Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Blood in the Water 

actually, just a mixture of madder and cochineal, a bit of fustic and cutch.

But on the paper towel, it looks quite like blood to me:

I overdyed a pound of shetland moorit to sample and love the "passionate brick" color it became; there was also a little hundred yard skein of superwash sport that went into the bath too and came out a nice flag-like red.

Unfortunately, I just can't seem to get the color captured right in this uggy weather which boils the life right out of my plants.

The indigo pot is enjoying this heat though.

I woke up half of my indigo vat mixture and put it into one of those dark "graniteware" enamel 16 qt stockpots that Target has in its stores for $12.99 and have been dipping it solar style.

I love the miracle of the green to blue, every time. I'd have Nick take pics, but he's too busy making faces and gagging.

Anyway, I added a bit more cochineal to the exhaust of the red dyepot and dropped in a pound of superwash yarn, one hank of sport, one hank of the fingering, just to see how much color I could get back out, hoping for a nice girly pink.

Not too bad.

I then dipped it in the indigo vat, hoping for a light overdye to get some sort of violet

(aiming for somethin' kind of like that below I suppose, which is a pound of superwash singles [acid dyed in the roving] to be plied into a chunky worsted weight)

but when I woke the vat up, I added more indigo, a little thiorea dioxide to "sharpen it" and speed up the whole oxygen reduction process of the new indigo plus a fair bit of heat on the stove and it was such a strong mix of heat and dyestuff I got straight up dark blue.

The linen and superwash I've been dropping in since moving it outside and depending on this fiendish heat have been less extreme, but I've not had to dip more than once so the colors are quite strong.

I've mordanted some superwash, lincoln locks, and linen, so I'll be doing little random experiments here and there. I feel some yellow coming on.

I dropped some linen & superwash in the pink exhaust and turned on the heat. I was getting a lovely almost hot pink, but I turned up the heat (got a little greedy to get all the color I could) and turned it up too much; there must have been enough madder to turn the tones to the brown side. Bummer. I now have a hundred yards of meaty color superwash and a light flesh tone linen. The difference between the two fibers is pretty stark. I should probably have a picture here. ;)

Hmmmm...look over there! What's that?
Ears at attention.

A messed up slipped stitch heel!

I admit, I misunderstood the directions, on the purlside when it said "purl 1, slip 1" I kept slipping it knitwise, since it didn't say slip purlwise. Yes, sometimes details need to be spelled out for me.

I wondered why it didn't look like the pattern pic, but I really like the look of it as is, despite its inflexibility. It doesn't feel right on the foot either, but I'm being stubborn and not ripping it.

After all, I'm sort of in the home stretch of sockage, right?

yeah, I'll keep telling myself that. This is definitely a good knitting in public pattern, very simple repeat.

A while back, Claire sent me some lovely orange and yellow merino/silk fiber, like squishy sunshine. I spun it into this:

roughly 13wpi, 2.4oz, 408 yards

I love the loftiness of it. I plied it very spaaztically, some parts are barely plied at all. I was originally thinking to make it into a lace scarf, but now, I'm thinking I might save it for a special colorwork project.

Happy colors.

I found this guy hanging out in my garden.

(click to view bigger piccies)

I'm going to turn him into a sock yarn colorway.

Whaddya think of "Ginger Mint Caterpillar" as a colorway name?

I never saw him after the photo shoot, so I haven't a clue what he turned into--I do hope a bird didn't eat him though.

Footnotes, clarifications

I didn't buy the fleece in the previous post--I wanted to buy it, but was a good girl, I still have roughly sixteen pounds of 3 greasy fleeces to spin up. (Eloise, the lincoln, the biocut merino). I did take names and contact info for posting a list later--and shopping, when I've made some room on my plate. ;)

I was also going to talk more about indigo, but y'know what? It's so cool it needs a post of its own. It's stinky but I love it. Wheeee!Peeee!


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