Experiments and Woolen Socks

I have been interested in the lightfastness of natural dyes for a while. I have understood that all natural dyes are somewhat fugitive but that some are more than others. And with fugitive I mean that time and light will fade the colours. I wanted to see this with my own eyes, so I did a little experiment. Now this experiment is not the most scientific and I probably should have done it in summer time when there is actually natural light in Finland. In the end of September I collected some samples of the yarns I had dyed naturally. I covered half of the yarn stripes with cardboard and left the other half bare. The samples have been facing “the sun” (there is not a lot of sun at the moment here) on our balcony for about two months now.

IMG_5414_2

And these are the results here. I’m not sure how much you will be able to tell from these photos, but basically the left side is the one that has been covered. Black beans and beet root are the ones where you can really see the difference. Lupine, birch leaves, heather, onion skins and lichen have not faded away. Surprisingly also red cabbage is pretty much the same as before after two months. I thought that it would be the first one to fade away.  Other than that the results are pretty much what I expected. I’m a little sad about the fact that the colour from the black beans fades so quickly. I should probably repeat this experiment again in summer time when the conditions are more “extreme”.

IMG_5408_3

IMG_5415_3

IMG_5401_4

In other news I knitted my first pair of woollen socks in over ten years. I discovered that knitting a heel is not like riding a bike. I think that the pattern I used is different from the way I learned to knit a heel in school (also I’m not very good at following instructions, I tend to do thing my way which is not always the right way.)  I had some struggles with these socks, but I feel like I have now done all the mistakes and the next pair will be  an improvement.

IMG_5378_4

I used the yarn that I dyed with lupine in the beginning of the summer to knit this pair. I really like the colour and these socks are warm and cosy just in time for winter. I went for a really simple striped pattern. For my next pair I want to do something a little bit more creative, I’m thinking of some kind of fair Isle pattern and I still need to properly tackle that that bloody heel!

(I modified the pattern a little bit but the original pattern for these socks is from a Finnish sewing/knitting magazine. Suuri Käsityö Lehti Marras-joulukuu 2004)

Advertisements

Jacquard knits

_DSC0848_5
Two years ago I was as an exchange student at the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås, Sweden. It’s a wonderful school and I learned a lot about textiles and especially about knitted textiles. I was very lucky to be able to try out the industrial jacquard knitting machine they have there. I knitted a little collection of fabrics as part of a sustainable textiles course, using materials like wool, linen and tensel. I like the fact that from the distance these fabrics look like they are printed, until you go close and you see the texture and then the feel of the fabric is very different. I was very excited about the project and  I had a vision of the kind of clothes I would like to sew from these fabrics.

Two very busy years went by and the fabrics were hidden away in my closet, until this summer I finally had time to tackle the project I had started. The clothes that I visualised in my head were very simple in style so that they would complement the patterns. Once I but my mind into it, the clothes came together quite quickly and couple of weeks ago we had really fun photo shoot. The photos were taken by my very talented friend Riikka and the lovely model Marianna did a wonderful job. Thank you girls! I’m really happy the way the photos turned out. It’s so great to see the vision I had two years ago come to life finally.

_DSC0767_5_DSC0781_5_DSC0887_5_DSC0882_5_DSC0576_4_DSC0554_4_DSC0638_4_DSC0683_4_DSC0698_4_DSC0710_4_DSC0995_4_DSC1026_6_DSC1057_4_DSC1080_5_DSC0438_5_DSC0442_4_DSC0456_4_DSC0511_4_DSC0522_4_DSC1181_5_DSC1213_5_DSC1217_5_DSC0020_5

I should also mention that the beautiful wooden necklace featured in the photos is by a British jewellery designer Kristy Frasier. I bought this honeycomb necklace when I was in Edinburgh and it’s my absolute favourite neckless at the moment. Check her website here.

Knitting with the colours of nature

During the past few months I have collected quite a versatile collection of different coloured yarns, that I have dyed naturally. I find these colours very inspiring and I think they go so well together.  I think that’s part of the charm of the natural dyed yarns, the way they match so well. The autumn is here. I can’t believe September is almost gone already! The weather is getting colder here in Finland and because of that and these yarns I feel like knitting.

IMG_4599_2

IMG_4612_3

IMG_4582_3

IMG_4620_3

I started out with this knitted beanie. This wool yarn use to be grey before I dyed it with heather. I wanted a simple cable pattern beanie with a pompom on top. This pattern is not from anywhere, I just made it up as I knitted it. It’s not perfect, but I still quite like it. These photos with the beanie were taken by a friend of mine Riikka with a lovely Marianna as model. These photos are a little sneak peek into a project that I have been working on during the past few months. This week we had a really nice photo shoot, I can’t wait to share that soon.

_DSC0063_3

_DSC0041_3

IMG_4606_3