Orange is a theme

So, Fifififi is now about half done - I did a few inches of the 33" size (it's meant to have negative ease, I haven't shrunk nor gone mad), and was getting a much smaller gauge than the pattern suggested. So I went up to the 37" size, and that's going beautifully. I'm onto my third skein only, of 7, so I should be able to make it nice and long, which I much prefer!Fifififi half done

And now I'm starting to think about what's next... I've had Jaali on my mind for quite a while. It's another Twist Collective pattern, this time by Alison Green Will. I love the shape - and the colour! BUT I've been thinking that a merino/cashmere blend isn't very friendly for lots of wearing (particularly a jumper that can be worn without anything under it, potentially) Also a bit hot. So I thought a cotton/wool blend would be good (and I'd been hearing Kris' ecstatic response to her cotton Fleece). 
I then had a (lovely) day with Lara and her spawn (tip o' the nib to your, I!) on Tuesday, and we went to Spotlight (big box craft and homewares shop). Before we even went Lara was setting me up to check out something called Bella Baby Layette (I know. Terrible name!) It's 20% wool, 80% bamboo, sheeny and, she said, a delight to knit with. Hmmm.

Got there and they had just the right amount of white-ish stuff, had the same manufacturer's-suggested-gauge as the original yarn (though Alison has knit a little tighter for Jaali). I bought dye (Dylon multi-purpose) in Mandarin and scarlet. 
Gauge swatch for Jaali
And when I got home - I knit a swatch. And another. And then another... At 4mm my gauge seemed unlikely to be right after a wash and block. 3.75mm - maybe. Washed both - both too large a gauge, but I also hung the dry 3.75mm swatch with a light weight on the bottom (a teaspoon) to see if it would a) stretch, and b) spring back. It did!
Gauge swatch stretching for Jaali
And now I've done another swatch on 3.5mm needles. The yarn is lovely, I like the hand on 3.75mm, and shall decide between the two later. But it dyed beautifully!
Dyeing layette
Here are my skeins drying in the garden. The colour is wrong - they're much more of an orange and less of a scarlet than this suggests, but lovely. And the sheen remains! (BTW, I did the dyeing in a stainless steel sink, not on the stove, just with v hot water. I think it'll hold). 

So that's been my knitting fun!