Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Weaving and Dyeing

OK first things first, pic of the impetus for my posting today.

Yes, I'm into the blues and greens. Yea!

Next up, yarn barf.a.k.a knitted lace.

It's going pretty well. Yes I've had a few oops. Primarily forgotten YO's, but I caught them soon enough. 6 more rows of the edge chart and I'm done. Wonder how many oops there will be that I didn't notice! :o) Oh, and can I tell ya how much I despise working on these pole vault worthy length needles?!? UGH! I went merrily along on my convert vintage dpn needles clear up to the middle of the last repeat of the chart for the body. Then I couldn't cram anymore stitches on the needle....sigh Couldn't find my vintage circs in this size and didn't dare switch to use metal ones. My gauge is out the window when I use metal needles, so out came the needles whose length is akin to the proverbial 10 ft. pole. Again I say UGH, but I must give them their due, cuz if I didn't have them the yarn barf would stagnate until who knows when.

I loath metal needles. We just can't see eye to eye. Pity that, I have 100's of them. :-/ If anyone out there is looking for some metal needles any length or type, circs, straights, dpns, any size email me. I'd love to see them go to an appreciative home. Conversely so I'd be thrilled to give a warm and loving abode to any of those vintage needles that were made of nylon, casein, (sp?), or that plastic like stuff from way back when. Any length and type would be loved and cherished, even those of the pole vaulting variety. Anyone? Anyone? BTW if you have any made from Bakelite do yourself a favor and sell them on ebay they get a pretty penny.

Let's see what else is there today, oh yeah, I tried a new-to-me KA dye technique. (I've never seen anyone else talk about this, but I'm positive someone out there has done it before) IMHO I think this has great potential.

Yes these are the same skein. I'm thrilled that I can now take pix in a decent size and they aren't bleary, correct coloration will have to wait. The true color is somewhere between the two of these. A new friend of mine, who seems to be a long lost sister, posed the question about how to get a pink/orange mottled/heather/tweedy yarn with KA. This skein is the result of experiment #1.

I used my standard sure fire mottling method with pink lemonade first. Big pot on the stove, 6 pkg of pink lemonade KA, with a dash of vinegar (I don't like to wait) and quickly throw in a hank of DRY yarn. I let the air bubbles in the fiber itself do the work for me. The only cautionary tales regarding this method is that you must act quickly to get all the yarn submerged or run the risk of a graduated skein or large splotches. I've never had any problem with felting the yarn as I manipulate it in the pot to make sure it stays submerged, the water isn't that hot yet, and I don't really agitate it, I just keep pushing it below water level so it's not floating. With particularly lofty yarns this can take a while. To remedy that problem, (I do things quickly, and I don't like to babysit yarn) I purchased a round cooling rack. You know the kind of wire racks you'd cool a cake or cookies on after baking. I snipped one outer ring of the rack which gives me enough play in the ring to be able to wedge the rack into my pot below water level, thus holding the more lofty fiber submerged.

After the dye was exhausted I removed my nicely mottled pink skein and let it cool enough to handle easily. I'm using "pink" here rather flippantly, I would have called the color pink salmon or perhaps peachy melon, not really a true pink. I know/have heard to add a bit of grape or some other blue based KA to make it more pink, but I wanted to see exactly what color I'd get with just the pink lemonade.

Now comes the new part. I took a small 2 oz fine spray mist bottle, put about two tablespoons of vinegar in it, with 2 pkg of orange KA and then filled the bottle with water. I laid the skein out in the bottom of my sink spread out as much as the ties would allow and spritzed the orange on it. I continually turned , twisted and fluffy the skein, sometimes even shaking and fluffing it in the air while spritzing. (No, I did not wear gloves, and yes my hand was completely orange.) After the entire contents of the bottle was used, I placed the skein in a steam bath over my big pot and let the color set. As for the orange hand? No problem, a sprinkle of baking soda and all was well,

All in all I'm pleased with the outcome, there is great potential here. I would rather have had a truer pink, but up against the orange it did "pinken" up a bit. Experiment #2 will use the same procedure but with colors not so similar. I'm thinking yellow and green, maybe blue and yellow that could produce some nice greens within the skein too. hmmmm.....