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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.



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.


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.


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!)


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.


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…

23 responses to “Tuesday, August 22, 2006”

  1. Scout says:

    Wiat, you just leave us hanging? E-mail me and I’ll show you what you need.

  2. suzanne says:

    what kind of scale are you using to weigh your fiber? i think it’s time i invest in one. i’m tired of playing the “if i make long sleeves will i run out of yarn?” or “how long can I make the top of these socks?” i figure with a scale i can at least determine i don’t have enough yarn before i’ve completed almost two of everything!
    i can identify with your color search issues, i always have the perfect color in my minds eye – but can’t seem to find it. but, i’m not ready to take the plunge into the dye pot yet! sj

  3. Delica says:

    How’d ya get to be such a dye expert? Did you teach yourself from a book? Or did you take a class? Help the Kool-Aid dyers of the world move up to the next level! :0)

  4. Karen says:

    I haven’t tried playing with dyes yet. Yet, being the key word there. I picked up a few books from the library on it but that’s as far as I have got with it all. Did you start off with Kool-aid or go right for the big-girl dyes?

  5. Bonne Marie says:

    My own road to ruin was paved by a Kool-Aid dying workshop I took a couple of winters ago…

  6. Jennifer says:

    Oooo, I must see the finished results! That is a beautiful blue!

  7. denise says:

    Ooh, blue! My favorite. I’ve been sorely tempted to dabble in the dying process. Of course, there’s the spinning thing too. My 22-yr-old DD was here for a visit before her fall semester began, and she stated that adding these skills to my repertoire was in fact inevitable. And she should know. My yarn stash is in her (former) closet. She also admired my recently finished and blocking CeCe…just waiting for the perfect button. Great pattern!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Ooh, the suspense! I can’t stand it!

  9. Macoco says:

    Ooh I can’t wait to see the final product — please post a picture soon!

  10. Michelle says:

    Oooh, you’re killin’ me w/ leaving us hanging like this….tune in next time! I know it will be lovely…

  11. Teresa says:

    I’m with Suzanne ’bout takin’ the $$ plunge for a good scale. If you have any scale suggestions would love to hear ’em.

  12. Beth S. says:

    It seems like it would be hard to mix dry powders together without raising a toxic cloud on your kitchen. But you must have figured something out!

  13. Beth S. says:

    er, that’s IN your kitchen.

  14. sweetfigs says:

    Oy, how many times have I eyed the kitchen & postal scales and then balked at the price! Is there a secret source or do I just have to lay out the big $$$ for a scale?

  15. Tracey says:

    I really like the paper plate, I think you should frame it.

  16. Imbrium says:

    Gah! The anticipation!

  17. Marji says:

    so you leave us hanging? I’m so afraid to start dyeing. I already have a stash that is beyond belief. so I’ll live vicariously….so show us already.

  18. Marji says:

    so you leave us hanging? I’m so afraid to start dyeing. I already have a stash that is beyond belief. so I’ll live vicariously….so show us already.

  19. Marji says:

    so you leave us hanging? I’m so afraid to start dyeing. I already have a stash that is beyond belief. so I’ll live vicariously….so show us already.

  20. Leah says:

    Too much fun! And I’m loving the suspense! I can already tell that the blue is going to be beautiful though!

  21. Stephanie says:

    Hey everyone hunting for a good inexpensive scale – I have a MyWeigh 7001 dx scale – it weighs in both oz and grams in increments of either 0.1 oz or 1 g.

    NAYY, just a happy person with a happy scale :) I use it primarily for fiber purposes, though I may well be getting another for the kitchen as my kitchen scale is on the fritz.

  22. Chris says:

    Hopefully this is a “to be continued” story and you didn’t collapse onto the keyboard, posting this as you fell…

  23. kmkat says:

    Turquoise plus magenta make gorgeous deep teal, aka Bijou Blue? Who knew? Well, obviously, you and not me. What a lovely color — I want, I want, I want…

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