Knitting Like A Sailor

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'm dying over here!

It started out with these two skeins. Both from the same place, and I really like the yarn. The colors left a lot to be desired, in my opinion. The one on the left is nine hundredish yards of an alpaca cormo blend, the one on the right is 1600 yards of cormo/angora/cashmere. Lefty was supposed to be handpainted in a colorway called wildflowers, righty was supposed to be mulberry colored. What they are is...Not what I wanted at all. So, after whining to Kae, and more whining to Kae, I broke out the books and figured out what I could do with them.
*insert lots of pictures of dyeing process here*
What? You don't see them? Huh...Neither do I. Oh yeah, that's right, when I went to transfer them from camera to computer, I lost half the batch. Sorry. I do have one that was salvaged, but it's kinda blurry. That's not the same yarn? Why...You're right! If you go to a very well known website that rhymes with picnic's and look at a lace weight yarn they have whose name rhymes with swimmer, you just might find that yarn in the bowl on that page.
oh, and here's another picture of the "mulberry" yarn with a handspun skein of debouillet merino. Luscious stuff, that.
*insert more pics of dye process here, la dee da... *
Basically, I used a prochem washfast acid dyes sample kit that included synthrapol, albegal set, glaubers salt, ammonium sulfate, and citric acid crystals (hey, Kae, guess what? The crystals don't have all the dust that gave me issues when I used the powder. Fancy that!)
oh, here's some rhymes with picnic's peruvian worsted weight yarn that I dyed a while back. Now, I never used to use all those fancy additives, dye powder and a crapload of vinegar was peachykeen with me. Until I realized huh, I'm not getting the results I want near often enough. Like this batch, they were all supposed to me the medium color, bottom right of the photo. Instead, I have a whole sweaters worth of yarn, in three distinct colors. Orchid (light color) Raspberry (medium shade) and Rose Wine (dark shade) and all of them have lots of variegation. Mottled, tri-colored Rogue, anyone? Don't all of you jump through the screen now.
So anyway, when I did up those skeins, I mixed up the dye, glugged in the vinegar, cranked up the heat, and when it was good and steaming, I added the skeins in. Now, I had soaked the skeins in separate containers in groups of five, so they were added in groups of five. The dye struck pretty much instantly, it took nearly two hours to get that much depth of color on the orchid skeins. Learn from my mistake, all the fancy crap has a purpose. I think of them as a safety net.
Anywhoo, back to the funkin fug that was the laceweight. I had to think about what I could do using the colors they already were. Now, I'm not a color theorist, but I do know that when I overdye, things seem to work out better if I use a primary shade. Blue is popular with me, I find blue quite attractive, I don't often buy orange tones yarns so the resulting colors usually turn out in the blue/green/purple ranges. Red is another okay one, although I find that it's picky on what it will cover, and I have to watch the pot closely or it goes from pretty to mud fairly quick. I decided to go with blue over the "wildflowers" and a red violet over the "mulberry", aiming for a dark plum. I measured and mixed, soaked, stirred it all up, put the yarn in, then popped it on the stove. The "wildflower" came out a beautiful, brilliant sapphire with dark forest and royal purple variations. The "mulberry" came out a loverly maroon, on the brown side. Um, so not what I was aiming for. What went wrong with this one? I think I had the pot a little too high so it struck faster than I thought it would(it was the first skein) so it sat on the stove cooking longer than it should have, and when I was mixing the dye, I cut back on the blue, figuring the violet would pick up for it. It didn't. So, back into the dye pot with a couple of teaspoons of bright blue, and a smidge of jet black. It was a nice, inky midnight blue, and it did just the trick.

A lovely, wine Burgundy with some small shots of purple from where the skeins were tied a little tight (it's a BIG skein). This all was done on Saturday. Yesterday I did up the alpaca/silk lace weight in the eye searing turquoise colorway. I went with green. Now, I didn't expect it to turn green, I was aiming more for a variegated teal colorway, and that's pretty much what I got, although it's varied shades of blue-green rather than teal, and there is a difference between the two. I can show it to you but I can't put it to words, sorry. I think that were I to do this again I might try a yellow green dye, but I'm quite happy with it. Anyway, here's that one.
well, actually it's two skeins, but you get the idea.
Now, what did I do while all this dyeing was going on last night?

windywindywindy. I named the pic OW, but in reality, my arms were tired, but not sore, and there was no stiffness or soreness today at all. I credit my Strauch ball winder with that, it's a marvelous machine once I popped the feet off. They're clear cushy silicone jobbers, and they allowed the winder too much movement. One fell off, I popped off the other three, and voila, a stable, steady machine that is a pleasure to use.
Yes, every ball in that picture was wound from the skein by moi over the course of about 7 hours, including the break for supper. I had some aggressions to get out. All gone now :)
Ooo...Shall I do a little flash stashing? That pic up there constitutes most of my lace weight collection. Well, the commercial stuff, anyway. On the left we have the pink mass of the ex-rogue yarn, two skeins of pink and one of blue/purple from handpaintedyarn.com, the wine Burgundy laceweight, the sapphire alpaca/cormo laceweight, some sockweights in the middle, There is handpainted opal in rosehips, chtx2 in the peacock colorway, a skein of dale baby ull I dyed under the inspiration of the peacock cth, opal rainforest in parrot, two skeins of pingouin wool/nylon sock yarn that I overdyed from a medium grey to a charcoal to better contrast with the pale silver grey I'm suing it with in a fi sock, a skein of some variegated acrylic blend called marbles or something or other that I want to make a sweater for one of the kids out of (I have a couple of more of them, but they're still in their neat little center pull skeins) various assorted alpaca lace and merino lace, I'm sure if you kept open the rhymes with Picnic website, you too can find such yummy yarns, more handpaintedyarn laceweight, those two green balls of it just above the ball winder are from my excellent sp7 pal, Lisa. Oh, that glaringly white ball of yarn? It's actually ecru, and it's cobweb weight 80/20 merino silk. I have 5 ounces of it, enough for two large shawls. That's about two ounces right there. I bought it from the knitters underground a couple of years ago but they no longer carry it. Jean Miles used it in a few of her creations, if you care to go peruse her lace pages, and recommended it highly. Actually, I like to go peruse her pages anyway, she has some lovely knitting there.
Hey, there's still a pic hanging out down here. What is this? Some sort of a yellowy-green merino laceweight. Hmm...I wonder what this would look like with a dollop of forest green and a dash of jet black....