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Friday, November 12, 2004


One of the odd quirks about the Rat Race of Work, is that even when the Project/Event Merry-Go-Round STOPS one can still spin and spin. It takes me, especially, about a week to get a bead on a *new* horizon – one that’s hopefully moving slower and gentler. In the meantime, it’s still full speed AHEAD! simply out of habit, and instead of drinking myself to death, becoming a workout freak, or cyring my eyes out, I’ve been dyeing my pants off…

Good idea? or Fool’s Mission – you decide…


This particular yarn falls into the Extreme Category of Barn Yarn. Now, make no mistake, barn yarn is my friend. By BY, I usually mean tightly spun, heavy duty, work horse yarn that I can make sweaters I can work outside in. Sometimes, I’ve even purchased the yarn in a barn. Other times, the sheep just grew up there and their yarn made it across the Atlantic and on my needles all the same.

The yarn above is the Barniest of all barn yarns I’ve ever possessed. I performed a Yarn Rescue from eBay on this lot a few months ago. It was advertised as “Wool Knitting Worsted”, tan, 15 skeins, peanuts…

AND, it was exactly that. Cheap and well made! What was omitted from the description was that this yarn, in it’s orignal owner’s storage box, was home to something unadvertised! I giddily took the top couple of skeins off the pile I saw when I opened the box, and LO!! there was a little nest made in one corner of the box, with tufts pulled out of some of the skeins, making a soft bed for, dare I guess, FIELD MICE!

These critters had *left the building* a long time ago but now another sort of Rescue was in Order, in fact, the dyer in me demanded it.

Here’s where it gets interesting – I decided this nice stuff would make a great bucket and cowl in what else: PURPLE in honor of its obvious Barney nature. But no cartoon purple for me – give me a deep Ash-Purple Blackberry of sorts and I was off – with mixing cup and spoon.

So I put the BY to its bath and then I got a phone call. A loooong phone call. I got up and stirred the pot once then forgot all about it while I was chatting away until I heard a hissing noise. THIS was the sound of the Simmer becoming a BOIL and I lowered the flame at once!

But witness what happened to my Barney Delight:


AHA! This is what they mean by Kettle Dyeing – you have varying depths of color where the yarn has absorbed the dye in different areas of the heated solution in the dye pot itself. Notice where it’s darker = closer to the bottom of the pan and heat source. Lighter Shade? Must’ve been floating for a LOOONG time at the surface of the liquid and where the skein ties were.

This was not a look I was going for – but after it’s all said and done…

I LOVE IT! I actually think it’s going to be more of an interesing cowl and cap!

Barney ON, dudes

12 responses to “Friday, November 12, 2004”

  1. Beth S. says:

    It’s beautiful! What serendipity! :-)

  2. mia says:

    Bonnie, the color reminds of the Manos I just used to knit a poncho for myself. I think that this is an experiment worth repeating for the sake of knitting science.

  3. marymarci says:

    GREAT COLOR, so that’s how it’s done. I cannot wait to try it myself. What brand dye are you using?

  4. Ann says:

    Wow, that is bee-you-ti-ful! It looks as rich as a koigu product. At some point, will you post pictures of how to dye? If you can make humdrum peanut yarn into bright berries, I’m all for it!

  5. maryse says:

    definitely let us know how you did that.

    very pretty


  6. Karen says:

    Beautiful! Barn yarn indeed! I agree with Mia and Ann who mentioned similarities to Koigu or Manos. Can’t wait to see it knitted.

  7. Laurie says:

    It is my absolute favorite colors. And redheads look dead good in those berry colors. I can’t wait to see what the yarn tells you it wants to be knit into.

  8. Michelle says:

    It’s beautiful! Why stop at accessories — that ‘s pretty enough to be a whole sweater (unless the field mice boxmates would have it be a “hole” sweater — hee hee)! EIther way, I can’t wait to see what magic you make happen.

  9. Melissa G says:

    Cool! I think you almost get better color when there is some variation–think of your favorite jeans. That is if you’re not cabling.

  10. Traceyleezle says:

    Okay, I’ve seen how much you knit, and dye, and I’ve been forever trying to figure out where you get the time for all of this, because of course, I am insanely jealous.

    So, what is it? You don’t sleep do you? Or do you get up at 4:00 a.m. every day and stay up until 12:00? I wish I knew your secret. Until then, I’m just green with envy.

    Excellent dye blooper! Whatever it is, it will be gorgeous.

  11. Gaile says:

    Talk about a happy accident – the colours are gorgeous! I can’t wait to see your finished product(s). Speed knitters are amazing to me…

  12. Lynne says:

    I would love to see that felted!

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