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August 5, 2010 / KristenMakes

Natural-Dyed Projects

Remember my Onion Dyeing and Coffee Dyeing experiments?

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Well the dyed yarn has officially been destashed!  The coffee-dyed wool has become a new striped jumper:



The jumper was knitted top-down (I am obsessed with that method!) in one piece, with some black Scappa yarn leftover from my Audrey in Unst cardigan. I improvised it without a pattern and luckily (miraculously) it worked out. I basically laid the measuring tape over my shoulders and figured out how many inches I wanted the back neck, shoulders, and front neck to be. Then I multiplied that by my gauge (which was 4.5 stitches per inch) and CO for the back neck and shoulders. I worked back and forth, increasing 1 st at each end (like Barbara Walker does) and then when my front neck was deep enough I CO to span across the front neck to join for knitting in the round. The beauty of this method is that you can try it on at any moment to check your progress. I also did a knitted hem and an i-cord bind off at the sleeves and neckline.

The onion-dyed yarn was used on Cecily Glowik McDonald’s Goodale pattern.



I had two different batches of onion-dyed yarn that I alternated skeins on for a semi-striped look.  The pattern is great (top-down of course!) and very simple to follow, so I definitely recommend it.  The only modifications I made to mine were that I knitted it longer (didn’t want to waste the yarn I had so I kept knitting), and I did another i-cord bind off at the neckline.  I was trying to channel a 1950’s look while getting ready for work but it definitely didn’t come off as successfully or gracefully as Gertie and Casey!  I may have to do a bit more research next rather than just winging it on a whim.  I love the casual look of this cardigan!

What should I dye with next?  I’m thinking beetroot, but I am open to suggestions!



Leave a Comment
  1. Noas' libellule / Aug 5 2010 4:20 am

    I love the stripey jumper, so easy to wear.. .I see you are experimenting with the secretarial look – very cool in a sort of Mad Men way. Beetroot would look amazing, I love purple, with some saffron coloured yarn? or red fruits?

  2. Sue Orme / Aug 5 2010 9:40 am

    More fabulous work! How ’bout cinnamon? Or eggplant (for your mother-in-law who loves purple? The beetroot sounds good, too.

  3. Jo / Aug 5 2010 11:23 am

    Beetroot stains a yellowy-beige then washes mostly out! How about gorse from Arthur’s Seat? I think you can get yellowy-greens from that.
    LOVELY sweaters!

  4. frayedattheedge / Aug 5 2010 2:46 pm

    Based on stains that don’t wash out …. I would suggest pasta sauce and curry!! I haven’t yet tried knitting from the top down – it is of course on my to-do list. Having mastered knitting two socks at the same time, I’m sure I’ll cope!!

  5. Ali / Aug 5 2010 3:07 pm

    You are so impressive! I’m particularly smitten with your striped sweater, mostly because I’d steal it from you given the opportunity. 😉 Great work.

  6. Mom / Aug 5 2010 8:42 pm

    You continue to amaze me! These are beautiful and fit you so well! I love the little pockety way the front of the cardigan folds back!

  7. Holly / Aug 16 2010 8:23 pm

    I love the colors together, and the shape is really flattering. If only it smelled like coffee and onions it would be REALLY interesting. Well done!


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