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?

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Many thanks to all of you who have been sending notes of condolence and good wishes. It is so nice to know that you all are out there thinking of me from time to time, checking the blog and being patient with me.

Things have been better.

They are, however, looking up. Remember my partner with the stress-induced vertigo? Her being out left us 3 pharmacists down, and almost gave me a case of stress-induced quitting. But I really do love my job, and that became my mantra until she got better and we hired two new pharmacists who I think will really work out well. So there. Now I can breathe again.

But enough about me working, lets get to me knitting. And dyeing. First, lets have a lovely shot of the finished yard from our last dyeing installment. It came out darker than I had planned, darker than the picture. But I really really like it. I even named it.

Blood and Souls for my lord Arioch!
I am calling it Blood and Souls. Yes, yes, from the books about the ridiculously depressed albino superhero. What can I say? I had an Elric phase. And the color really is more blood-like than the picture. I was going to call it the Bloody Baron, then I remembered that he's a ghost and his bloodstains were silver, which totally wouldn't work. Blood and Souls it is.

In further non-knitting news, there has been much backyard improvement thanks to mother nature and DHL. First, from the water garden we have the exciting news that my asiatic lotus has five buds. I didn't get one flower last year because it was a baby, but this year it is very happy.

Two of the three buds. Down near the water there are two more buds just starting!

Second, from the back forty, DHL delivered my eglu about a week ago. I'm just waiting on my chickens to arrive. This picture's kind of blue, but it was just about to rain when I took it.

Last but not least, I have been knitting. In dribs and drabs, surely, but knitting did happen. I went on a bit of a starting binge. First, because two colors just weren't enough for me (it seems)...

The insanely long and cool Fair Isle Sampler Hat from IK Fall 2004. Yes I am tired of weaving in ends already.

And last because when charts were too much for my brain there's nothing like the instant gratification of Trekking XXL...

With a picot edge. God, I am such a follower. But I made my own decorative stitch markers, so neener neener neener.

And where, you may well ask, are my previous WIP's? They're still there, I've just been fickle as hell. And in the true spirit of someone who's largely too busy to knit, I have still managed to buy. But that will be another post for another day. I have to dye more yarn and update my template now.

BTW, koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi indian word which means "life out of balance". I thought that pretty well summed things up. It is also a movie I really like.