Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yarn Therapy

I'm glad I'm finally learning to work the serger, but it's still very foreign and hard to do--and I may never recover from the "blind hem episode"--so I felt like spending a day with yarn.  It's friendlier, never cuts or grabs anything, and never requires such a thing as a blind hem.  But I needed a break from the lace shawl, so
Some friends gave me a dye kit and this yarn back in March, but I've been a bit nervous to try it because I was afraid of messing up the yarn somehow, but since I still can't do any sewing I decided to give it a shot yesterday. 

Since the yarn is gift yarn, I wanted to make something for myself with it, and decided that I wanted a pair of yellow socks and a pair of red socks.  I started with the yellow, thinking it might be easiest to fix if I messed it up, but this was actually pretty simple. 
The instructions say to simmer on the stove for 30 minutes or until the water is clear, which for me took a bit longer, but it did indeed work!

And I love the color.  These will be very happy socks.

Emboldened by my success, I moved on to the red
which needed a bit of extra dye as I was mostly producing variegated yarn rather than a solid color.  I guess in the yarn world, I can call it "kettle dyed" and sell it at a premium, but I was sort of aiming for a mostly-solid color. 
which it actually isn't, but it's closer than it was.  The REALLY unfortunate part is that in order to get rid of the white spots, I had to remove the string holding the hand in place, so this is currently a great big red snarl, but at least it's a great big red snarl without any white spots.  That's something, I suppose.

By this time, I was REALLY having fun, so I dug out some yarn I have been saving for a shawl
and the bottle of teal dye that I bought with it. 

5 skeins are a bit harder to work with than 1,
 but I was trying to get them all in the same "dye lot" as it were, so I kept moving yarns back and forth between the pots.  I added a bit of extra dye and lots more time, and the results are definitely "kettle dyed" rather than a solid color, but
I'm still quite pleased with them. So pleased, in fact, that once I get my "to-do" list done today, there will be some yellow socks being started.........

Pi shawl?  What Pi shawl?????????


Janet said...

Way to go Toni, love the colors! Just remember, the pots are now dying pots, not cook pots. I think it is because you have used the acid dyes from knitpicks, it does something to the pots. Definitely you don't want to cook in them and have the dye in your foods, lol. They are gorgeous. Have fun with the yellow socks!

RobinH said...

Beautiful! Colors that pretty will lift your spirits just to look at them!

Mereknits said...

What fun, I have thought about dying my own yarn but haven't. Can't wait to see how you like it when you are knitting with it.
Have a wonderful day,

Alice said...

The yarn looks great!!

Daniele said...

Look at you dye girl! That is the best red I've seen in awhile! It's hard to get something close to red - it usually goes pinkish. I've heard the hotter the water the better the dye takes. Great job!

And I LOVE that yellow - can't wait to see those socks!!

Janet said...

I just thought of something, you said that you had to take off your ties on the skeins to make sure you didn't have any white spots on your yarn. Would you possibly be able to retie but loosely to hold your skeins/hanks of yarn in basically one piece so that it won't ball up in a snarlly mess????
I think perhaps if you are careful enough, and loosly tie them you might be able to do this without a tangled up mess. Just a thought.

toni in florida said...

Love all of the resulting colors, especially that teal. Great work, li'l miss productive!

AlisonH said...

Nothing like playing with watercolors to brighten up a day!