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Monday, August 28, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

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I was shopping for my Mom’s B-day present and what should pop into my basket? Fifty-cent Sachets! Love the Rainbow Store – you NEVER know what you will find in the sale bins…

Here’s the one’s that are going to Northern Lower:

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tiny handbags are more Mom’s style (smells spicy)…


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August 23, 2006

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CLOSE! but no cigar, m’lady…

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Now that the dyein’ is over, the cryin’ begins? WHO would squeal when they get almost the exact result they were going for?

ME.

[It reminds me of the time I nagged and nagged a boyfriend to shave his beard. He presented his soft new face to me and suddenly I realized he had no chin! Whodat man?]

Now that I see it, all dry and mighty, I realize I would’ve liked it a quarter tone darker. Yeah, splitting fractions here, but when you are doing this it is a Measure Fest and fractions are indeed your friend…

Beth S. writes: “It seems like it would be hard to mix dry powders together without raising a toxic cloud in your kitchen. But you must have figured something out!”

Beth’s right! This stuff (including Kool-Aid) is not user friendly – there’s the possibility of lots of fine particles flying around. So you need to practice good habits when measuring the dry stuff. I bought a box of face masks and use ‘em. I measure slowly and carefully.

This was a very interesting session. I used Sabraset Dye (from ProChem) and did exactly what their instructions recommend.

After the yarn was fully submerged in the dye solution with the heat brought up to a simmer, I stirred it every few minutes and noticed something that had not happened other times I dyed with these acid dyes.

One color was uptaking faster than the other!

The water was purple. The yarn was turquoise.

I panicked!

What to do? Pull it? Add more Magenta (gaack)? Go online and SOS?

Google to the rescue! I searched [phrase: *dye won’t exhaust*] and found out that sometimes it takes more than the recommended (about an hour to an hour-and-a-half) time to exhaust the dye solution. [Exhaust: all dye is absorbed by the fiber and the water is CLEAR! I love that part!]

I left the batch, at the lowest gas flame I could manage on the UberPot, stirring every few minutes, for a little over 2.5 hours.

Then suddenly, It Happened.

The yarn was Bijou Blue at 50%.

All the Magenta flew into the yarn.

Whine & Cheese: What I would do differently next time? AHA! Looking at the yarn I used for the figure 8 ties [a light taupey grey] I would maybe start with a different base color. This would give a duller, more sophisticated cast to the whole shebang…

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The Scale: I got mine on eBay (from my sister’s recommendation) – search on *Escali Digital* and shop til you drop…

The Enabler Button: Marji writes – “I just love the BFE icon! Is it available to use?” WOOT! Thanks so much! Please take it and use it to spread the love!


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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

— Note —

Comments were broken yesterday – sorry about that – they have been fixed! So fire away!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Just [Do] Dye It…

One yarn flop, one stash dig, and a pile later, I realized I did not have the color I craved for something I really wanted to make. Maybe it was out there somewhere (UK? China? Oz?), but this was a today kind of itch and baby, I needed to scratch.

Relying on the commercial folks to match my mind’s eye is ususually a crap shoot of the highest order no matter the calendar. While there are many (too many?) fibers out there I adore and could not live without, there always seems to be a gap.

Some days it seems the colors I see most often in yarns are off-tone, too bright, too dull, too yellow, not blue enough, crayola clones, wrong fiber, straight out-of-the-bottle ordinary, too $$$, discontinued, somebody else’s dream.

Not bad. Just. Not mine.

This was the day my brain was totally awash in Bijou Blue.

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And this was as close as I could get…

Right, not Bijou. And really Not Blue.

But see those little bottles in the lower left of the picture?

Turquoise + Magenta = BeeBlu.

And with a whole weekend ahead of me, I was more than game.

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After weighing the Yarn (1.5 lbs. of worsted weight old school Germantown) I skeined it up. And promptly broke my swift. All the little arms were held together with a most fragile piece of soft copper wire. Looking at it all akimbo made me realize how astonishing it was that it lasted as long as it did.

But after a valiant attempt to re-wire the beast back together, I was forced to visit a new and exciting land.

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My Office…

Home of millions of boxes of god-knows-what (clothes? yarn? shoes? files? canceled checks from 1993?).

Also home of the best darned *swift* I’ve ever used in a pinch – an archive crate.

Twelve skeins in all were wrapped and washed. (And I was especially chuffed that I’d finally mastered the figure 8 tie. Take that! you nasty cheap swift!)

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Now comes the fun part!

This time out, I thought I’d try something different. Usually I decide on color percentages (my method? none. nada. trial-and-error. mostly) and mix them together as a paste with hot water.

This time I mixed dry. And although the colors you see above might be a little skewed by your monitor monkey, they are pretty close to what I was going for.

And even then I had to use my imagination. I was not going for the usual deep effect, I wanted to try a tone – a half-as-deep version of what the full recommended (1 teaspoon per lb.) dose might be.

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No sacrifice of tool was too large for this effort and many a paper plate met its maker this day…

The final effect would be dependent on water volume and dry powder used…


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