Monday, June 12, 2006

Oh Lord I feel like I'm dyeing...

So now that work has promised to calm down, I get sick. I was too sick to knit publicly on World Wide Knit in Public Day. I was too sick to knit anything more complicated that my Trekking sock. I was so sick I could not differentiate between wanting to die and wanting to dye, and while reason dictates I refrain from making these decisions while under the influence of Cepacol and nasal spray, well, reason can get stuffed (like my nose). The most amazing yarns happen at the wrong times it seems. And it really took very little effort, because I spread the work over the greater part of the day and my friend Yul came to visit and took my mind off just how bad I felt. He was nice enough to take pics of my acid dye experiment and help me not make too much of a mess. He was also as excited about my lotus as I was. Yep, as if to compensate me for having to hang around the house so much, The lotus bloomed for the first time. It is really spectacular.

And the waterlily bloomed too. Woot!

So the dyeing began. I was really nervous about the acid dyes. I have no idea why, but they intimidated me. Kool-Aid just seems so friendly. You can drink it for heavens' sake. Acid dyes require "dedicated" equipment. Much less friendly. So I saved it for last, and really, the entireity of the "dedicated" equipment ultimately added up to one giant ziploc that ended up in the trash, and the sacrifice of a tin measuring spoon I had duplicates of. Oh, and some old convenience store cups. That's it. What was I so worried about? I don't know. These dyes deliver such a bang for the buck! So I warped up using my Infinitely Adjustable Warping Setup(TM) (ie: a table and my trusty bar clamps) and made one major change I plan on using in all my future dyeing.

I tied the warp with zip ties. Simple but brilliant, if I say so myself. The plastic won't react with anything you're going to subject the yarn to, and you can really be sure the ties are loose enough for the dye to reach all the yarn and not end up with tiny undyed lines under your ties. Then I set about making a wonderful mess.

OK, my idea was to make stripes of different combinations of color. My Dye O Rama buddy likes berry colors, but I wanted to throw in some of the greenery of berry bushes as well. I didn't count on the dyes setting up brighter and stronger, nor did I count on the color saturation which is vastly different than Kool-Aid. So you can understand how worried I became when, after microwaving, I got this instead of the more complementary shades I thought I had achieved.....

Youch! Where did all my pretty colors go? I mean, the greens are glowing like neon, and I took this picture without light or flash just to get one pic where the colors didn't burn out the camera! And the darker shades, they got dark! There's nothing for it than to hope it looks good after skeining. Don't get me wrong, the colors are all right, but this was not what I had planned when I set out. Blame the sudafed, I guess.

I gotta tell you, though, I really like it. It reminds me of these weird pressed crayons we had when I was a kid, where they took multi color bits and pressed them into a block. It was the hardest crayon in the world, and it changed color as you colored, and it was wonderful. Note to self: low probability that anyone else in the world will like this skein - consider renaming red skein and sending that to Dye Pal.

Maybe it is just that I like this one too much to part with it. Is that wrong?

Sunday a second flower opened. I needed two flowers. I felt twice as sick.

If only I could learn to dye subtle colors and pastel shades. I would be at no loss for inspiration.

Hey, Sundara, are you looking?


zibibbo said...

Loveliest of flowers you have there! And your dye job! What saturation! LOVE IT!

Claudia said...

I love the colors you dyed. It would be interesting to see how it knits up. Very cool. I don't spin or dye - don't have enough time for my knitting as it is. And great flowers in your garden!

Chris said...

Hope you're feeling better. I like your crazy rainbow skein - it's very, very intense. It would probably be a great baby sweater.

Gorgeous flowers, too!

Angora said...

This is the lucky recipient of the lovely crazy berry yarn. I LOVE IT. I am not sure whether at this moment in time I want to make socks with it, will do a swatch as it may well be the brightest Elizabeth Zimmermann's baby jacket on earth. Love the b lossom too.....thanks so much.

KarenK said...

I love the colors in the "crazy skein"! Bet you couldn't duplicate that if you tried.