Saturday, June 16, 2007

How I Spent My Mother's Day

I mentioned it at the time, but now I have photos of my Mother's Day introduction to hand dyeing. A while back, I ordered some Bare yarn in sock and worsted weights and the starter kit of Jaquard acid dye from KnitPicks, and part of my lovely Mother's Day was the indulgence of my family allowing me to mess around with it.

The first step (according to the directions and some information I cobbled together from the world wide interwebs) was to soak the yarn. I decided to do two skeins of sock yarn in different colorways.

Next, I assembled my crack team of assistants.

I set up an incredibly high-class dyeing area in the side yard using the deconstructed box from our new kitchen chairs, a stepstool, a few plastic baby clothes hangers, three binder clips, several clear plastic cups, Saran Wrap, and a Swiffer handle. The masking tape, also pictured, was not used. The side yard had many advantages to it, the primary one being its inaccessability to preschoolers and small dogs.

This is the part where you'll have to imagine me actually applying the dye, because I didn't want to get any dye on my camera. Pumpkin watched me work from behind the gate.

Next step, steaming for 45 minutes. Nothing like the smell of hot wool to make your tastebuds perk up.

At many points in this narrative, imagine me going in to the kitchen to eat sushi.

After cooking, cooling, and a quick rinse in a very dilute vinegar solution, I hung them up to dry. Drying time began outside.

Pumpkin chose names for the colors - Fire and Blues. Here's a slightly blurry closeup of Fire drying outside.

Later in the evening, I moved them in to the garage to continue drying overnight. Mini Cooper included for scale.

When they were completely dry the next day, I skeined them up and took their picture again. I love them! Not bad for a first attempt.

They're also pretty wound into center pull balls.

I made myself wait to cast on until I finished the pair of socks already in progress. When I did begin, I finished the first sock in about a week, which is far and away a speed record for me. So I have dubbed them my Rapid Fire socks. We'll see how quickly the second sock comes along.

It's hard to self-portrait the foot.

All in all, I had a complete and total blast dyeing yarn. I already have several ideas for what colors I'd like to try next.

1 comment:

La Cabeza Grande said...

Wow! From hand-dye to hand knit - and all so beautifully done!