Thursday, July 14, 2005

get that crazy lady away from the fabric dye

I think i have always been a person who looks at something that is the "wrong" color and thinks "oh, yeah, i can change that" whatever it might be. a shocking pink shelf from Salvation Army? No problem. just sand it a bit and paint over it. boring trunk from ikea? sure, you can paint that.

So, when i started to get more yarn obsessed, it provided just another opportunity to change the color of things. of course, i haven't really bothered to find out the "right" way to do it... i just go along in my haphazard way, dying however i feel like it.

current case in point:
This is perfectly nice, recycled cotton blend (so soft I wanted so just sleep on it... ) probably a heavy-worsted weight. A full, formerly cabled turtleneck sweater's worth. From Value Village.

Now, here's the thing. I don't wear white. It's not a good idea. I may be a full grown (I hope) adult (I think) but I have an amazing capacity to spill on myself. I don't even have to be around food or dirt, and anything white will end up dirty. I could work in a clean room, you know, the kind of place where everyone's in lab coats, hair nets and those footie things over their shoes and any molecules of dust get automatically sucked up by giant vacuums, and I would still come away with something on my white lab coat. Something that would stain.

So, what was I going to do with this mass of really nice white yarn? I wanted to make something with it, but I wouldn't wear it if it was white. What to do? So with much less deliberation than it sounds like, I set out to dye it.

I wasn't sure what color I wanted exactly. I tend towards blues (as you may have heard) but I was determined to try something new. TEAL I thought. Teal is not technically blue.

So I set out to dye my yarn, using my very meticulous method of dumping dye powder into a bowl until I feel like it's enough, then mixing it with water and immersing the sopping wet article. (Feel free to consider the above paragraph a tutorial... )

Every time before now that I have tried this, I have been fairly close to the colors I envisioned. This time, I ended up with leaf green. I don't know how it happened, I used far more blue than green, but it happened.

I decided I wanted some white to break up the not-teal so I hung the hanks over a wooden spoon and dyed. (them).

I kind of like how they looked when they were all laid out, sort of like random vegetables.

And, of course, we must have the "just off the yarn winder" shot...

and then I did something I never do:

I swatched. In pattern.

Now, granted, this was just because I was dying *(get it? har) to see what the yarn would look like knit up, and because i was being bored to tears by the cardigan i'm knitting. pictures of said cardi in progress would only cause such mass yawning and falling asleep at the keyboard that the entire blogging community (yes, i'm feeling full of myself today) would fall apart. It's that boring. (and it's being seamed as we speak, er, as soon as i post this it will be seamed, er, hopefully sometime this evening it will be seamed)

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Swatching is not normal for me, and rather than being seen as an example that I am maturing into a swatching knitter, it actually is a sign that I am easily distracted. I had no choice. The yarn was calling to me. It was pretty. It was soft. You would have swatched too, right?

So what will this yarn be? I'm leaning toward a plain cardigan with the lace pattern up the fronts, but I might actually do a v-neck with the lace pattern up the front. A cardigan I would wear in summer at work, but a v-neck would really only be worn inside at the office, and would be too warm for the rest of the summer, but I would wear it a lot in the winter... thoughts?

So, now for the crazy lady and the fabric dye part.

After dying my yarn, I had a lot (A LOT) of dye left and, as if I was going to dump it down the sink. I have these light beige capri pants that are so comfortable (stretch cotton... yay) and I like the cut of them, but they are practically white (!!). What was I thinking when I bought them? I literally have to think through every situation I might be in over the course of the day and try to decide whether it's worth wearing them or not. I don't like thinking about my clothes that much.

So, (you totally know where this is going, right?) into the dye pot they went. (I added some black dye powder to darken up the leafyness)

I really like how they turned out, except there are a couple of spots where the dye didn't take as much. I may over-dye them at some point.

I have more yarn I want to dye. I have all this beige cotton that has been recycled from a REALLY REALLY large men's sweater. Color suggestions? I am thinking of doing sort of a painted dye, make it varigated but not crazy. I have a pattern in mind, but I can't find it right now.

*i would like to formally apologize for the pun. long long long day at work. it won't happen again. i hope


  1. I love that picture where the yarn looks like green onions. And you need color suggestions? What, together with some slate grey and chocolate brown ;)

  2. OOOHHH Great suggestion Steph! I am really loving brown and blues together right now... hmmm... must visualize...


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