Wednesday, August 01, 2007


It was a Sunday evening, y'see...

...and I came across a ball of yarn in my stash that looked like this:
Sad, boring, drab, lonely, sad sad sad. For the longest time I'd been trying to figure out what to do with it, but kept coming up empty.

Then, shazam! Sudden inspiration struck.

Oh no, she di'int!

Oh yes, she did!

If only the colors you are probably viewing on your monitor were the actual ones in the yarn. The green is pretty awesome, but I made the mistake of mixing orange with lemonade, and ended up with something resembling the shade of mac'n'cheese. Probably should have kept it all orange. Nor is the pink (black cherry) all that pink, or the purple (grape) all that purple. Looks kinda like a kids meal! Well, duh, it's Kool-Aid.

I was somewhat tentative about the whole prospect at first, because the only thing I've ever dyed is my own hair. But since all I was risking was a five-dollar ball of yarn, I decided to go for it. And you know what? I loved the whole process! From winding the yarn around two dining room chairs to get a super-long hank, to soaking it in the sink and getting the fragrance of wet wool in the kitchen (somehow soothing,) to mixing up the colors and then--sploosh!--going to town on the damp wool with squeeze bottles of color. The "applying color" part came more naturally than I thought it would. I have to say, it brought out the little girl in me--I don't remember being able to do much painting as a child, because my mother couldn't stand it if I got my clothes dirty or made a mess (explains my rather grungy house, doesn't it? I'm 52, she's 73, but I'm still rebelling against her. Yeah!) Well anyway, not to digress, but the part of me that's still a little girl who needs the freedom of messy play had a good time.

No, this isn't my big surprise, but it's sort of a preliminary test run. To let the cat out of the bag, here's the official story: I'm making my first foray into handpainted yarns, to which I will add a unique twist. I received a starter kit of jacquard acid dyes in the mail today, and fortunately I have a kid who knows a lot more than I do about mixing colors, so I can't wait to begin. Work is slowing down, and prospects look good for an extended weekend. You'll be the first to see my results--good or bad.

Muggle Central

Is everybody done reading Harry Potter yet? Oh don't worry, I'm not going to spoil it, because I haven't read it. Haven't read any of the HP books, for that matter. Don't get me wrong, it's great that all over knit-blogland, so many are engrossed and excited. This isn't a snark blog--I think putting anyone down for what they enjoy is lame, and I would never do it. But I have to confess that I don't get it. When Michelle was in grade school, the first Potter book came out. I think I may have read part of it to her, or perhaps her teacher read it to the class, and she liked it, but when subsequent volumes came out, for some reason it just didn't take off in our household.

Lest anyone think I'm an unwashed heathen who doesn't read books about anything but fiber, (and I know you wouldn't think that, because I'm a Unitarian who bathes twice daily. Not very "green," but totally clean!) I am currently reading "The Language Of Threads" by Gail Tsukiyama. Yes, I know, the word "threads" is in the title. The novel is part of a continuing story of "silk sisters" in China, of girls who were sold or forced into the silk industry. The omniscient character in this book, Pei, earns a living by mending. Yet it isn't so much a book about fiber, as it is a story about life in Hong Kong during WWII. Perhaps I don't do much reading because it wasn't all that long ago that I was in college, and I had to read quite a few books I didn't enjoy. But I find stories about all aspects of Asian life fascinating. Indeed, I was an Asian Studies major and did study abroad in Osaka for Fall semester '02. One of my profs was convinced I was Chinese in a past life. And about nine years ago, I had a "psychic reading" in which I was told of having lived several lifetimes in Asia. For being a gaijin who stuck out like a sore thumb all over Japan, I felt surprisingly at home there. Who knows, maybe there's some truth to it.

If you're so inclined, do tell this non-Harry Potter-reading mook what the fuss is about! Or not. Just so long as you leave me comments.

I'll have to HP dork you out in an email :)

Your yarn is gorgeous
That is some great kool-aid yarn. You made it sound so easy.

I love Sensational Socks as well. It tells you how many stitches you need and if you're used to socks, it's just like having a "stitch pattern book" exclusively for socks. Which ones are those? I've done Stansfield and waffle ribbed ones (my first not-stockinette socks)

My new favorite net abbreviateion MEGO.
thanks becky--the kool-aid dyeing really was easy. I followed step-by-step instructions on this site:


The sock pattern I used was Slip-Stitch Rib in Six-Stitch Patterns.
Boy, yours turned out to be beautiful! I did Kool-Aid dying with my 7-year-old a couple of months ago (you can see the results in my blog archive, if you're interested), but we did ours all in shades of red, so it wasn't nearly as colorful.
Wow you did great on that yarn.
I have to say I am with you on Harry Potter. I have not read any of the books either. My son was a grade schooler when it came out but it just never caught on at my house either.
Like so:

<del>cross me out</del>
I just started dyeing yarn too! I used wilton icing dyes and a skein of lionbrand fishermans wool. It came out ok. I just got some "bare" merino from knitpicks and I'm going to try that out this weekend.
That hand-dyed is fascinating. Totally worth the time, and the yarn!

The whole HP thing must have something to do with the magic of childhood and unconditional love. Granted, Rowling doesn't cut her characters much slack, but she doesn't judge them, either. It's pretty cool.
Gorgeous yarn! I am a HP fanatic...I don't know why, really, since I was well into my 30's before I read the first book, I guess it's just a good story from start to finish. That and I like the idea of that magical world exisiting just out of our eyeline, just out of our reach.
Ok -- this is just not fair. My son and I tried the kool-aid as a dye for yarn thing when he was working on a cub scout badge and we got a color that closely resembled pond scum! How come your yarn looks so yummy and the knitting you did with it is "to dye for". That is soo not fair!
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