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  1. Hello! 

    This week, to celebrate the launch of my new website, I published my new design - the Chain Reaction Shawlette as a FREE download!

     Chain Reaction Pattern

    If you haven't already got your copy do make sure you sign up to my newsletter HERE or via the website footer for your free copy! This promotion has now been extended so that the pattern will be available for free for the duration of the KAL until 20th May.

    So why not come and join the KAL? It’s going to run from Sat 7th April to midday (GMT) on Sunday 20th May and we have some brilliant prizes to be won, which have been very generously donated by the truly talented Fleabubs & Lala, Knitting Needle Lane and Crafty Cat Knitty Bits. Here is what you could win!

    KAL Prizes

    When

    Prizes and winners will be picked at random for 3 lucky winners who post a completed picture of the shawlette on Instragram or Facebook by 20th May. You can of course continue beyond 20th May but I'll be picking a winner on that date.

    What you need

    • A copy of the Chain Reaction Shawlette pattern 
    • 1 x 100g skein of sockweight or 4ply yarn
    • 1 x US size 5 (3.75mm) 31.5” (80cm) circular needle 

    How to take part

    You can join the KAL through either:

    Ravelry - post a pic of your finished shawlette on the KAL thread in the Under the Olive Tree Knitters Ravelry forum 

    Instagram - simply tag any progress pics and a finished pic with #chainreactionKAL (feel free to tag me @olivetreejem)

    Facebook - join the 'Under the Olive Tree Knitters' Facebook Group and share your pics HERE

    FB - Header (2)

    Now, far be it from me to be an enabler but should you require any knitting supplies for your new shawl here are some lovely places where you can find lot's of  shiny new yarns and accessories...

    Fleabubs & Lala has recently launched a beautiful new website where you can find a gorgeous selection of hand dyed yarns on many different bases. For the crocheters among us, Nicola is also the maker of ergonomic crochet hooks, beautifully designed for maximum comfort.

    Knitting Needle Lane is a fantastic online shop for all manner of knitting goods and stock is hand picked to bring you the softest yarns and high quality products. Camilla is also a sewing enthusiast and made the fabulous flamingo bag you could win in the KAL. Keep your eye on the website for more designs coming soon!

    Crafty Cat Knitty Bits - Deb is the maker of beautiful handmade stitch markers for knitting and crochet, hand dyed yarns, copper shawl pins, hand spun yarns, spinning fibres and other yarn related items you never knew you needed!


    So are you up for the KAL? I do hope so, but in case you need further convincing I'll just add that the shawl is quick to work up and the pattern is easy to memorise - which makes it ideal for travel, TV, knit-night or gift knitting!

    The pattern is also fully supported by video tutorials and you can also learn how to backwards knit (if you wish!)

    It's designed to showcase a skein of 4ply yarn (go as wild as you like!) so have a rummage through that stash, or have a browse of the websites above and let's have fun with this - I can't wait to see your creations!

  2. We had snow! Like, enough snow to actually build a snowman - that rarely happens here in the UK. And I love it! (but only if I can sit in my PJ's and haven't got to venture out in it of course, haha!)

    I saw a post on Facebook recently about snow dyeing, and it looked rather fun. So with an abundance of the fluffy white stuff at my disposal I decided to give it a go.

    The night before the dye day I pre-soaked 4 skeins of yarn in citric acid solution and on the Saturday morning, I laid the yarn out into the trays as below.

    For trays 2 and 3 the yarn was placed into colanders over a pan, so that the dye would drip through and not sit on the bottom of the tray and soak through underneath.

    Tray 1 - Aran BFL

    Then I covered the whole lot in lovely white snow.

    IMG_3475

    Now for the fun part! I used Landscape Dyes and sprinkled the dyes directly onto the snow by pouring a bit into the lid and tapping it over the trays.

    Tray 1 and 2

    Tray 3 and 4

    Then I brought the trays into the nice warm kitchen and the waiting game began. I mean I waited, and waited...it was a very slow process and I had to really resist the urge to go and get the hairdryer or pop them on the tabletop stove.

    Eventually things did start to slowly thaw and I could see bits of yarn poking through.

    Snow thaw

    The whole melting prcess took about 7 hours. 

    I did apply some heat to the 2 flat trays at the end as there was quite a bit of dye sat in the water and I wanted to exhaust some of that if I could.

    Exhausting Dye

    From here I let the yarns hang on the line for a while to train off any excess water, and then I wrapped them in cling flim and popped them into the steamer for 40 mins to set the dyes. This is how they looked pre-steam.

    BRBG5596

    And these are the finished results!

    Snow Dyed Yarns

    I think my favourite one is the far right. This was the single colour dye in Landscape Dyes Mountain Blue on the 4 ply merino. The mix is made up of different dye pigments which have seperated on the snow - so there are many tones of blue and even teeny tiny speckles of pink!

    IMG_3529

    It was great fun experimenting wit this technique - even though some of the colours and combinations came out much different to what I was expecting. But that's the fun of trying these things out!

    Things I learnt from Snow Dyeing

    • Sprinkles of dye will cover the whole patio, not just the tray!
    • Its not a quick process - the whole thing took 9 hours in total, mostly waiting.
    • The yarns in the colanders thawed quicker and the colour stayed put where it had melted. On the DK gradient there was no overlap on the sprinkles so the colour changes are quite abrupt. 
    • Colours come out very intense! (This may be down to the superwash as it soaks up the dye)
    • On the blue / green 4 ply the lighter dyes were lost to the darker colours.
    • The colours spread and blended much better on the 2 flat tray dyes. I think applying the heat at the end to exhast more dye underneath helped this

    I think I am the only one in the UK sad that the snow is rapidly melting now - I'll definitely be trying this again next time! 

    If you have snow where you are and have tried snow dyeing I would love to see your results - come and share your pics on the Under the Olive Tree Facebook Group