Toni doesn't always test her patterns, because she's the Crochet Queen, duh. When she does, you feel like you've won the lottery just getting an invitation to apply email, much less actually getting to test! The thrill will never wear off. I've tested a number of times for Toni, but this time was extra special.
She gave an extra-long lead time with this pattern, I wasn't completely sure why, but I went ahead and took advantage and dyed up a special batch of yarn for the occasion.
For this yarn, we used a Pima cotton, DK yarn. We do a two-step mordant process with tannic acid and aluminum sulfate or acetate. You want to make sure you don't let the yarn dry between the tannic acid step and the alum step or you have to start over. However, you can dry and store after the Alum step, which is nice for doing large batches of mordanting before dyeing.
I used a few early-season marigolds, logwood chips, and whole cochineal bugs to speckle. Using different types of raw materials allows the colors to pool differently in the pan. I layer the materials in and around the yarn and add water before putting it in the oven on 'warm'. This allows the colors to slowly bleed out and around the yarn and swirl together.
Since cotton rejects most pigments, it will slowly lighten and 'age gracefully'. You'll notice in my final photos how it lightened as it had air and light exposure but it will hold at this level of brightness for some time from here on out!
4 skeins Pima DK Cotton Yarn (870 yards)
Started: May 23, 2021
Finished: June 1, 2021
Frogged: about 5 times because I don't pay attention. :P
Like all of Toni's patterns, this pattern had a simple collection of stitches that add depth and complexity to the finished product. You're able to do a single repetition across a long rectangular shape and a bit of finishing, and *BAM* you have this gorgeous dramatic new piece to your wardrobe that people can't even believe you made yourself!
My fellow testers chose colors ranging from neutrals, to bright solids, to variegated colors like mine and they all look stunning! Check out Toni's Instagram for more shots of theirs. Give this pattern a try if you're looking for a new staple! I wear mine as often as I can!