Design Inspiration: Dye Job

Last time I wrote about getting inspiration from a particular knitting pattern that existed in some form already. This week I’m blogging about designing a sock pattern based on my excitement about a particular yarn and its stunning color. Indie yarn dyers are awesome and I follow many on social media. One of my longtime favorites is WN Yarns located in Ontario, Canada. Wendy Neuhofer, who is the creative genius behind WN Yarns, has been dying up ever more sophisticated and beautiful colors on her yarns (several bases to choose from as well). Be sure to click through to her shop with the button on the lower right and show her some love! Fair disclosure: Wendy supports me as a knit designer, but all of my opinions and reviews of her products are absolutely genuine.

Soooo…recently, Wendy posted on social media some amazing new colors of yarns that she had dyed up and I was just blown away and knew I had to have some.

On the left is a skein whose colorway is called “Under the Glacier”. Gosh! That sparked my creative juices in a big way. Just look at it: White and turquoise and some green and black speckles–brilliant! And the perfect name, too. (don’t ask about the yarn on the right, lol, that’s for another day)

I don’t know much about glaciers so I had to do a little research about them (thanks, Ruth Bankey!) and find out how they worked, what they did, and of primary importance: what kind of shapes to they have or make. It was all very well to have glacier colored yarn, but how would that translate to a knitting pattern? I did some test knitting, going for big, simple shapes. Lace and botanical motifs were obviously off the menu here.

Here’s my swatch. “Swatch first and often” is my motto! I learned I had to go down in needle size and I tried out two potential patterns. Bottom half was a cool knit and purl pattern, but it got lost in the yarn variation; I’ll save it for another yarn on another day. Plus: it just didn’t look very glacial. The top half was more to my liking. Graceful, waving lines looked like the tracks or markings to me that a glacier leaves behind when it scours the earth. Bonus points for having waves of different sizes and moving counter to each other. Double bonus points for it being an easy to knit and follow pattern. Now to start a sock:

I often like to use a solid color for cuffs, heels and toes to tame variegated yarn and so that’s what I did here. It gives the sock a really finished look. Luckily, I had just the ride shade of silvery yarn in my stash. Look at my gorgeous glacier track! Love how the yarn colors are working up in layers (also very glacial). I’m working pattern up on only on the front of the sock, the back is stockinette. This is also very glacial: higher ground on either side of a glacier is unaffected and doesn’t have markings so I’ll get that across in my overall sock design, too.

Here’s the back of the sock. What do you see? I see ice and gravel and ground up plant material. Its a glacier!

Stay tuned as I finish the sock; I’ll update as it progresses!

5 thoughts on “Design Inspiration: Dye Job

  1. What beautiful yarn, and your pattern allows the colors to shine through. Someone will be lucky to wear these glorious socks! ❤

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