Category Archives: Dyeing

Vacation, Day the nth

Yesterday, it was Deb’s turn to entertain me during my vacation. 😉 We dyed some wonderful yarn, but it’s drying, so you’ll have to wait until Monday to see it all pretty and nice. This will shock you – one of my skeins contained no black, purple, or pink!! I’ll wait while you collect yourselves.

Jeanne and I will be participating in the Yarn Crawl/Treasure Hunt going on at seven Twin Cities’ yarn stores this weekend. Wouldn’t it be great fun to win the $3000 grand prize?!

Reading Update
Sacred and Profane and Milk and Honey by Faye Kellerman. Books two and three in the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series. Although I’m enjoying this series, at times, I find I’m gritting my teeth at Peter’s attitude toward women in these books. Does this improve at all in future books?! He’s generally ok regarding his partner, Marge, but towards Rina – argh!
Naked in Death by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts). This is the first Eve Dallas novel and I hugely enjoyed rereading it. If you aren’t familiar with this series, it’s a somewhat graphic mystery series set in the not-too-distant future, featuring NYPD lieutenant Eve Dallas and the ever-so-sexy Roarke, the richest man in the world (and then some). Roarke is way up there on my list of sexiest fictional male persons. *fans self*

Here’s a little photo essay of Chaos, May, and the black shoebox that I’ve been meaning to post for several weeks – from before Chaos’ butt was shaved.

“Nothing to see here, move along, move along.”
*hee hee* “May will never know I’m under here!”
“Hmm…. I wonder where the big kitty is?”
“Ha! I see your butt, big kitty!”
*fight fight fight bite bite bite*
“Run away!”

Of yarn and keychains

Heather of What’s Cluttering My Couch is having a contest. It’s different. And nice.

Celia of Unraveling is doing the Asthma Walk. If you contribute, you could win a pair of handknitted socks, tailored to your preferences!

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher. The most recent Dresden Files novel. This series about Chicago PI and wizard Harry Dresden continues to be enjoyable, funny, and unpredictible. Definitely recommended.
Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton. The most recent Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, novel was ok. The bit about unpredictible being good re: the Dresden Files? The Anita Blake books are seeming awfully predictible these days. I ripped through the book, but I can’t say that I really enjoyed it.
The Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman. Kristi recommended this book so highly a few weeks ago that I had to check it out. This is the first book in a series about LAPD Detective Peter Decker and Jewish widow Rina Lazarus and I already have the next book on my library list. For a more eloquent review, head on over and read Kristi’s.
China Trade by S.J. Rozan. MrsPao recommended this book to me and I’m very glad she did! Another enjoyable read that’s also the first book in a series about PI Lydia Chin, based out of NY’s Chinatown, and fellow PI Bill Smith.

I did a few things besides read this weekend. I knit – I’m now on the borders of my Moderne Log Cabin Baby Blanket! I did a tiny amount of catsitting. I touched up some dyed yarn. I rode my exercise bike and watched it rain outside. I walked around my neighborhood on Monday when the sun came out and took a few pictures. I played with the Chaos Kitty. I contemplated getting him a little sister… but maybe that should wait until after my epic vacation this fall. Anyway!

The sky was so dreary on Saturday and Sunday, I wasn’t tempted to get my camera out. But on Labor Day, I was. So here’s my Saturday Sunday Monday sky.

Last week I mentioned that I was saving the pictures of my dyed yarn and fun stuff from Deb until this week. Here’s the nifty keychain sock blocker and skein of Online Supersocke from Deb. Thanks, Deb! I hadn’t even seen the Supersocke before and that keychain is amazingly cute! Must knit minisock for minisock blocker…

“Hee hee – you think you’re going to knit a teeny little sock like that and keep it out of my clutches?! Don’t you remember the miniskein?”

I dyed more than one skein of yarn, but the self-striping hot pink and black not only defies photos, it’s also drying again – I had to redye the black because it was blotchy after the first time around. I think the skein below is my favorite so far of the skeins I’ve dyed, but I just couldn’t capture the colors. This is the best that I managed, but the colors are more intense in reality:

“You can drop that yarn, Mom. I promise nothing bad will happen to it…”

I also picked up some Silk Garden DK, inspired by Julia’s gorgeous socks.

“Um, excuse me? You put this on my why?! And you expect me to not rip it to bits?!! Hmph.”

Frantic Friday Finale

Domesticat is having a contest to celebrate her second year of knitting and that she and Duck are moving. All you have to do is send email or leave a comment with your guess as to where she and Duck are moving before 8 pm EST, September 4.

Cookie (yes, that Cookie) of Knitters Anonymous is having a contest. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 pm PDT, September 10.

Final SRP Update
Although this is it for SRP, I will continue to log what I read, as I’m definitely enjoying that. I must admit that I didn’t read a single blog Thursday night – I went home and knitted on my Regia silk sock and read and read and read…

Charmed and Dangerous by Candace Havens, 261 pages. Fluffy light chick lit mixed with a spot of magic, as witch Bronwyn protects a prime minister and a shiek from magical attacks. I enjoyed it and will be reading the other books in the series.
Blue Screen by Robert B. Parker, 306 pages. The fifth Sunny Randall mystery intersects with another Parker series, which I haven’t read, about Jesse Stone. I don’t like Parker’s Spenser mysteries, but I definitely enjoy the sexy, hardboiled Sunny Randall stuff.
The Dreaming Place by Charles de Lint, 138 pages. One of de Lint’s early books about Newford, this teen novel (and this specific copy) is the first or second de Lint novel I ever read.

Last Saturday, Deb and Jeanne and I got together to dye some more yarn at Casa de Deb. Deb has some pictures up already – that first one so flatteringly features my baggy shorts and saddlebags, heh. (No pictures of the yarn I dyed or of the thoughtful goodies Deb gave us for braving the drive west – should we tell her we don’t mind the drive or not?! Anyway, pictures and details on all that stuff next week. I can feel the anticipation from here.)

As Deb notes, Jeanne is very serious when she dyes yarn.

Although Deb’s pretty darn serious, too…

And we all puzzled over what this dye was up to – can you see the strange aggregates forming on the yarn?! If one of you more experienced dyers could shed some light on that mystery, it would be much appreciated. I believe the color in question was Ripe Tomato (Country Classics).

What dyeing event is complete without noshing? (Hmm, I just noticed that the chips and wine were almost gone, but there were still plenty of vegetables left.)

And I stalked Deb’s cat Tig for a while, until he ran away at the sight of me with the camera. (But don’t you just love Tig’s curly whiskers?!)

“Mommy?! Help me!! Your friend is weird. She follwed me under the dining room table with that camera!”

Chaos didn’t appear thrilled about sharing blog space with another boy cat…

“Hmph. You’re going to push me too far, Mom. I’m warning you…….”

Driving to dye

Check out Janna’s cat Simon in his brand new bib!

On Saturday, Deb of Wound Too Tight invited Jeanne and I out to the far western suburbs to dye a lot of yarn, drink wine, chat, and eat yummy food. Jeanne has created the official photographic record, since I only remembered to pull my camera out once… Yes, she even got a few pictures of me – in one of which, I swear you can see down my shirt to my belly button (I’m an innie, thanks for asking). 🙂 Neither of us managed to get a picture of Deb’s daughter, Kathryn, who kept us on track by alerting us when the yarn in the microwave was done.

Here are the Country Classics dyes, ready to go and with color card at the ready. (Please note that the fountain was not part of the dyeing process.)

The load of stuff that Jeanne and I brought to fill up Deb’s sunporch.

Jeanne hangs out with Holly, who at the time had not displayed her fondness for licking hot dyed wool.

Deb niddy noddies up a storm, getting her yarn ready to dye.

Here’s the yarn I dyed, drying on my drying rack. From left, Ashford Tekapo dyed with Lialc and diluted Raven, KnitPicks Dye Your Own sock yarn dyed with Very Hot Pink and Raven, some ancient Lion Brand worsted wool dyed with Cornflower, a ball of ancient Bear Brand worsted wool dyed with Spring Violet and Cornflower (dyed by sticking the ball into a cup of leftover dye, then flipping it over and sticking it into another cup of leftover dye), and another ball of the Bear Brand dyed the same way but with leftover Very Hot Pink.

Here are the same yarns (excluding the skein of Tekapo Lilac and Raven, which is still drying) in roughly the opposite order as above after they’ve been reskeined. Much nicer!

Deb surprised us with gift bags!

“I’m not sure I’ve had this color of tissue paper before. I will have to do a taste comparison.”

She gifted me with two stunning skeins of Alchemy Haiku (silk and mohair), two skeins of yummy Regia Silk, and a kit for making felted catnip mice! Thank you so much, Deb!

*sniff sniff* “This is very, very interesting indeed. You’d better get knitting, Mom!”

Chaos’ dyeing exploration

Jeanne has already covered our dyeing adventures of last Saturday evening on her blog. I’ll just add that we probably need to work on diluting our dye stock quite a bit more – and not with wine! But dang, that pinot noir sure went down smooth…

The skein on the left is 345 yards of GEMS Merino fingering weight from several years ago. It started out cream-colored and was dyed with a mixture of violet/black and red/black. The two skeins on the right are each 225 yards of GEMS Merino sportweight (also from several years ago). They started out taupe and were dyed with a mixture of violet/black and green/black.

“What have we here, sitting in the middle of my domain?”

“Oh, let me get up here so I can really check it out.”

“Maybe this isn’t such a good idea – that thing is awfully wobbly!”

“What are you talking about? I wasn’t interested in getting up there!”

“See how utterly disinterested I am?”

Anyway, I think that the skeins look a lot better twisted up.

The Dye-O-Rama yarn I sent, and Socks for Sheep

I can’t believe I forgot to post pictures after my dye buddy received her yarn! I sent yarn to Ghostknitter in Singapore, who likes “fruity colors.” The skein on the left was dyed during the class I took at Shepherd’s Harvest last month, using mysterious acid dyes. The skein on the right was dyed from Wilton’s at Jeanne’s last month – I used leaf green, violet (which is a pain to use), and sky blue. Dyeing these skeins was quite a departure for me, colorwise!

Jennifer is collecting money and knitted items to sell for her Socks for Sheep project. Her goal is to purchase a Knitting Basket (through Heifer International), which is two llamas and two sheep that will go to people in need. She’s offering the chance to win prizes to those who donate, so help her out if you can!

Apparently my feet are still not out of danger…


In which I discover that purple is hard to photograph – who knew?

You might become confused while reading this post and think that we’ve skipped right over June Blue to July Purple in Project Spectrum. Do not be alarmed. Do not adjust your calendar. June still awaits.

When I posted about our weekend dyeing adventures, everyone was most interested in seeing the shocking purple yarn. Of course, I managed to not take any pictures of the ultraviolet before I started overdyeing it with black, but Jeanne will affirm that it was too purple. Neither of us believed such a thing was possible, either – until we saw the yarn.

Anyway! Here’s the first skein – it was a cream-colored fingering weight 80% wool/20% cashmere blend, courtesy of the thrift store. I think I have enough yardage for a lacy winter scarf. Dyed with Country Classics Spring Violet, overdyed with Raven.

This skein was dyed with Spring Violet and a dash of Raven and came out the exact shade I wanted – no overdyeing was necessary. The yarn was cream-colored laceweight Zephyr, 50% merino/50% silk. Um, yardage is a lot. I have to weigh it later and figure out how much I actually have. It will become a shawl someday, but probably not for the Amazing Lace. I need to start this shawl business slow, with a smaller first project!

This tangle was two skeins of cream-colored Silky Wool (65% wool/35% silk), wound on a warping board to stripe. I’m planning to make a pair of cushy house socks for next winter from this (assuming I get it untangled sometime this year). The purple was Spring Violet, later overdyed with Raven. The grey was Blueberry and Raven, later overdyed with Raven. I’ll probably try overdyeing the grey with Raven one more time, to see if I can get it to be a more true and less blue grey.

“Did you see that?! Shhhh… I’m trying to distract Mom so I can drag this comfy cat bed away to my lair.”

Words clouded with dye

Saturday evening Jeanne and I did a bit more dyeing. Here’s our setup in Jeanne’s backyard:

Of course wine is critical to the process! Make sure to keep your wine out of the active dyeing area to minimize accidents (putting dye in wine, dyeing yarn with wine, etc).

Here I’m dyeing some yarn that will turn out to be shockingly purple – so shocking that I overdyed it with black Sunday night to tone it down a little! I have to remember to draft out color ideas before sitting down to dye yarn, because if I don’t – I can only remember that I like purple and black.

Yarn pictures later this week, after drying and detangling.

But the very best thing about the evening? Jeanne surprised me with a Stumbling Over Chaos word cloud t-shirt! I cannot even tell you how excited I was. I might even have bounced a bit (ok, ok, maybe more than a bit). Thank you, Jeanne – that was so sweet and unexpected!

Reading this is like reading really fun fridge magnet poetry. Some favorites include “thought time tongue totally tuna,” “SRM story stumbling text think,” “chaotic chris claws color,” and “favorite flamingos free fun.” I could go on – but I’ll spare you!

“Shh… Don’t distract me – I’m playing ‘dead kitty on the floor’ so Mom will leave the air on.”

Or maybe he’s dreaming of the lovely Halley as she dreams of him… Hmm…

Belated Mother’s Day wishes

Belated Mother’s Day wishes to Chaos’ mom, Riley (black, below), from Chaos (not pictured) and his brother Diablo (white, below).

Some semi-solid yarn I dyed over at Jeanne’s a week ago. These were two skeins of white Lamb’s Pride Superwash (a truly unpleasant yarn), soaked in vinegar water in loosely twisted hanks (as pictured below, but not so tight), then liquid purple Jacquard acid dye was dumped into the vinegar water. As the dye kept exhausting, I would add more dye and swish things around a little bit. I like the effect enough that I’ll try doing this again sometime.

I have my dye buddy’s yarn all set, but I’m not going to post pictures of it until it’s sent and safely received. Moving right along – remember the blindingly bright yarn from my dyeing class at Shepherd’s Harvest? Here’s how it looks after a few turns on the old niddy noddy – socks? Or a crazy bright baby sweater? Hmm… Anyway, I think we might have been using Cushing’s dye in the class – it was in those little cellophane envelopes and we used vinegar to set it.

“Here, Furry Orange Mouse… come to Papa.”

Tomorrow, more on the two new mice that arrived from the UK yesterday! Furry Orange Mouse (FOM), above, and Furry Red Mouse (FRM), below. FRM might indeed be hiding from someone…

Warped yetis and other images from Shepherd’s Harvest

Hee hee – no, I did not bring home a llama from Shepherd’s Harvest on Saturday! I’m pretty sure that neither Chaos nor the downstairs neighbor would’ve approved. Plus, that llama looked like a spitter to me, too.

I’m bummed that I didn’t run into anyone I was hoping to run into! I got back to Building B a bit late (around 1:30 pm) and didn’t pull my knitting out because it was too flippin’ cold to knit. Or for the spinners to spin, apparently, so the Spin In area where we had all planned to meet never got set up.

I enjoyed the class I took on dyeing self-striping sock yarn Saturday morning. Here’s the warping board we used to create the long skeins – yarn was atached at the upper right corner, wrapped back and forth to the lower left corner, then back up. I think this setup makes skeins with a 20-yard loop size, but you could obviously make much longer skeins, too.

Here’s one of my dyed skeins, drying on a rack in my bathtub, Saturday evening:

“So bright! My eyes, my eyes!”

Part of the Blackberry Ridge booth – I managed to resist, because I haven’t knit up the yarn I got from this booth last year!

An angora bunny, sitting patiently on a chair waiting to be plucked – at least, I’m pretty sure this was a bunny and not an overgrown tribble:

Another angora bunny, looking more like a baby yeti than a rabbit, getting plucked:

And a very cute book I found, on sale for $3.22!

“Knitted cats?! Why do you need a knitted cat when you have me??”