Dye Another Day


In 1946 my mother’s Aunt returned to Ireland to retire, having spent all her working-life in England. This Aunt gained a reputation for prefacing any anecdote with the words: “When I came home in ’46” and, in our family, the phrase became a coded by-word for anyone who tended to go on-and-on about an event in their life. I say this, because I’m about to post – yet again – with a mention of my trip to the I Knit Weekender last September.

So… when I was at the I Knit Weekender last September my purchases included Alice Starmore’s book “Fair-Isle Knitting” and a book by Helen Deighan and Linda De Ruiter “Dye one knit one” as well as a few un-dyed hanks and dyes from Linda’s stand “Tall Yarns”.

And… the day I returned from the I Knit Weekender last September was one of the few beautifully sunny days we had all summer. We went down to one of our local beaches with the dogs (and the kids, but that’s a given). We were joined later in the afternoon by my sister and her kids, who were also on the look-out for the perfect place to spend a rare, sunny day here.

As I lolled around in the sunshine, re-counting my tales of “when I was at the I Knit Weekender” to my sister’s sardonic ears – and my slightly more tolerant nieces – I was also mulling over Alice Starmore’s chapter on “Colour”. In her own words:

“I live on a wild and windswept island, very similar to Shetland. The moors, hills, locks and sea are my main sources of inspiration, but inspiration can come from anywhere. Nature, of course, provides us with endless beautiful colours, and art and textiles offer a similar wealth of inspiration.” quote from Fair-Isle Knitting by Alice Starmore

On the pages that follow the above quotation there is a beautiful array of Fair-Isle knits alongside the images that inspired the colour selection.


Naturally, I was thinking: “I can do that!” Only… not in Fair-Isle – at least, not yet! In hand-painted yarn. And, as I was thinking all this, I was lying there – on a beach of my adopted hometown, basking in glorious September sunshine – admiring scenes like these:   So when Clarabel and Bootie and I decided to crack open the dyes and undyed hanks from Tall Yarns the following weekend I knew exactly what I wanted to create: a colourway that captured – in yarn – the glory of a sun-drenched day spent on a beach in North County Dublin. I think I was successful. I love the colourway that resulted. I call it “South Shore Rush”. I believe I found the perfect pattern to show off the subtleties of the colours – Rainbow Socks from Magknits.

Colourway: South Shore Rush by: me

The “Dye one knit one” book contains instructions on how to dye self-striping yarn. Being a technique-geek, that’s what I had to try my hand at. I’ll give you the details of what I did on a Thursday-Tour post some Thursday soon – most likely when I set about my next dying session, as I neglected to take photos on this occasion.


13 Responses to “Dye Another Day”

  1. Sheknitupthat Says:

    That pattern is amazing! I’m stealing it immediately and adding it to the queue.

    • undermeoxter Says:

      The pattern is a tonne-of-fun to do. Well, if you like short-rows, like I do! It’s a similar rush, for me, to doing a lace pattern with an 8-row repeat: you just have to keep going until the end of the sequence. Consequently, it knits-up really fast.

  2. Bridget Says:


  3. deirdre Says:


  4. chicwithstix Says:

    love the colourway…

  5. undermeoxter Says:

    Wow y’all. Blushing here! Thanks so much.
    (wondering if head will fit through door…)

  6. Averil Says:

    Get dying! I want to see what other beauties you create. LOVE the colourway.

  7. Sinéad Says:

    God, you’re so arty, being inspired by your local beach. I’d never be able to come up with ideas like that. I’m just not a person who can come up with inspiring colour choices etc. I shall, however, admire yours and pretend that someday I too shall be as arty 🙂

  8. Bionic Laura Says:

    What a great combination of yarn and pattern. I love the colours, definitely reminds me of Irish beach colours. Well done on a great dye job.

    • undermeoxter Says:

      Yeah, I started by trying “Chevy” by Jody Pirrello from Carol J. Sulcoski’s book “Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn” but realised the high stitch count was thining out the stripes too much. Knitting over & back in the short-rows is just the ticket.

      Sock 1 done, one to do. It’s a pattern I wasn’t able to do 2@a-time or on circulars, would you believe!?!

  9. F.O. Rainbow Rush « Under Me Oxter – coz that’s how I knit Says:

    […] Rainbow Rush March 26, 2010 — undermeoxter The skein I dyed, based on the colours of my local beach, grew up to be Rainbow Socks in no time at […]

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