Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dyeing Day

Some time ago, in fact it is probably several years now, I won a drawing at my local yarn shop Stitchy Women.  It was a bag of Cascade Yarns "Dolce".  Ten skeins of it in a very tealish sort of color.  The yarn is 55% superfine alpaca, 23% wool and 22% silk.  So it is very nice, only the color just was not one that appealed to me.  I had long been thinking about over dyeing it, and today turned out to be the day.  I decided to go with blue as I am envisioning this as a knit for myself.  I used the dye River Blue from Greener Shades.  Doing the math, I figured that each skein at 1.75 oz times 10 would be 17.5 oz. or just over a pound of yarn.  The directions for this dye are only that a 1/2 oz jar will dye three pounds of materials.  How to figure what a third of the jar would be was beyond me as I have already used some of the dye in another project.  I decided to follow the directions using a tablespoon of dye.
It was sufficient.
Finished dyed yarns
In fact, it was over sufficient.  The dyebath was clear at the end of the heating session which is a good thing as that meant the dye was all taken up by the yarn.  And so it was, until I started rinsing it afterwards.  I rinsed.  I washed.  I rinsed.  I washed and I rinsed some more.  Always there was blue dye in the water as I drained it out.  After about 6 or 7 times of this I had had enough.  I am sure that the blue will come off on my hands as I knit, but one can only stand so much!  When I am finished with my sweater it will get another soak and wash--hopefully that will do it.  Another waste of dye.  When will I learn that one only needs a small amount??

Bit of leaf edging

I had the same problem with the shawl--excess green.  I washed and rinsed and washed when I was finished knitting.  Still was getting a slight shade of green when I quit so that I could block it.
Finished shawl
I am pretty happy with the finished shawl.   At the middle of the leaf edging I was nervous that I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish, so I ripped it back and started making smaller leaves.  Then I segued into just a knit one, purl two together edging until the very end where I knit one last leaf.  It worked out great.  And I had about 40" of yarn left over!

All in all a pleasant way to spend a Saturday all alone, especially when there is not much to do outside given that we still have No Snow.  At least the sun was shining.  Now the fun part comes as I look for a pattern to knit my lovely blue yarn with.   I think it will be a top down, cable patterned cardigan.   Not sure if it will be knit in the round or not.  Can't wait to pile the books up beside me, curl up with a pleasant beverage and peruse patterns!

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