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Join me as I share my crafty journey with you. I continue to expand my repertoire of hobbies. I knit, sew, crochet, bead and probably most importantly am a lover of science fiction. Occasionally I even pick up a book. I play Nerd Wars for Team Stargate Command which consumes most of my time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kettle Dyeing and Some Fishy Tawashi

     Alright lets cut right to the chase.  I've been bitten by the yarn dyeing bug.  He's big and ugly and leaves a really itchy welt that only can be scratched by dyeing some more yarn. I don't have pictures from yesterdays excursion, since one its just now dry and two it looks almost exactly like another skein I just did.  More on why that is later.  This is what I dyed on my day off last week:
The two orange skeins and the purple skein are new.  The orange and purple spotty skein is that muddy one, now touched up.  I used straight grape to make some purple spots, the blue is a perk of the heating process.  It is much more in tune with the May KAL:  Spots.  That skein was handpainted.  The orange and purple skeins are kettle dyed.  Kettle dyeing is another dyeing technique.  The dye and the heat are applied at the same time.  In my case it all happened in a pot on the stove.  Kettle dyeing can also be done with a crock pot.  I did the purple one first.  It is a mixture of Kool-Aid flavors added to a decent amount of water.  I used my large pasta pot and added 7 cups of water.  The yarn was completely submersed.  This is why the color is more or less uniform.  The two orange skeins were done separately but with the same three Kool-Aid flavors.  I changed the amount of water in the pot for these two.  I put the yarn in first then poured the mixed up dye over the skeins in concentrated areas.  The colors mixed together in the pot with more water so that skein has minimal variegation.  For my third skein I put very little water in the pot to begin with so when I poured in the dye there would still be a limited amount of liquid.  With less liquid the yarn keep the dye colors sequestered so the last skein has much more distinction between the three colors.  All in all I think it was a successful session.  I'm learning slowly that less is more with dyeing.  

     As I said earlier I dyed some more yarn last night.  I was trying to get a lighter purple.  It didn't go so well.  I ended up using five packets of Kool-Aid and the last of the made up Grape.  It wound up nearly the same color as the one pictured.  I did get a variegated effect because I let the yarn sink into the pot on its own.  Once the yarn was heating I jumped into the Internet and learned some things about getting purple with Kool-Aid.  Basically its tricky since Kool-Aid red is Red40 and it tends to make things muddy.  In hind sight I should have used less of the made up dye, saved the rest for later, to make a lighter color.  The part of the yarn that sank into the dyebath last is a really pretty light purple.  I may keep experimenting with purple now that I found a great site with formula's.  I sort of see this Kool-Aid purple thing as a challenge now, I shall defeat thee Red40!

     Enough blathering about what I could'a, should'a, would'a done differently.  I was able to finish one project recently.  (I aggravated the pinched nerve in my neck last week, so I've refrained from knitting for an entire week now.  Gah!)  So, before all that happened I finished the two Wishy Washy Fishy Tawashi.     
There is some embroidery I can do to make the eyes stand out more, but I'm pleased with them as is.  I hope the recipient likes them as much as I do.  I had been working on a Mitered Ballband Hanging Towel diligently up until the pinched nerve.  I have one repeat left of the pattern before I switch back to the main color to do that solid garter top section.  Sadly I don't have progress pictures yet.  

     There was a really great sale at my favorite yarn shop Sheep Thrills! Yarn Company.  Beth wants to make room for the new yarns coming in so she put a huge list of yarns up for sale at 40% off.  Of course I had to take advantage of that! 
I picked up four skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama.  Yes, more Baby Llama.  I got three whites so I can dye them if I so choose.  The other three are Sublime Yarns; Extrafine Merino Wool DK and Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK.  I've never used these before, but the yardage was decent and they're super soft.  After the discount the Baby Llamas were under $5 and the Sublimes were all under $6.  I scored Cashmere for under $6!  The sale will continue 'til the end of May.  I would love to go back and get some more.   

     That's everything I've been up to lately.  Its been getting into the 80s here, so summer has officially arrived.  I'm excited to start knitting up the yarn I've been dyeing.  I finally dyed through that first skein of Fisherman's Wool.  Until later, Happy Crafting!
-Q     

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