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Monday, August 28, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  


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:


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

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August 23, 2006


CLOSE! but no cigar, m’lady…


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


[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…


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.



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…

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