Archive for the ‘Rocky Mountain Dyeworks’ Category

Relief – win yarn and patterns

April 25, 2011

After the terrible earthquake hit Japan in March, relief efforts were almost instantaneous. The recovery process will be long and hard, though, and money will be needed continually for those relief efforts, long after the earthquake is gone from the news entirely. As always after a disaster, money is what is most needed. Donation of goods is costly and complicated and can hinder relief from going where it is needed, however good the intentions. Some knitwear designers have designed patterns, the income from which will go to charities doing work in Japan, and I may do something of the sort myself in the future, but for now, I’d like to hold a raffle to raise money for recovery efforts.

How to enter:

Donate $10 or more to a charity providing on the ground relief work in Japan. I used Charity Navigator to look up organizations working in the area, and am recommending donations to Direct Relief International, which gets a very high rating on Charity Navigator. If you’d prefer to donate to another organization, such as Médecins Sans Frontières or the Red Cross, that is fine with me.

Forward a copy of your donation receipt to knittingkninja AT

For each $10 you donate, your name will be entered once into a drawing to win one of the four prizes listed below. If you donate $20, that’s two entries. $50 is five entries. I will only give one prize per winner, though, to spread out the chances of winning.

The contest ends Monday, May 9th, when I will draw four winners.


#1: Becoming Art Gaia Fingering and Clothilde (click to see larger)

Becoming Art Gaia Fingering


This package includes a copy of the Clothilde  shawl pattern and a skein of Becoming Art Gaia Fingering in the Drawn colorway. If you already have a copy of Clothilde, you can either select a different pattern or I will be happy to gift Clothilde to the knitter of your choice. You can of course use the yarn for any pattern you so desire, but there is enough in the skein to knit a Clothilde shawl. Gaia Fingering is a 100% merino yarn in a single ply. It is NOT superwash, so care must be taken when washing it to avoid felting. I found this colorway unbelievably beautiful, and I hope you do, too.

#2: madelinetosh Tosh Sport and Beetle Tracks (click to see larger)

Beetle Tracks

madelinetosh Tosh Sport

This package includes a copy of the Beetle Tracks scarf pattern and a skein of madelinetosh Tosh Sport in the Charcoal colorway. The yarn is enough to knit a Beetle Tracks scarf, though of course you can use it for any project you see fit. If you already have a copy of Beetle Tracks, you can either select a different pattern or I will be happy to gift Beetle Tracks to a knitter of your choice. The yarn in this case is rather special, as I purchased it off of the madelinetosh Etsy store, and the full proceeds were already donated to charity work in Japan. This is a great way to pass it forward. Tosh Sport is 100% superwash merino.

#3: Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Bow Falls Fingering and Rosa (click to see larger)


Bow Falls Fingering

This package includes the Rosa shawl pattern and a skein of Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Bow Falls Fingering, which is the yarn used in the original Rosa. I picked a skein in the gorgeous Strawberry Root colorway, a rich red with undertones of maroon and bright pink. If you already have a copy of Rosa, you can either select a different pattern or I will be happy to gift Rosa to a knitter of your choice. You can of course use the yarn for any project, but there is enough here to knit the Rosa shawl. Bow Falls Fingering is a 100% superwash Blue Faced Leicester yarn. I’m very fond of BFL, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

#4: Understory ebook

Understory is my new ebook of six accessory patterns knit in Malabrigo yarns. The winner will receive the ebook as well as each individual pattern PDF for Amanita Muscaria, Laetiporus, Lichen Beret, Light and Shade, Verdure, and the Woodpigeon Mitts. I had a lot of fun knitting the samples for this collection and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Here are some patterns available for sale on Ravelry that benefit charities working in Japan.

Sakaki, by Rosemary Hill

Mitered Crosses Blanket by Kay Gardiner

Comfort Slippers by Reiko Arato


November 11, 2010

I’ve fallen behind in keeping up with this blog, which is a shame, as it’s something I really enjoy working on. However, I am going to take a current illness as an opportunity and update just a little.

This is Rosa. Rosa is currently out for test knitting, and the pattern will be available in December. I mentioned in passing a few times that I had an idea for an accessories collection. Rosa is not the first item I’ve finished for this collection, but she will be the first released. The other accessories for the collection will be a little delayed due to deadline projects, but the good news is that with Ravelry’s new promotional tools, purchasing Rosa now and the collection later won’t penalize early buyers for their loyalty. I will be able to discount the purchase of Rosa from the cost of the full ebook when it is ready, so you can have your cake and eat it too!

The patterns in the new collection are all named after women I admire for one reason or another. Rosa has a floral pattern and a Spanish feel, but that’s actually sort of coincidental, as the shawl was named after Rosa Parks long before I started it. The yarn is gorgeous Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Bow Falls Fingering, a light fingering weight yarn of Blue Faced Leicester wool. I loved working with the yarn, as the saturated color with just a little variegation revealed new depth and surprises after each row. This is an amazing red – there are at least three separate saturated reds at work here, meaning that the yarn revealed barely visible blues or yellows tinging the main vibrant shade as I knit with it. I used a very simple zig zag lace at the edging to mimic fringe.

It’s been a real pleasure to work on this collection. I’m actually in the midst of the largest project out of the lot – another shawl/wrap, this one quite large and involved – and while it’s taking a little while, I sincerely hope and believe the end result will be worth it.  I spent a lot of time on color with this bunch, and I’m glad of it, because color is what tends to keep me tied to a knitting project. I’m already planning more color palettes for the future, just because!

Rocky Mountain Dyeworks yarn

May 17, 2010

Last month on Ravelry, I saw this amazingly beautiful autumn colored Clothilde knit in a heart stopping blend of silk and cashmere.  The colors are absolutely stunning, and when I found out that it had been dyed by the knitter who made it, I was more than impressed.  That led me to explore more of Hasmi’s lovely yarns, which she dyes under the name of Rocky Mountain Dyeworks. The reds and greens in particular leapt out at me, so when the opportunity of a skein of my own arrived, I was so so excited!

With reason.

This is Bow Falls Fingering, a 100% superwash Blue Face Leicester wool.  As you may or may not be aware, I’m on a BFL kick at the moment.  I’m a late comer to the BFL party – it’s been one of the non-merino wools of choice for some time now – but I’m no less enthusiastic than those who arrived before me.  While not as soft on the skin as merino, BFL is a smooth, soft, wearable wool, and significantly, it is a long staple wool while merino is short staple.  The long hairs of the Blue Face Leicester sheep mean that there are fewer ends in a spun yarn than there would be with a short staple wool.  Merino has softness as a virtue, but its sin is pilling and wear.  BFL is a long wearing, hardy wool that will not easily pill or break.

BFL seems to spin up a little tighter than merino, at least in my experience, and this base is no exception.  It’s a very firmly twisted 3 ply with a smooth hand and glorious saturated color.  Oh, the color!  BFL holds dye differently than merino, and it reflects more color back, giving it some of the same visual qualities of silk.

I wanted to have a gorgeous lacy swatch to show you today, but I spent too long on it, and the natural light, such as it was today, had faded before I’d finished.  But suffice it to say that the yarn knits up well, with good stitch definition and little to no halo.  Despite the firmness, the knitted fabric feels soft on the skin.  If you compare it to a loosely spun merino or a cashmere, it will probably feel comparatively coarse, but that’s not really a fair comparison.  This yarn actually has a similar feel to Tosh Lace, which is a tightly spun superwash merino.

This is a light fingering weight, and it would work best as a sub for other light fingering weight yarns, like Malabrigo Sock.  If subbing for a regular fingering weight, it would probably be wise to go down a needle size to prevent loose, sloppy stitches, and to adjust your gauge accordingly.

I always find it fascinating how different dyers have distinct styles, and Rocky Mountain Dyeworks has a definite style that I love.  Rich, saturated colors that recall colors found in nature.  My red’s a semi-solid, but unlike many semi-solids, it’s not just one shade unevenly dyed.  It’s several rich reds all working together.  Lovely!