Sunday, October 12, 2008

All My Knitty Friends and I Have a Dyeing Party Part Deux -or- It's Never Really Done Until You Set it On Fire

Once again in my life my friends and I decided to get crafty with the food-safe dyestuffs at the same time and in the same place.

Results were mixed.

This is my KnitPicks sock blank, Liesl's sock blank mid-creation, my blank all rolled up in plastic wrap and ready to cook, and Liesl and Linda expressing themselves through the visual arts on paper-covered tables lovingly prepared by Janet's husband.
 The last picture is of my blank after cooking, rinsing, and drying.  Honestly, I don't think it's that great.  It's darker than I wanted, and a lot of blending happened on the underside, so there's some muddy greens and browns under there.  I'm curious to see what happens when it's unwound, but it's double stranded, so I haven't decided what to do about it yet.  I don't usually knit two socks at once, but I guess I could.  I might prefer to have it un-kinked before using it, also, so that's another wrench in the system.

Another skein I did was a Horrible Experiment.  Because it takes vinegar (or some form of acid) to make the dye stick to the yarn, I thought I could use this property to create the pattern.  I soaked this yarn overnight in some water and Wilton cake dyes.  Then in the morning I applied vinegar, but it didn't do what I wanted it to do.  If I wanted to continue the Horrible Experiment in the future I would use less water, and maybe let it dry or something first.  I think the vinegar just spread out and I know there were some spots where it seemed to be rinsing the dye away as I applied it.
But whatever.  It's ok.  It might be a bit bright, and need some over-dying to tone it down, but that's for another day.  It will not become socks, as it is not superwash.  

This was an impulse buy:  Patons  Classic Wool in Natural Mix, dyed with Wilton's Christmas Red.
Again, brighter than expected.  Might tone it down in the future.

This theme of "maybe next time" or "you can always over-dye it" seemed to carry the evening.  Lisa's laceweight seemed to be The Blob of yarn dyeing -- it ate as much dye as we could throw at it without ever making it to the shade intended, and while her sock blank seemed to have turned out beautifully, with another skein Liesl had a desire for semi-solidity that at last count was unsatisfied.  Naturally, Linda, The Artist, seemed to have the best luck.  Although I think I might have said it best before we started when I said "If you don't know what you want, then you'll love what you get."  Needless to say, dyeing yarn with food items is unpredictable and if you have a very clear idea of what you want you probably won't get it, and you won't be happy.  Boo.

And for something completely different, here's a picture of my dear friend Meredith and me at her wedding.  She had been missing from us for a long time, but thanks to Facebook and the stability brought by age and maturity, we are back in touch.  It was a fantastic time, even though the only person I knew there was the bride.  I should have known she'd have more fun friends like me.  :)