Sunday, May 07, 2006

Smells Like Sheep Spirit

After another crazy shorthanded long hours no knitting work week, I finally got to play with my yarn for the Dye-O-Rama swap. All afternoon the cats were shooed off the porch and supplies were assembled.

Note the 4 skeins of undyed Opal superwash sock yarn fresh from England. The Jacquard acid dyes were present for the opening ceremonies but will not appear in the arena today.

This is my infinitely variable warping setup, which consists of table, upside down bar clamps, giant ruler and swift. (Makes it seem much grander than it really is) Cheesy, but it works.

And this is the just before dyeing shot. The next picture you will see will be the well after dyeing pic, and that is because here is where things began to go wrong get interesting, First, I found no information about how to mix Kool Aid for painting as opposed to immersion dyeing. So I ended up with way too much water in the dye. Then I didn't check to see if the opening of the Ball jars was actually wide enough for the foam "brushes" I had. When the "painted" color was looking all blotchy I decided to switch to dunking the yarn directly into the dye, which worked well enough at first, but left the yarn completely sodden. The downside of this is that you then learn that your porch slants to the left of where you're standing and that gravity is not your friend. During which time I just couldn't manage to grab the camera and snap photos of the fruity chaos.

So now we're all ready to go into the microwave. I am prepared for the infusion of sweet stench I am imagining boiling Kool Aid will fill my house with. I am not prepared for the less than pleasant smell of hot wet sheep I get instead.

MMmmm, barnyard-y. And I am less than enthused with the color uptake. This is 4 packets of Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, 2 packets Grape and 2 packets Lemon Lime. I punt, and overdye the entire skein by immersing it in a solution of 4 packets Berry Blue. I now have something that looks like a shirt I bought at a Dead-head shop in Florida 20 years ago. And smells like sheep ass.

We will have to see how this skeins up and knits up to know whether it was a success. The effect I was going for was a random color pattern, so I dyed short areas of color. I don't know whether or not it will pool, but it will certainly look bright. And I know just the t shirt I can wear with it.
Introducing cat number eight never before seen on this blog
The elusive Boudiccea likes it. I do too.

Tomorrow: Self Striping yarn
Already warped up!


Jen said...

I found you from the swap - I really like your blog. This sounds like my dyeing adventures - did you buy a kit of Jacquard? Are those the 1/2 ounce sizes? I'm so nosey! There are 16 colors there! I'm dying to know! :)


Chris said...

I like your warping idea! Hmm...

littledevilworks said...

I was cracking up and reading your entry aloud at work! Thanks for sharing with those of us who have no idea how to start dying (yarn that is!) :)