Dyers Notes: Cate of Infinite Twist


Outlander Dyer’s Notes

My relationship with Outlander goes back to the early 90s when my dear Aunt Mary gave my the first book in the series (much to the horror of my Grandmother, whose home served as the backdrop for the gift).

It was my first Romance novel, and this was back when the book featured tacky bodice-ripper cover art better suited to a Harlequin novel or a penny-dreadful: think a red-headed Fabio clone in a kilt.

I loved every page if it, and went on to read the whole series.

When I was thinking about the colors yarns for this project, I wanted to go in two totally different directions – the first inspired by traditional highland dress, and the second a time-traveller yarn with a color inspired by the landscape.

I wanted to create a yarn that would be rustic and antique in appearance, but thoroughly modern in comfort and hand-feel. Umbra was the perfect yarn on both counts.

Umbra’s naturalistic appearance reminds me of grass or water-weeds, and I think it would look perfectly at home as part of a period costume. However, its softness, micro-chainette construction, and 35% nylon content are hallmarks of the modern era.

I picked a soft, neutral, forest-and-moss combination of dark green, silver-grey green, and olive. This combination works well with lots of other neutrals, including grey, brown, black, and navy. It is my hope that you’ll have lots of items already in your wardrobe to coordinate with your knit.

Because Umbra is 65% camel, and camel fiber does not take dye as easily as wool, there will be some color in the wash water when you block your finished piece. No need to panic – this is totally normal for camel-down yarns, and your yarn will not visibly change color.

To best maintain your yarn, use water no warmer than your body temperature for both washing and rinsing (i.e. if you put your hand in wash water and it feels warm or hot, add some cool water), a detergent intended for hand-knits (Eucalan, Soak, etc.), AND most importantly, add ½ cup / 120 mls of white vinegar to the wash water  (rinse with plain water).

What’s up with the vinegar? Umbra is dyed with professional acid dyes. The acid (in this case, vinegar) bonds the dyestuff with the fibers. Adding vinegar to your wash water helps dyestuff stay bonded to the fibers, and can re-attach any loose molecules of dye to the yarn.

Wishing you happy Outlandish Knitting!


16 thoughts on “Dyers Notes: Cate of Infinite Twist

  1. Kim Burkhardt says:

    The yarn construction is so interesting. I am excited to see how it knits up. The color is spectacular. The perfect color for a red headed scot like me!


  2. Jackie Sas says:

    The yarn is fantastic…I also pet, smell and squish against my neck. How else do you know how soft it is? Eagerly awaiting the patterns. Thank you for the background information about the yarn, I am always interested.


  3. Sara Bench says:

    I got a bit weepy looking at the yarn as I was immediately reminded of my honeymoon in Scotland and traveling through the Great Glen. This red headed part Scot thinks we’re off to a nice start.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Amy Wallace says:

    The yarn is a glorious rich color! I must admit…. I sniffed mine too. I love the bag and will have to look up in the tartan registry to see if I can find my husbands tartan plaid. Something fun for him to do since he has been doing a bit of his families genealogy!! Can’t wait to see what is in store for us!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tagati says:

    Wow, I’m gobsmacked at the wonderful prezzies included. And since my birthday is this week, I think I’m going to keep the accessory I knit this time (generally I send finished objects to my mother who forwards some items to relatives in Japan).

    My first time knitting with camel and I just love the colour and texture.


  6. Like everyone else, I love this yarn, and thank you so much, Cate, for adding your notes and thoughts which have helped me to appreciate it even more. It really is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to get started (I am hoping my skills will be worthy of my materials!!). And yes, I sniffed, squished, and pressed it to my cheek. How wonderful. A huge thank you to everyone involved in putting this kit together and giving it so much thought. Can’t wait to get started! – Antonia Gray (aka @sea_otter3) 🙂


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