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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bonne Marie & the Half-Blood Prince, part I

That’s me in the corner.
That’s me with the cauldron.
Stirring up my Potion…

That’s right, Professor Snape!
That dark swirling liquid you see NEEDS no flame!
You don’t see any steam because my potion doesn’t HAVE any vapor!

I’ve found some new and crafty magic and decided to give it a try – my original stylings were a 50/50 mess and it was time to aim for some SKILL!

My most delightful finds from the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool field trip were two books on dyeing AND a differnt type of dye.

My friend Rachel and I decided we were going to try and *rescue* some fiber she had that was the wrong color – so to get my feet wet, I picked up some Procion MX in several shades to experiment with.

Now this dye is different than the Sabraset Acid dyes I’ve been using in several ways – it needs no heat (when dyeing with cotton), and can work on cellulose or animal fiber, depending on the pH of the solution used. WOOT!

The other difference this time with my dye trials was that I followed the directions, to the letter.

Advanced Potion Making, by Libatius Borage

1. I weighed the Garment so I’d know exactly how much of the other ingredients to use.

2. I wore a Face Mask and used Rubber Gloves (very good!)

3. I found a beautifully marked container already in my cupboard and measured my liquids to a T.

4. I washed the garment with Synthrapol, rinsed twice, then let it SOAK while I was preparing my other stuff.

OOps – did you say GARMENT?

Why, yes, I did! I decided to experiment on a couple of pieces that were not hitting the runway anymore so if they went up in smoke, it would not matter.

Remember THIS?


a fun color for a season but curiously like a
Love Potion that’s faded away…

after a session in the Remedial Dyepot, we have


YIPPEE! OD Green, in a very palatable, clear light shade! This yarn is by Reynolds, called *Navy*, and is a veritable Half-Blood Prince of 50/50 cotton/microfiber. I was really throwing the dice on this – cotton might absorb the dye deeper than the acrylic but it came out clear as a bell…

How about this?


a deliciously tempting shape executed in an infantile shade…

but now, after a Dose of 2xOlive+1xBrown, we have:


a more User Friendly Medium Olive!

This yarn was another 1/2BPrince: Cotton/acrylic blend (Filatura di Crosa *Spongy*) wrapped in a shiny thread. It dyed an even color on the yarn, and a slightly darker color on the thread. Tweedy goodness reigns!

17 responses to “Tuesday, September 20, 2005”

  1. carolyn says:

    wow bonne, those came out BEAUTIFUL. great dye job!!! but, um, seriously, the second one? is that not your perennially favored shrek green? is that you referring to your favorite color as infantile? no, no, say it isn’t so… :)

  2. Bonne Marie says:

    Actually, the color was almost yellow – not the fabulously entertaining b.Lime I usually binge on!

    It was baby yarn – a weird pastel but in a thick tweedy yarn – just a poor little confused personality…

    Now it is in Sectione Adulte.

  3. Amy says:

    Wow, Bonne Marie! You are so brave! I love the results you got–very nice colors for both.

    You are the QUEEN of bossing your knitting around!

  4. Mary P says:

    We’re not worthy! to observe your genius.

  5. Teresa says:

    Some day I want to grow up and boss my knitting around, just like you, Bonne Maire.

    Beautiful results.

  6. Cat says:

    Awesome! How did you decide what colors to overdye with? (i.e. olive+brown)

  7. Nancy J says:

    Defintely worth experimenting! Much improved!

  8. Dee says:

    OMG so that’s what you’re doing with the dye you bought in WI. I had absolutely no idea that you planned on using it on FO’s. Tu tienes cajones mi amiga!

  9. miriam says:

    Can you get some light auburn #4 in the magic dyepot and I’ll come over and soak my head. Your sweaters turned out great

  10. Marg says:

    Such talent — and courage!! Yer braver than I, m’girl. :-)

  11. Becky says:

    You are a goddess with the dyepot! You totally breathed new life into those garments. Fab, fab, fab!

  12. Michelle says:

    Wow, both came out great – especially the second one. Congrats!

  13. Leslie says:

    Amazing outcome. I would have never guessed that they would look like, well new! I bought a great deal of wool with the intention to over dye it. I just don’t have the courage yet, but I will say that your latest dying endeavor has given me a boost. Any books that you can recommend, I want to over dye some pure wool.

    Great job!

  14. Bonne Marie says:

    I am totally HOOKED on this!

    I listed the two books I got in Wisconsin in the left side bar – so far so good with the info in them…

    There’s also a ton of stuff out on the web – I’m just starting to find and research the stuff of interest to me. I would like to THANK ALL of the kind People who take the time to write up their experiences…

    You never know when one of us might pop in and harvest some of your intellect and good will. Thank you :)

  15. claudia says:

    You are a far, far better woman than I, m’dear. Please share how you avoided the blotching that is always my lot when garment dyeing.

  16. Val says:

    I love the new colors! You are as courageous as a Gryffindor to throw your work in the pot and let the magic happen!

  17. Bonne Marie says:

    Nay, dear Claudia – just luckier, me thinks…

    What I’ve been doing with the garment preparations is that I let it soak for awhile (half-hour?) in the soapy water until I think it is fully saturated with water. THEN I complete the wash cycle (on the Gentle Setting). And I fill the machine back up with clear water and let is soak for another half-hour or so.

    What I think was happening when I got uneven tone, even with my wool dyeing, was that the fiber itself wasn’t truly wet enough BEFORE I stuck it in the dye pot.

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