My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


About Hand Dyeing Yarn

It’s not that I don’t enjoy it . . .

I had a lot of fun playing with Kool-Aid and yarn. But I live in a high-rise condo with a relatively small kitchen. This kitchen is the only place where I can dye yarn, and not surprisingly, dyeing yarn can be very messy and space-consuming. Mebbe if I had a nice big garage or basement. Well, I do have a nice big garage, but I am only entitled to one space in that nice big garage, and that’s where my car lives. ๐Ÿ™‚

The other thing is that I can picture myself getting all obsessed over handpainting (imagine that) and ending up with a whole ‘nother hobby that I don’t have time and space for.

Because I was curious, I started knitting a sock from some of last weekend’s yarn.


Hmmmmmm . . . I dunno. I can’t decide if I like it or loathe it. What do you think?


Feel free to leave your honest opinion in the comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I set it aside and cast on a sock using yarn painted by someone who knows what she’s doing.


This is Claudia Handpainted Yarn in the “Ingrid’s Blues” colorway. To say I love the colorway is the understatement of the century. This colorway just takes my breath away. I cannot stop staring at it. I have a mad pash for this colorway.


Noni Bag Handle Alert

My buddy Blogless Margaret in Manhattan reports that she went to Knitty City today and lo and behold, they have all the plastic handles for the Noni Bags, including the lime green handles for “In the Sculpture Garden” we were discussing the other day. They don’t have an online store, but Pearl will be happy to take phone orders. Give her a call and tell her Wendy and Margaret sent you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On To a Question . . .

Kelly in New Mexico asked me if I ever knit scarves. I do, from time to time. There are patterns for several scarves (in varying degrees of difficulty) in my book.

Scarves are great for trying out stitch patterns, and for relatively small amounts of handspun. They are also great knitted from luxurious yarns — like qivuit. Buying enough qivuit to knit a sweater is prohibitively expensive for me, but enough for a small lacy scarf is do-able!

But until the heat breaks, I think I’m gonna knit on projects that are small enough to dangle from the needles without touching me. You know, like a sock.

But hey! The heatwave is supposed to break tonight. Tomorrow is only supposed to get to 90 degrees or so. Brrrrrr! Mebbe I need to start a scarf.



  1. Isabelle says:

    I love the Kool-Aid sock! Life is too short for boring socks.

  2. Normally I’m not one to criticize in public, but that sock yarn was much prettier in the skein. I think I had an outfit in those colors in 1987! With matching scrunchies!

  3. The transition from Pond Scum to Kool Aid Display Crashes on the Supermarket Floor was always going to be a shock! I think it’s like a new haircut and will take a little getting used to, but it’s looking pretty so far ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I think if you dunked the socks in some dark blue dye when you were finished (as in, over-dye the socks) they’d look good.

    We finally got some cooler weather here in Minneapolis, and humidity under 85%. Hang in there!

  5. Allow me to disagree.

    Doesn’t that skein absolutely SCREAM summer to anyone else? I mean, it looks like watermelon and lilacs! I’m thinking sporty little anklets with the little poofy pompom thing on back? Yeah, it’s “young” and “bright,” but if you can’t be young and bright in the middle of the summer, when can you be?

  6. I think the Kool Aid yarn is gorgeous with a capital GORG. If you don’t want it I will buy it from you for MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.


  7. I like the kool aid yarn! I agree, it should be a little ankle sock in bright colors I called kool-aid! I didn’t add a pom to mine, but maybe I should! BTW, that “cool” front went through here last night. I am looking at our yard full of branches and my hubby had to “dig out” his car this morning. It was covered with tree branches! Oh yeah, I just noticed some shingles in our yard. I hope they are not from our roof!

  8. Honestly, I like your Kool Aid yarn better than the “professionals.” I dunno, I think it’s the brown along side the blue. At any rate, I am a sucker for bright, strange, fun socks, so the hot pinks and greens are right up my alley.
    Of course, my socks never actually match my outfits either. They always match each other, but rarely the rest of my clothes, so I’d take my opinion with a grain of salt!
    They told us here in Indianapolis the heat would break with the rain. I have to say they were right, but there’s still some humidity. Hang in there, though. I think it’s headed your way!

  9. I tried KA dyeing, and enjoyed it – the bright colors aren’t my favorites, but it was fun, and knit up the results!

    I don’t think your socks are “loathe”-worthy at all! They’re bright colored, just like Summer!

  10. Hope it cools for you. We’re having a perfect day in the 80s. Your sock yarn looks good! Truly the colors look good together and nothing is muddy or ugly. Nice work!

  11. I really like the Kool-Aid sock. It is so playful. I love seeing hand-painted yarn develop it’s own pattern, and this looks great. This looks like a fun summer knit.

  12. I think it is pretty, and it isn’t pooling. Every so often something pastel and girlie is nice to have. It’ll be lovely with lace or a picot hem.

  13. I love your kool-aid socks. The colors remind me of a field of flowers.

  14. Find a teen or preteen girl and gift those Kool-Aid socks to her. I know my teen would love the colors! By the way, just bought your book and I love it.

  15. As much as I like all those colors, I must say I’m not overly fond of the knitted-up result. But, an overdye of blue would, in my opinion, tone down the look and result in a very pretty sock.

  16. I love your Kool-Aid socks!

    Only 90 degrees tomorrow? Don’t leave home without your muffler and gloves, now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. You know, the Kool Aid sock pretty closely matches Noni bag #1. It looks like springtime to me.

  18. Marti J. says:

    I love the results of that kool-aid dye job! My eldest daughter (late 30s) says she’d love me to knit socks for her, the brighter the better! This would be perfect for her. I may have to try it myself.

  19. You know, the Kool-Aid sock isn’t bad!

    The Claudia handpaint (and sock), however, is as breathtaking as you say it is.

    (I’m so glad I’m not the only one who knits while using a Dell laptop and then proceeds to take a photo of a sock posing at the keyboard).

  20. I love the Kool-Aid socks. They look very much like the Regia socks I’m doing right now. Different colors, but the way the line up….

    And I would kill to have the blue colorway. I’m with you on this one.

  21. I like the way the kool-aid colors work together. They’ll seem awfully bright and happy come the winter months. I also live in a smallish condo and am limited in the dyeing arena. I generally stick to single color or rainbow dyeing techniques rather than handpainting. Still something of a “production,” though…

  22. Danielle M says:

    I agree with Tammany, I love the colors even more than your Claudia sock. In fact, seeing those summery colors knit into a sock might get me to try kool-aid dyeing! Great job at enabling me to try something new!

  23. I for one absolutely love those ka socks! Very Knit Happens and they match your bag too! What more could you want?

  24. Ok, since you asked….lol

    No, I don’t like Kool-aid dyed yarn. It reminds me of something a small child would like. Just MHO. BUT, I agree with you on the Ingrid Blues. I love that yarn!

  25. Okay, you know the kind of week I’m having and your kool-aid socks gave me a huge smile and a craving for ice-cold watermelon! High five here!

  26. The Kool Aid is pretty good, actually!

  27. Your Kool Aid project reminds me a little of a colorway that I saw Cascade Fixation (I think it was) in. I think the Fixation was a little more muted. I’m not saying that I’m loving this but I don’t hate it either. It’s bright and summery. I vote for you to finish the socks that way you will always have that one pair that you hand dyed yourself.
    Yeah the Ingrid Blues is definitely a keeper.

  28. Kathryn in Tidewater says:

    We are all “pulled” by the beauty of the colors that we (or others) combine in the skein. The reality of the finished project is not always what we envisioned….I’m wondering how we can solve the dilemna/problem of “WHAT I HAVE IN THE SKEIN” to “WHAT IT LOOKS KNITTED UP”? and is this what I thought it would look like? OK the easy answer is to knit a swatch….but we can’t buy each wonderful skein that we see to do that…Help!…

  29. I rather like the kool aide sock — the colors are refreshing. I’m not so wild about the heavy pooling of the “pro” colored sock. But we each are entitled to our own opinion – at least for a bit more… ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. The Kool-Aid colors are gorgeous and those socks would look fantastic with a pair of those new fun shoes – CROCS. Bright and cheerful! LOVE IT!

  31. I don’t personally care for the KoolAid yarn, but thats because I don’t really care for those colors (and I don’t like the way the green is pooling)

    But then I have to admit not particularly caring for the “real” sock yarn either – I guess I’m just not big on the look of handpainted sock yarn! So its probably just me, and not your koolaid yarn that is “off” LOL!

  32. JerseyGirl says:

    I love the Kool-Aid socks. Very summery! I think it looks great.

  33. See, now I think the yarn knit up looks better than it did in the skein. I’m in the “what fun summer colors” camp.

  34. Your coolaid socks look like candy! Kind of like if you were to buy one of the giant swirly lolly pops, but more sparatic. I think they are fantastic! By the way, I love the stories in your book just about as much as the patterns!

  35. I want that kool-aid yarn!!!! Please tell me what flavors your socks are? Strawberry-Grape-Lemon-Limeaid? lol, i love it.

  36. I REALLY like your Kool-Aid sock! The Claudia is pretty too, but they’re “apples and oranges” to compare. Both lovely in their own right.

  37. Miz Booshay says:

    I just love the colors of the socks you dyed! I think they are perfectly lovely and look very professional.

  38. michelle says:

    Well, the pink is perky! My daughter would love it. I prefer the blue/brown. Lovely!

  39. Why do you keep copying me? I bought some Claudia’s in Donna’s Favourite and got half-way through a sock when you started your pair. I did a picot edging on mine, and you did a picot edging on yours. A week ago I bought some Claudia’s in Ingrid’s Blues that I was saving for once my finger heals up enough for me to knit again (sliced through to the bone with a box cutter)… And imagine my surprise to find you knitting using the exact. same. colourway.

    ::looks around her apartment for hidden cameras:: You spying on me, woman?

  40. I like it!

  41. Talking about a break in the heat; it is 75* here and it feels positively chilly because two days ago it was 101*!! Where’s my sweater??

  42. Love the kool-aid socks. They match your new Noni bag. You’re a happening babe.

  43. I prefer neutral & darker colours right now, so my opinion will be biased. I do remember having a favourite printed scrunchie in that colourway, but it was back when I was about 7. However, I think I’ll love the KA socks if it’s just the pale yellow, purple and hot pink!

  44. The KS that you dyed is very summery, like a bouquet of flowers. But Claudia’s yarn is fabulous. I love brown and blue together.

  45. I really like the Kool-Aid yarn knitted up. I wouldn’t overdye it-I think the lighter areas make it. I might, however, try to fade it a bit. Whatever, I think it’ll a great bit of summery pop that would be great with an outfit of otherwise neutral colored clothing.

    Clearly, if you knit up those socks and still don’t love them, you’d have plenty of folks willing to take them off your hands. ;>

  46. I’m over 50 – not sayin how much- and I LOVE the Kool Aid yarn. Not only that, I would WEAR the socks- perfect with jeans!!!!!

  47. I thought right away that it looks like an Easter basket filled with bright green grass and jelly beans. So I think you should keep finish them up and attend next year’s Easter Egg Roll that the president hosts on the White House lawn. Seriously, they look like a lot of fun to wear on a cloudy rainy spring day!

  48. You know what the Kool-Aid socks remind me of? TUTTI FRUTTI! Yummy!!!

  49. I’m pro-koolaid sock. But then, I have a thing for acid green. YMMV. And whoever said “watermelon and lilacs” got it dead on! Have a cool(er) weekend!

  50. I agree the Kool Aid sock would be cute done in a lacy, girly sock with maybe a frill on the cuff. Would I wear ’em? Maybe with Crocs or pink patent leather high heels but I don’t know. Whenever I’ve dyed yarn with Kool Aid, I swear I can smell the stuff forever but that’s probably a hallucination.
    Happy Birthday to me tomorrow!

  51. I’m a subdued kind of person, so the Kool-Aid is a bit bright for me. But it is beautiful for being bright! I wouldn’t personally wear that – but my almost-16 son probably would – he likes to be different. (has had bright pink laces in his lime green skate shoes; wears hot pink and hot lime t-shirts more than the red and blue. I thought it was because he was so confident – he says he just likes to be different, but I digress).

    I hope we get some thunderstorms. I get a double whammy – heat and rotting fish – at my office building… it was EWWWWWWW-y this morning.

  52. Personally the kool-aid sock is gorgeous! I really love the colours together. Looking at your dyed yarn makes me want to have a go at it.

  53. I really like your dyed yarn. I think you’ll have a better idea and feel for it after you get to the leg. Don’t judge it by the toe alone. Hope you’ll share a pic of that!

    And I have to agree with you 100% about Claudia’s yarn. She rocks, doesn’t she? Picked me up some of her sport weight in “Caribbean Blue” at MS&W and I just like to cradle the hanks in my arms, I love it that much.

  54. Count me in on the liking the kool aid socks = very summery. They’ll look great in one of your lacy cuff patterns, I think. They remind me of jelly beans.

  55. I love the koolaid yarn. But bright green is one of my favorite colors and I love it with pink. I think it’s a very fun spring/summer colored yarn. I’d wear socks made out of it!

  56. I definitely like the colors. Very cute.

  57. I like it, but I can’t see you wearing it, really. I’d use something like that for little kids’ hats/socks/sweaters.

  58. Since you asked, I think the Koolaid is hard to get a nice combination going with. But that’s just me.

  59. I LOVE the kool-aid socks…and the Claudia Handpainted ones, too. When fall comes and I get some time (after this Senate race is completed in November) I plan to try some dying…not painting…I’m not that patient. I think you did a great job with the dying especially for the first time. Ear scruntches to Lucy!

  60. I agree w/Margie….wear the Kool-Aid socks with jeans and a bright green or pink t-shirt. Fun!

    No one is too old to wear bright, fun socks. It’s bright, fun HAIR that you really need to be on the young side to wear ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m not loving the blue/brown combo of the second yarn, but then I never wear brown. I’d prefer all blues.

  61. I loved the koolaid socks and thought everyone else would, too — but obviously the opinions are split. I may have to try this myself — get out the rubber suit!

  62. I Love, Heart and so forth the kool-aid socks1 So very cool. I’ll go out on a limb and say kewl. Awesome, Awesome socks. Of course if you don’t like it don’t knit with it. Cuz honestly your the one knitting them. I’m sure other people would want it (little you know, me). Knitting is supposed to be fun so do projects you enjoy or that have meaning (the 2 are not mutually exclusive).

  63. I have to say I really do love your Kool Aid dyed yarn, and it looks like it really knits up into a really nice sock.

  64. Wendy, can you show the sides of the toe section on your toe-up socks? I tried your toe-up pattern for the first time and I don’t know if I did it correctly. One side looks really nice and the other is a bit…wonky.

  65. Wendy – Thought you might get a kick out of this local press.

    Love the sock poem. ๐Ÿ™‚

    ps – the kool-aid sock reminds me of Necco Wafers! mmmmmmmmmmmmm chalky candy goodness…..

  66. Marie-france says:

    I love the Kool Aid socks but then I love pink and green together. I’d definitely wear them and I’ll be 60 next year! So please go on, finish them. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them

  67. I just love, love, love your Kool-aid socks! The colors are just beautiful. Much prettier than the ‘pro’ colors. I’ve been toying with the idea of dying yarn with Kool-aid but now I’m convinced that I will. Yes, I would definitely wear them and I am 60ish and I feel, the brighter, the more cheerful. Can’t help but feel young and springy in colors such as yours. Keep it up!!!

  68. It’s awfully pink & green.

  69. I think they’re pretty funky. If anything, they’re good for hanging around the house! And the blue and brown? Oooo, purtee!

  70. I like the Kool-Aid socks!

  71. I think the Kool-Aid socks rock! Awesome colors!

  72. I like the colors – very fresh and happy!

  73. I really like the Kool-Aid sock.

  74. Somebody said they like acid green. I generally don’t, but love the watermelon sock. I could picture adding some ‘seeds’ with a permanent marker…. (Ultra fine Sakura or Sharpie)

  75. I love the Kool-aid yarn but then I love Lilly Pulitzer and those preppy pink and green clothes. I’d happily wear those socks!

  76. I like them both!

  77. You know it’s been hot when you can’t bring yourself to knit and of your “real” projects – and 90% of what you knit is in linen or cotton not wool. Wool in my area is…well, let’s just say it doesn’t see a lot of use. I’ve been solely on squares for a love blanket for a baby with spina bifida and on socks (**weeps** let’s not go into how I had to have the sock visit the frog pond last night).

    Riding the bike in to work this morning, I was almost shivering – the heat wave for us won’t really break until late September….but the morning was its normal, hill-country cool this morning…..something I’d almost forgotten about.

    I actually really like the koolaid yarn. It’s got spunk. It’s spunktastic!

    And that blue and brown? I need me some of that! I don’t suppose that fantastic dyer has any other bits laying around?

  78. I love the koolaid yarn! I think it will look smashing with your new Noni bag!

  79. I don’t know why but I really like your koolaid socks – They are fun and summery — but the “Ingrid’s Blues” OMG I am in love – I must have that yarn — but I just bet that it will look completely different when I knit it up. In sock class we were amazed at how 3 people who chose the same colorway and were doing the exact same socks all had different socks when they were done.

  80. I like your Kool-Aid socks, the summery colors give them a 31 flavors look. If you decide you don’t like them, I live in FL & would happy to take them off your hands…or feet as it were ๐Ÿ˜‰

  81. I like the kool aid socks.

  82. I think those KA socks would be just the thing for a spring pick me up on a dreary late winter day. Someone would surely try to steal them at an Easter Egg hunt!


  83. I like it too – it says “summer summer summmer – and fun!” Have a great weekend – Love to Lucy!

  84. I like the KA yarn, especially the colors and how they interact together. I wonder how the yarn would look in something other than a sock and with a textured stitch, rather than a stockenette. To me I’d probably like it even better.

  85. Priscilla says:

    I love your Koolaid socks! Such bright, cheery colors. Great when you need a lift on a cloudy day. Don’t give up on them! Or, if you do, there are plenty of people commenting here who would love to have you toss them their way.

  86. Priscilla says:

    P.S. Ahem. Plus the Koolaid sock colors are very similar to your pink & green Noni bag … what’s not to like?

  87. Hey! I cannot comment on the yarn until I see it on little bear’s head….has he been fired? retired? Poor little bear……..


  89. There’s not enough of your handpaint knitted up to tell for sure, but I think I do like it. I’m curiuos to see if it pools or stripes.

  90. I like the Kool-Aid socks, they are very summery! I just ordered some yarn from knitpicks to try the Kool-aid dyeing..just for fun to try it out. I hoping to make a scarf with whatever I dye…we’ll see!

  91. I like the Kool-Aid sock too, and the short sporty sock idea (maybe without the pompom). You could call them ‘Heat Wave Socks’.

  92. I like it!!!!!

  93. Those are bright, adventuresome colors. I like ’em. And, it will be interesting to see what the stripes do as you progress. So don’t chuck them!

  94. i love the pink and green kool aid yarn!!! it is such a cheerful colorway! they will make very nice spring-y socks for you!

  95. I love all colorways. I’m so easily entertained, that ANY color in ANY combination coming off my needles keeps me entralled. So Knit on. there is no such thing as an UGLY colorway. ๐Ÿ™‚

  96. I covet that koolaid sock (well, I’d prefer a pair, finished). I spend my day job in a boring white coat, with boring white or khaki pants (mostly), and boring Tnecks (winter) or decorous boring solid Tshirts (think boring preppy)…so I always wear socks with some zing, usually with Birks. Life is too short for all staid colors, especially in socks. Doing my second toe-up pair now, loving it.

  97. I too was thinking they colors were very Knit Happens. I’m not really a fan – if the neon green and neon pink were each cut in half and replace with light green and light pink I think that would make it more pleasing. It’s not a comment on your dying abilities, just on my personal response to the colors.

    The blue and brown on the otherhand – GORGEOUS!

  98. I like the kool aid dyed sock yarn. Bright! Pretty! I mean, why should my feet feel dull? (or yours for that matter….)

  99. I like the green and pink sock, very watermelony!

  100. I love the pink and green sock you started… it’s very “Knit Happens”