Monday, January 23, 2006

Dye Party

What to do on a totally snowy Saturday in January when you need a little lift?

Meet up with girlfriends and sniff wet wool all day.

Place: The Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles.
Participants: Me, Laura, Blogless Gretl, Judy, April, Blogless Carla and Jodee (Late Night Suburban Train Sock Knitters)
Objective: Dye and overdye until we pass out.
Secret Objective: I really wanted to dye yarn for Martha so I could finally participate in the KAL I signed up for, like, a year ago.

Here is my booty: (L-R) Henry's Attic Kona Superwash sock yarn for Martha, some Knitpicks sock yarn, 2 different skeins of green sock yarn to overdye, the brown is a sweater's worth of worsted that I overdyed last year and haven't used this year so it's time to try again, some GGH TriKolore pastel to overdye, and some dark green Manos to overdye.

Here I am mixing the dye. Go ahead, make fun of me. Everyone else did.

We used acid dyes. Mine were from Pro Chem. The fantastic thing about doing this at the Fine Line is that they have 3 large sinks, 4 stoves, and all the pots and steamers we needed. Here I am pouring the dye into beakers.

And here are all the dye solutions ready to go.

Carla brought a million yard roll of plastic wrap, to share. Really Carla, what possessed you to buy so much plastic wrap in the first place? I'm afraid to ask. But glad we could take some off your hands! Here she is concentrating on her sock.

Jodee is wrapping hers up, ready to steam, while Laura supervises.

My sock yarn method was a little less precise. In fact, I believe someone might have used the word "sloppy". I did my socks at the end of the day, after dyeing the Martha yarn THREE TIMES, and I was tired.

However, you just can't go wrong with a little white yarn and some beautiful color, no matter what your technique. Here's the sloppy yarn, still wet:

It shows promise.

So did I mention that I had to dye my Martha yarn three times? I wanted a deep, rich reddish purple, and the first two times I dyed it, I wound up with whitish areas. After the third time, I had the saturated color I wanted, but my ten skeins of yarn had merged into one huge tangled blob:

Yep, that's about 1600 yards of fingering weight yarn. I'm laughing in the picture, but what do you want to bet I'll be crying when it takes me about a week to untangle that mess.

Meanwhile, here is an action shot of everyone hard at work. Carla is in the foreground, painting sock yarn, April and Judy are organizing their skeins of sock yarn, Gretl is doing some crockpot maneuver, and I'm in the back dyeing the Martha yarn on the stove for the second or third time.
Laura is stitching some quilts and supervising:

Gretl scored a perfectly beautiful but ugly-beige cabled sweater at the thrift store, and dyed it whole. Deep grape. We were all jealous.

Man, I wish I had taken a picture of the finished sweater. Go Gretl!

Judy looks happy as she is rinsing:

And she should be. Look at all that gorgeous sock yarn she and April cooked up:

Jodee and Carla are happy with their results:

This is Carla's favorite:

And here's one more of my sock yarns, still wet:


Blogger Lauren said...

That is very gorgeous sock yarn. Dyeing Trikolore right off the bat - you are fearless!

9:19 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Mel said...

I can't believe you overdyed that wonderful pastel trikolore. It broke my heart.
O but then I love pastels...

6:37 AM  
Anonymous carla said...

Honest I bought the plastic wrap for use when dyeing! Honest. It was cheap. Still love your Blueberry Mist ( morning ) yarn!

7:37 AM  
Blogger FunkyC said...

Oh, how much fun is this?!? Can't wait to see your final yarns.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Next time I want to come!
(But the plane tickets would make the cost of the yarn somewhat prohibitive.) Sigh.
Love that blue green sock yarn.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

so this comment is two weeks late. sue me. ;)

that blue/white yarn reminds me of str in lucy in the sky....all that yarn is just so beautiful! forget, sloppy, it'll be so awesome knit up!

10:26 PM  

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