Thockies, ii

Having another week off before returning to school is soooooo nice! I’ve been able to sort out yarn, focus on designing a few things, and soon enough, get some sumi-e done as well.

I was pretty sure I would make socks out of the Riihivilla yarn – and decided that is exactly what I would do. My final choice of contrasting yarn was a warm, naturally creamy white. The warmth of this white is far nicer with the colors than the stark, wintery white I first considered, and does a lot to bring out the warm reds of the cochineal and purple of the variegated yarn.

You can see from the pictures that the color differences, while subtle, are readily apparent. The hand of the wool is very pleasant and has a nice bounce to it.  I’m looking forward to wearing these socks!

When you dye with natural dyes, it is very easy to make a yarn become harsh and unpleasant, partly from the handling of the wool – such as extreme temperatures – or the chemicals involved. These yarns are mordanted with alum, and obviously handled properly. Having dyed with plants myself, I know only how easy it is to mess up and ruin an otherwise nice yarn. Leena Riihelä, the owner of Riihivilla in Finland, has done a great job!

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