Socks for Liam

My son adores socks! He loves hand knit socks best of all. But he’s only six and still growing fast. I needed a simple recipe for making socks for him that wouldn’t take forever and would grow with him so I didn’t need to do the math each time. 

Thus was born, Liam’s Socks. I knit these on circular needles using the magic loop technique. 

It starts simple enough using Judy’s Magic Cast On. 12 stitches on each needle. 

Knit one round.

On the next round, k1 then k1fb, Knit to last 3 stitches. K1fb. K2.

Repeat these two rounds until you have 28 stitches on each needle. 


Now. When he was smaller I did 24 on each. And before that it was 20. Next time it will be 32. 

I use the fish lip kiss heel, so I knit until the socks reach his ankle bone. This time that was 50 rows. 


Turn the heel. Knit half the amount of rows. So 25 for this. Then do 15 rows of ribbing. K3 p1, k2 p2, k1 p1. Any ribbing you like that comes in a multiple of 4. 

I’ve added purl stitch designs on the socks sometimes too. It’s fun to have a basic pattern that is easy to modify as needed. 

I can track the history of Liam with his socks! 


But most of all I love seeing him enjoy the socks I knit for him. 


I’ve learned that for kids a good high quality sock yarn is important. Superwash because if you have kids you have enough to do without hand washing socks. And I’ve found that sock yarn with at least 20% nylon in it will even stand up to the dryer on low. 

I chose to offer sock yarn that will stand the test of time. I’ve washed and dried my yarn a lot of times. The colors stay and the yarn holds up very well to heavy use and lots of washings. 

the best notepad! you cant lose it!
the best notepad! you cant lose it!

Happy knitting my yarn fairies! 

Fairies in the Garden

I am super excited to be working with natural dyes. I’ve wanted to since I first started this business, as its whole inspiration was from a little girl who turned herself all the colors of the garden. This is certainly a challenge and not everything comes out as expected. Some dyes are too light, their color fleeing the yarn with the rinse. What I thought was a vibrant pink was more of a soft peach. A promise of purple gave way to a soft teddy bear brown. 

But I am just beginning and there is so much more to discover.  

oh! pink!
The Dirt Fairy inspects hibiscus dye
  
hey look! blues!
The results of hibiscus dye

 
this held such promise, but all the color washed out!
  

mordanting fibers with alum

the work bench is even getting into it!
  
I think I am off to a good start, and as spring turns to summer there is so much more to turn into dye! 

The art of the sample swatch

I love making one of a kind skeins. It’s just my thing. But then, people like seeing how they look knitted up. It’s not like I can just knit a little bit of it, snap a picture, and then unravel it and wind it back into the skein. Another fiber artist I know once called something similar to that “used yarn” and didn’t want to knit with yarn someone had already used. When I make mini skeins I usually find that my skein is a few grams over 100 and so I feel ok keeping two grams to make into a swatch. But what to do when it’s just a one of a kind skein?

I don’t always reskein my yarns, but when I do I keep enough to make a swatch. 

 

who doesn't love knitting with silk?
Sunrise, merino and silk
 
I love being able to show how they look, plus it is good for me to see how my color ways pool and blend, helps me learn. 

Time is not always on my side, I can’t always get a swatch made. Just not enough hours in the day to get them knitted up in time for listing the skein in the shop. 

Plus then, what to do with the swatches after? I usually unravel them and then knit a hexipuff for the Beekeepers Quilt. 

 

The Beekeepers Quilt, Tiny Owl Knits
Hexipuffs
 
I want to swatch every skein! Then I will always have a little reminder of what I made and how to make it again. 

We all start somewhere.

I started this little business as a way to bring my love of color to other yarn artists. When I was first learning how to knit I saw these beautiful skeins of yarn and wondered how anyone could have made them. Pinks raged with purple and green, grey faded into blue, and I was smitten with them all. Then I saw the price tag. I decided that there needed to be a more reasonable way to get beautiful yarn that was unique into the hands of the people who wanted it. I bought a skein of undyed wool and a package of food colors and went home to play.

bg
My first dye job ever

I admit, there were a LOT of failures. I still have a skein that looks like something the Easter Bunny puked up after eating too many Peeps. But I learned from my mistakes and in 2015 I decided that I was ready to offer my yarn up to everyone else out there who wanted something beautiful.

My daughter inspired the name forĀ  my business when she was two, as she headed out into the world with reckless abandon and no regard for her clothes. She turned herself green in the grass, grey and brown in the dirt, purple while picking blueberries, and many shades not found in nature with watercolors and popcicles. Now she comes home from school with orange paint on her shoes and green paint in her hair.

7.2.14
The day she was named The Dirt Fairy

I decided to start a blog because I wanted a place to show a little bit of the magic of what happens in the dye pot and show off what others have made from the creations that spring forth from my studio.

Keep watch, beautiful things are going to be happening here!