Friday, April 28, 2006

Gotta keep my fans happy

So, somebody suggested that maybe I didn't give enough detail after building up great suspense about my intended dyeing exploits.
Here's what I did:
I wound off about 440 yds of cotton using two chairs spaced so that I ONLY had to wind the yarn 134 times around the backs of them. (Please oh please son, get Mommy a swift for Mother's Day.) Everyone warned me to tie the hank to avoid tangling later, but not too tight, so the dye and stuff would soak in. Apparently, I am one uptight gal, and what I thought was loose was still too tight.
SO, I set up in the kitchen with the ONE whole sheet of newsprint left in the house. (Pause here to thank Hestia for not causing me to dye my kitchen counter green in all my hubris.)
Note: lots of technical jargon ahead.
I mixed up the soda ash separate from the dye like the instructions said, and dunked my hank, which promptly shrivelled up to half its original size. Something to do with the lycra, but whatever. I swished it around until it was surely completely soaked, got it out and squished out the stuff, and arranged it between my "dyepots". (Those would be little ziploc containers.) I had dark green, really weak dark green, dark green mixed with cyan, and dark green mixed with yellow. I used a spoon to ladle the colors randomly over the hank, and had great consternation when I noticed that the dye wasn't taking near the ties, and in some places in the middle of the hank. I then got the bright idea to ladle some of the soda stuff over the yarn, which helped. Then when it had mixed with the puddles of dye under the yarn, I took the ties off and smooshed the white part into the puddles and rubbed the dye on my fingers into the middle of the hank, and basically just tried to get every white section exposed to the dye/soda puddles.
(It should be abundantly clear why my skein is so, um, mottled.)
Anyway, I left it as long as I could stand it, then wrapped it up in the plastic wrap and put it in the garage on some paper towels. The dye was so dark, it was nearly black, so I was kinda expecting a mess. Some people say to steam it to set the dye, but I didn't see that part in the instructions, and wasn't sure that applied to cotton anyway. (If it does, and I should, feel free to lemme know.)
I waited about a day, then unwrapped, rinsedrinsedrinsedrinsedrinsed, and hung my little hank to dry.
He's not what I thought I'd end up with, but I love him completely. If I'm not mistaken, Project Spectrum is green for May, so I shall start my socks promptly on May Day. A friend warned me that dyeing was addictive, and she was right. I have been plans to dye another whole skein this weekend, making use of the tie-dye effect on purpose this time. (Hey, if you didn't have a swift, you'd do one at a time too.)
Mebbe I'll even do two. I have lilac dye, and cyan, magenta and yellow left to play with. I want to do something with the lilac, cyan and magenta, and my friend sent me a link to a site about how to mix colors (to which I would link here if I had it handy, sorry) so I might try to make something completely different.
In the meantime, though, I have re-cast-on for Frill, I have all the back episodes of Cast-On downloaded, and I plan to do some serious knitting this weekend.


jessie said...

Thank you for the details. :-) Was that so hard?

pacalaga said...

Nope, wasn't hard at all, but it did make me 20 minutes late for work...