Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In which I appear to be copying Rachel again, but I really didn’t

One of the many things that Rachel and I have in common is a complete lack of interest in pursuing other fiber arts and/or crafts. We don’t want to spin or sew or dye or what-have-you. However, Rachel recently delved into the dyeing world. And believe it or not, so did I. I swear we didn’t talk to each other before we did this.

Predye.JPGLast fall during the International Quilt Festival, I picked up a shiny hank of silk laceweight from the Habu Textiles booth. I wasn’t so happy with the white color, but the person in the booth assured me that it would dye easily. I particularly wanted this yarn because it is reeled silk rather than spun silk so I bought it figuring that I would worry about dyeing it at a later time.

Then, last month I was shopping at KPixie and happened upon some natural colored cobweb-weight “pashmina.” Twelve dollars! One thousand yards! Click the “add to basket” button! (I don’t know if they carry this anymore. I can’t find it on their website now.) In the photo, the silk is on the left and the pashmina is on the right.

InJars.JPGNow that I had a second hank of blah colored yarn, I had to do something about both. Hey Kool-Aid! (That’s from a commercial, in case you young ‘uns don’t know.) I went to the store with the intention of buying pink and red Kool-Aid. I’m so predictable. Well, there are a lot of varieties of Kool-Aid including a handful of pinks and billions of reds. So I grabbed several hoping to find colors that I liked. I settled on Slammin' Strawberry Kiwi for the pashmina and Cherry for the silk.

1stDye.JPGAt first I tried the microwave method—you know, shove yarn in a Mason jar and nuke. That resulted in splotchy yarn. I was not happy. I decided that the pink pashmina was done well enough and I was worried that if I tried to dye it again, it would felt. (It threatened to felt after the first dyeing process and I really didn’t want to chance it.) However, the Cherry silk needed serious help. So back to the store for more Kool-Aid.

FYI—When you use those self-check out things at the grocery store, after scanning something you have to put the item on the scale thing on the end so that it can make sure that you’re not stealing. The self-check out freaks out if it doesn’t detect an item being placed on the scale thing. The scale thing CANNOT detect individual Kool-Aid packets. If I ever hear, “please put the item in the bag” again, I’m going to scream.

The partly red silk and additional Cherry Kool-Aid were cooked in a pot on the stove—not crammed Mason jar this time. I wanted the yarn to swim. The results are perfect. Now I have to figure out what to do with my new pink and red yarns.

PinkOutside.JPG2ndDye.JPG


Foreshadowing things to come

The title of Rachel’s latest post implies that she will be showing more things that she doesn’t normally do. *cue Twilight Zone music* I am also planning to show something else that I don’t normally do. It’s entirely possible that Rachel has been working on the same “art” that I am. I worry that she’s going to beat me to the punch again. So here’s a sneak preview of my extra-extra-curricular activity:

HexPleat1Front.jpg

14 comments:

Pig wot flies said...

I'm confused. I thought Kool Aid dyeing didn't work on silk?

Pig wot flies said...

Or am I thinking of cotton?

Helen said...

i have gotten good results with the microwave, but you always need lots more than they say. they say 1 pack per ounce, but that is certainly not a deep enough colour!

Cordelia said...

Nice paper work! what a great way to take the photo.
The yarns are good too. I'm impressed you dyed pashmina; I'd be scared of ruining it.

Terby said...

The paper work is incredibly cool.

KnittingEmily said...

I Kool-aid dyed roving for needle felting yesterday. I used the instruction from the first stitch and bitch and the colors turned out pretty good.

Mintyfresh said...

If Rachel is doing origami I might have a nervous breakdown because that would just be TOO MUCH.

yay for successfully dyed wool! I bought zillions of packets of Kool-Aid ages ago, but my Ex tossed them (the jerk!). I have all this white yarn just waiting to be dyed. I have no microwave--happy to see that the stovetop was successful for you, and not overly difficult!

Joanna said...

Oh no, first you crochet and now you are dyeing? What is the world coming to?? Personally I'm going to stay in my happy little knit-and-only-knit corner. ;) The yarn does look great though - I love the vibrant red of the silk. Can't wait to see what you do with it!

Karen said...

Great colors! I can't wait to see more of the new extracurricular activity...this first pic is awesome!

kmkat said...

It is probably no coincidence that the dyed yarns are the same colors as the paperwork, right? If it works, do it again and again and again...

Jennifer said...

Very nice dyeing results!

Kenny said...

Laura!!! I missed you at Cafe Express last night. I went!!!! Finally!!!!! There are some amazing knitters!

Rachel said...

I read this and commented, and now I've come back to see what other people have said and I see that my comment somehow never got posted! So it must seem to you as though I've been ignoring you. What a jerk you must think I am. It's a good thing I came and checked or you just might have left me to be assaulted at the Houston Greyhound station as punishment.

I can't really remember what I said in my comment, except that it was terribly witty and alluded to our cosmic twinness. Since I can't recreate it, I'll just say sincerely that I really like your results and get very excited when I realize that I'm going to get to see your yarns IN PERSON! I am sleeping with your stash, right?

thursday said...

I was just re-reading this post, and noticed the part about "please put the item in the bag" - OMG! Those self-checkout things totally irritate me! I *always* have some problem or other that results in numerous repeats of that evil phrase. You know what else they don't like? Bringing your own canvas bags. Unauthorized item in the bagging area or some nonsense is what it says! GRRRRRR. I have used curse words at those things. Really hoping someone will hear that I'm NEVER coming back to their stupid store. ;) So, is that how irritated you were?