up the water in your crock pot or stock pot for the dye bath (make sure to use enough water to cover your fiber sufficiently. Dissolve dye in hot water according to directions on the package, add to dye bath and stir.

Time to Dye

Add fiber to dye bath and allow water to come to a boil. Gently move the fiber around in the dye bath using tongs, being careful not to felt – this allows the dye to be worked through more uniformly. If you prefer a more kettle-dyed effect, you can opt to move fiber less, though we do not recommend skipping this step entirely.

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After 15-30 minutes, remove fiber from dye bath – you may wish to allow dye bath and fiber to cool down before handling fiber. Be sure to wear protective gloves to prevent dye from being transferred to your hands. Rinse fiber in warm water and allow to dry.

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Time to Blend

Once the fiber is completely dry, it’s time to start making your rolags on your blending board! For this project, Color A was added to the left and right sides of the blending board, with a section of Color B in the middle, using the width of the opening for the handle as a guide.

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Blend as many rolags as you desire, or until you run out of fiber! Then, be sure to store in a plastic bag or bin to keep safe from pests until it’s time to spin.

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Be sure to share your Spinzilla fiber prep with us on your social media of choice! You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Ravelry!

Cabling Without a Cable Needle Tutorial

Our 2016 Blanket uses Gems Worsted weight yarn and was designed for us by Mari Chiba. This heirloom-quality throw is a great way to lean new skills as you work through each section (the blanket is knit in six strips); the pattern and class are available exclusively at your LYS. Even if your LYS isn’t offering the class, you can purchase the pattern via the Ravelry-In Store Pattern Sales program at your LYS. Each section includes both written and charted directions, so it’s a great way for intermediate & beginner knitters to build confidence; more advanced knitters can also use this project learn time-saving tricks such as cabling without a cable needle. Today, we’re excited to feature a guest post from Mari, showing one method for cabling without a cable needle. To see another way to cable without a cable needle (and yes, there is more than one!), keep your eye on Mari’s blog, it’s coming soon!

How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North America

This tutorial is for the 2/2 LC and the 2/2 RC, both of which are used in Section 2 of the 2016 Cable Blanket. This tutorial will show how to create the cable twists without using a cable needle, then you’ll knit across the stitches.

First up, the 2/2 LC: 2/2 is the number of stitches that are cabled, and LC stands for left cable, so the stitches at the front lean to the left. This is also sometimes called a front cable, because the first group of stitches is held in the front. For 2/2 LC: 2 stitches in the front, 2 stitches in the back, with the cross leaning to the left. This is also sometimes written as C2F.

Step 1: With the yarn in the back, slip all 4 stitches purl-wise to the right hand needle. 
How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North America

Step 2: Pick up the first 2 stitches you just slipped with your left hand needle, working from the front. Leave all the stitches on your right hand needle for now.
How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North AmericaStep 3: Slide the right hand needle out from all 4 cable stitches, which will leave 2 stitches floating. Pinch these to make sure they don’t slip away!webres-0406Step 4: Pick up the 2 floating stitches with the right hand needle. You’ll now have the first 2 stitches from the cable on the left hand needle at the front, and stitches 3-4 on the right hand needle at the back. 
How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North America

Step 5: Slip the 2 stitches from the right hand needle onto the left hand needle purl-wise. At this point the stitches have been oriented for the cable, so you can knit across all 4 stitches. How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North AmericaAfter you’ve knit across all 4 stitches you’ll have finished your 2/2 LC. Congrats! Now it’s time to master the 2/2 RC.

How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North America

Next is the 2/2 RC. Just like the 2/2 LC this means 2 stitches are on either side of the cable twist. Also known as C2B, the first 2 stitches have to go to the back, so that stitches 3-4 can come to the front and cross to the right hand side.

Step 1: With the yarn in the back, slip 4 stitches purl-wise to the right hand needle. 
How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North America

Step 2: With the left hand needle, pick up the first 2 slipped stitches from the back of the work. Leave all the stitches on the right hand needle for now.

How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North AmericaStep 3: Carefully slide the right hand needle out from all 4 stitches, leaving stitches 3-4 floating. Pinch at the base so they don’t drop! 
How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North AmericaStep 5: Pick up stitches 3-4 with the right hand needle. Now the first 2 stitches from the cable will be on the left hand needle in the back, and stitches 304 will be on the right hand needle in the front. 
How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North AmericaStep 6: Slip 2 stitches back to left hand needle. At this point all the stitches are in the proper order for the cable twist and you can knit across all 4 stitches to finish the cable. 
How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North America

And voila! You’re cabling without a cable needle!
How to cable without a cable needle, a tutorial from Louet North America

If you haven’t seen the class for our 2016 Blanket offered at your LYS, ask for it and tell them to contact us! We know there are many knitters who would love to get hands-on help in learning how to make this stunning cable and lace blanket.