This is Jonesy.
Once again I am organizing the yarns to knit up a cat using the pattern by Claire Garland. Jonesy is interesting with his white chin, cream paws and tail tip, and of course, all of those stripes. Okay, I may have something of a cat knitting problem, but I’m not defensive or anything. I’m kind of compelled by the creative and technical challenge of making the mixtures of yarns create a believable, if not exact, copy of the cat. Also, I’m having fun!
I planned to use the fingering yarn for the base throughout the cat and the stripes and different shades would be created by the mohair blends. When I knit MacKnitzie I used black mohair to create the stripes; when the cat was done the black was greatly toned down by the mohair and it was kind of grey. I figured that the same effect would tone down that dark cedar colored mohair at the top of the picture when I knit it in for stripes.
I kind of feel like that dark cedar is a little too dark. Wow. Those stripes really will stand out and are much darker then they appear in the photo. I kind of want something more like dark caramel to use. I looked everywhere online and in local stores hunting for the shade I had in my mind.
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. I had this color in my mind and nothing else was going to satisfy me. All right then; I have acid dyes and I have skills. I decided to try to create the color in my dye crockpot!!
I re-skeined a ball of mohair/silk yarn using my trusty niddy-noddy and then added it to a warmed crockpot with a glug white vinegar. I sprinkled the dry dye powder onto the top of the yarn, put the lid back onto the crockpot, and then walked away for an hour. (By the way, this crockpot is used only for dyeing! I keep everything that I use for dyeing in isolation in the garage so it can’t get mixed in with cooking utensils and pots.)
The yarn after the first dye operation was really close to what I wanted, but when I got it out of the pot I found that there were several chunks of white yarn underneath. Nope! Time to over-dye. I dissolved about 1/8 teaspoon of caramel dye to the water in the pot, added another glug of vinegar and put the yarn back in. After another hour of high heat in the crockpot the dye had struck and I was done.
I was happy with this yarn… doesn’t it look like it will produce stripes more like Jonesy? More swatching!!
Whew. Time to put the Jonesy project aside and to go back to my sweater knitting. I also have a second sock to cast on and get going. Did I mention that it is snowing outside again? Oh yeah, something else happened today…
27 thoughts on “Knitting Jonesy: Yarns and Swatching”
I am so enjoying learning about planning the cat projects:) You are really going about it in a methodical way.
The orchid is beautiful!!
I really getting into knitting the cats, and I bought yarn to make a koala too. It’s more like fiber art…
The orchid is the color I was hoping for. So glad to see its blooms.
I love your cats!! The orchid is beautiful!
Your dyeing had really worked well and the stripes on the sample look perfect. I look forward to see it when you make a start on it,
Thanks! I’ve gone back to my sweater and will start Jonesy next week after I get more pictures of him.
Another knitty kitty 😻 You definitely have this down to a science. Your orchid bloom is a stunner. ❤
The problem with knitting kitties is that I collected a lot of yarns… now I need to knit more kitties to use them up. I’m thinking maybe the rabbit and kola too…
I really enjoyed seeing your MacKnitzie cat turned out. That’s a really fascinating approach to building cat-like color. Even apart from making it look like a cat, it makes perfect sense to me art-wise to model an interesting color field on the variation of a cat’s fur. I saw this today and thought of your project. I didn’t know that Van Gogh looked at yarn combos to test ideas about putting colors together! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vavq6F93bw
I’ll check out the video- thanks for the link! This is all new to me, hence my excitement. I’ve been a total science geek all my life and my creative drive was all directed towards my teaching; now I’m having fun playing with colors, textures and yarn. 🙂
Omg Jonesy is adorable!! I can’t wait to see the final project- these knitted cats are so cute!!
Thank you! I should get started on him next week.
You really have the cat knitting bug! Jonesy is adorable, and your mad dyeing skills are really going to help you make a wonderful looking copy 🙂 The stripes in the yarn you dyed are perfect! Thanks for sharing your process – it is interesting to see your planning stages 🙂
Thanks! I’m seeing Jonesy this weekend and may be able to start him while he naps. So excited to start!
Can’t wait to see how it turns out – you do such amazing work with these!
You’re KNITTING A CAT ?????
Sure looks like mine – that is, the one before my current teeny mog. Yep: looks like Lui, alright .. You’re amazing ! 🙂
The designer is amazing! The cat is done now and went to live with Jonesy this weekend. Now I’m putting together the yarns and swatching to create a tuxedo Maine coon cat.
[gasp .. falls back, silenced]
It seems I’m stalking you ! I was looking for a way to make my crochet “CO” looser, and guess whose post I found ?
Talk about common sense !!
Now all I have to do is work out if I have the perseverance to do that for a 297-chain beginning .. [grin]
Hey, how fun is that? I’ve never had a blogging stalker. A 297 chain beginning? Yikes!! I put in markers every 50 stitches so that I don’t have to keep counting, and counting, and counting…
Oh, me too. But I have now realized why I cannot use your excellent method: I’m one of those old farts who taught herself to crochet when young; and so I do it like single needle knitting – yarn in right hand. 😦 There are SO MANY things I can’t do; but the muscle memory of all these years just can’t be eradicated. [sob !]
Sorry. So frustrating!!
55 years of doing it wrong: no chance to make it right, now. Mebbe running out of time ! [grin]
I’m of the opinion that there are no knitting/crochet police and if it works for you, it’s right. You’re so clever you’ll probably invent a new type of CO.