Saturday, 8 June 2013

My Hand-Dyed Great Divide Shawl FO

I took part in a fun KAL recently, and just have to share the results.

The pattern was the Great Divide Shawl by kisskisskiddo on Ravelry, and I must say that it's my favourite shawl knit to date. It was fun, easy to memorize and quickly knit up with DK weight yarn.

Loving the creative freedom of dyeing my own yarn, I decided to take on a self-made challenge and dye with a specific project in mind for the first time.

As a relative dyeing noob, I'm still messing about with Kool Aid, but am constantly amazed by the richness and contrast of colours that can be achieved from what is essentially a powdered drink for children!

So, with my undyed 100% merino yarn, I set to work in the kitchen with the kettle dye method. I started with two contrasting colours, and here is what I came up with:

I called the one on the left 'Bluebell' as it features the beautiful range of purples, lilacs and blues found in the flowers of the same name. The one on the right is 'Earth Mother' as it reminds me of the earthy colours found so frequently on our planet; oranges, browns, rusts and greens.

I couldn't wait for this yarn to dry so I could cast on.

I just love the cast on for shawls, when the rows are short and you make fast progress.

With this pattern, I was excited to be able to use my contrasting colour very soon after starting the project. It is always a thrill to see how the colours you have chosen work together in the flesh, rather than in the imagination.

Being a sucker for texture as well as colour, I was in seventh heaven with this pattern ... as you can see, the stitches form a gorgeous repeating striping pattern with a great tactile design.

Being DK weight with a frequent set of increases, the main bulk of the shawl was knit up in no time, and I began to think on what I wanted to do about the bottom border. Initially, I was just going to knit the bottom edge with the remainder of the Bluebell coloured yarn, but as the shawl progressed, I started to visualise a third colour, so I set to work with the dye pots again.

I wanted a nice Spring-fresh green that would complement the other seasonal colours, and was really pleased with the results of my third skein of yarn.

Green is my favourite colour, and I usually like a slightly earthier shade, but I was really happy with the tonality I achieved in the bright limey-yellowy green pictured above, and it was exactly what I wanted to ofset the other bright colours featured in my shawl.

I am really happy with the three colours I chose, and even more so that I dyed them myself.

The finished shawl is my quintessential Spring and Summer Shawl for chilly British weather ... so bright and cheerful.

I am one very happy dyer / knitter indeed.

If you are on Instagram, please use hashtag #greatdividekal to see all the other wonderful knitters who took part in the KAL.


Taking part in Tami's Amis and Other Creations FO Friday. Please go along and see all the other wonderful FOs :)


  1. Gosh I do love your great divide Shawl Tanya! Amazing colours, kool aid rules! I'm loving the Jaquard dyes ( spelt wrong I'm sure! lol) but I miss the fruity smells, vinegar defo not as sweet! Lol Allie Cat xxxx

  2. ayarnlovingmama12 June 2013 at 22:47

    Thanks so much Allie. Kool Aid really is fab stuff :)
    Your acid dyeing looks so amazing so far. Can't wait to see what else you create xx

  3. WOW! I love all your KoolAid colors ... I've tried easter egg dye and food coloring, but now I'm itching to get some KoolAid! Love your shawl!

  4. What an achievement, hand crafted start to finish. So bright and cheerful, and beautifully executed. Well done!

  5. ayarnlovingmama21 June 2013 at 15:36

    Thanks Emily.
    Yes, do try Kool Aid. The colours are beautiful & vibrant, plus it smells gorgeous ;)

  6. ayarnlovingmama21 June 2013 at 15:36

    Thanks for your lovely comments Barbara :)