Saturday, 28 February 2015

Cameo Shawl

Nearly a year ago I started my Whippoorwill shawl, then you may remember that disaster struck with it!  Well, it lay in the knitting bag until just before christmas, when I decided to have a look at it again.  I really wasn't feeling the love for it because I wanted to make the largest size, but didn't have enough yarn.  So I frogged the lot, and washed the yarn that I had used to get the crinkles out.  Then I hit Ravelry; specifically the snazzy pattern search feature where you can specify the weight and amount of yarn and type of item you want, and came up with the Cameo Shawl (Ravelry link).



This was just what I was looking for; a triangle shawl using two colours, and a bit of lace work and picot edging for added interest.  The thing I really liked about it was that it is knit differently to most triangle shawls.  Most start at the centre of the top edge, and are increased in each row, ending at the bottom point.  This one is started at one end of the long edge, it is then increased on each row, ending on the bottom edge of the lace pattern.  It can then be knit to a longer width, without making it too long in depth.

 

I made two mods: I didn't do all the stripey repeats in the middle because I ran out of purple yarn (this seemed to be quite a common thing on Ravelry), and I did an extra repeat of the lace pattern because I had enough of the yellow yarn, and also I liked it.

I really enjoyed knitting this; it's all garter stitch, which I appreciate not everybody loves, but I liked it and found it was easy TV knitting.  The big challenge was blocking it.  In fact, I finished it at the end of January, and only blocked it last week!  My fear was that the colours would run, and I didn't want the lovely golden yellow turning into a muddy brown.  When I had washed the frogged yarn from the Whippoorwill shawl, loads of dye came out from both colours.
  

I started knitting with the purple yarn that hadn't been washed, then joined the washed purple about half way through the purple section.  In the above photo of the unblocked shawl it is obvious to me where the colours change, but I can live with this.  What  I can't live with is the purple dye coming off on other clothes if the shawl gets wet in the rain.

Somewhere at the back of my head I remembered something about setting colours using vinegar.  So I googled it, and came up with a lot of vague-ness which isn't worth linking to.  I couldn't resist the urge to wash it though (I know!), and ended up sort of washing it in sections by trying to only get bits of it into a basin - and unbelievably it worked!  I did the yellow lace pattern bit first. This was yarn that hadn't been washed before, and loads of yellow dye came out of it.  The stripey bit was all pre-washed yarn (I knit it that way on purpose), and it was fine.  Then finally I washed the purple bit, and loads of dye came out of it too.



I left it to dry, and then cracked out the vinegar.  What little I could find about this process involved cold water and vinegar, so I filled a basin with cold water and poured in some white vinegar.  I didn't measure out the vinegar, just poured away in a renegade style!  I used about a quarter of a bottle.  And it wasn't any fancy kind of vinegar, just Tescos own brand white vinegar at 40 something pence a bottle.  I left it to soak for 20 minutes, and not a drop of dye came out.  Now, this could mean one two things: either the vinegar worked like a charm, or the dye doesn't run in cold water - only time will tell...

I rinsed it out in cold water until the vinegar smell was gone - at this point my hands were absolutely freezing and all I could smell was vinegar, so I shoved the shawl in Andrew's direction and bleated, "does this smell of vinegar?".  He said no, so I decided my work was done. I ended up not using my blocking wires, as it looked ok, and just left it to dry on a flat clothes horse.



The yarn that I used is Malabrigo Sock Yarn, the yellow is called Orche and the purple is called Africana Violetta, I had one skein of each.  I think I am a bit over these hand dyed yarns now because I am currently on the first sleeve of my Chuck jumper; I'm using Cascade 220 yarn which is dark red, and the colour is coming off on my hands.  Sigh.

The finished measurements are 24 1/2" deep, and 94" long.  This is indeed pretty long, but it was kind of what I was going for and I love how it turned out, and have been wearing it already.

If anybody has some top tips on fixing colours, please let me know!

Lynne

19 comments:

  1. It looks lovely! The mixture of textures and patterns looks really cool. I keep seeing such beautiful knitting projects in my blog feed, I really need to get practicing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! That's what I liked about it too. Even though it's all garter stitch, it looks like it's trickier to knit!

      Delete
  2. Cascade 220 is not hand-dyed, it's done in giant industrial vats. Red is just a stubborn color to set. In fact, I've had more industrial reds bleed on me than hand dyes if you can believe it! It's a safe bet to assume most reds aren't colorfast unless they're fully synthetic.

    Only a small bit of vinegar is needed to set colors in the wash (with no soap!!). That way you don't need to rinse a zillion times to get it all out. Some people say a pinch of dissolved salt will help as well. There's also a setting agent called Synthropol that can be added to the rinse in small amounts. Lastly, there are these 'color catcher' laundry sheets that go in the machine- I've heard they work wonders if you put them in your hand wash to soak up extra dye. Hope one of these suggestions works for you!

    Your shawl is just GORGEOUS! I'm looking up that pattern right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you so much for all this information! Now that I think about it, I knit a cardigan last year using red Rowan Felted Tweed, and I think some of the dye came off it too. Hopefully the amount of vinegar I used has done the trick, but I will have a look for Synthropol, and (this is a bit spooky!) I bought some colour catchers for the first time ever yesterday!

      Delete
  3. I just chuck some white vinegar in on the last rinse and leave to soak for a wee while. It works like a dream. Doesn’t have to be cold water either . Just hand-hot that you would use for woollens.

    Your shawl is lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Good to know I was doing the vinegar thing properly!

      Delete
  4. Love that colour combination and the picot edge is so pretty. I have heard of vinegar being added, I think it might depend on what kind of dye has been used. The Natural Dye studio doesn't recommend using vinegar because the acidity can change the colour of the dye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yikes, I hadn't thought of that. But the vinegar didn't seem to affect the colours.

      Delete
  5. You do such lovely work!!! And that part where you were concerned about the differing shades of purple? Just tell people it was part of the design ---- when I first looked at this, that is what I thought it was and I was like, oh, gorgeous, how did she do that... The whole shawl is lovely!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! LOL! That's what I'll do - call it a design feature.

      Delete
  6. That's gorgeous. Don't tell people it was easy to knit - it looks really complicated, so you must be a very talented knitter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Honestly, it really was easy; and who doesn't love a make that's easy but looks complicated to the non-crafters!

      Delete
  7. It's a lovely shawl - I love the combinations of different textures and those gorgeous colours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love how the colours and textures have turned out.

      Delete
  8. I'm always afraid of colorwork just because of this issue with the dyes. I'm happy that you solved it for this shawl, since it looks lovely and it would be a shame that the colors would have ran.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I think would have cried if the yellow had been ruined!

      Delete
  9. Lynne, all this podcast- listening I've been doing lately must be having some effect because the minute I read this I (even being a knit newbie and all) immediately thought CITRIC ACID TREATMENT! You'll want to check out the details on the Knitmore Girls' Rav pages or blog - there's lots of info for this exact problem with photos of the difference it makes. While you're at it, have a listen to their podcast. It's my favourite!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooo! I've never heard of using citric acid! I will have at look at this right now. Thank you for the advice!

      Delete
  10. This is just magic! I love it.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading my blog! I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have the time :) Lynne.