Sunday, June 10, 2007

Dyeing just ain't my gift...

So I did the dye job, followed the instructions on the label and everything, and the yarn turned out purple. Purple! How on earth could a pale blue (not white as last week's image has led some of you to believe) yarn put in a darker blue dye end up friekin' purple? I just don't get it. But I don't hate it either, I think I ended up with quite a good contrasting color to go with the handpaint. Here it is...
all balled up. The dye job came out quite even, almost no mottledness is observable by the untrained eye. I think that I should have "primed" the yarn with vinegar if I wanted the color darker, but it wouldn't have ended up bluer. I tied up the hank with white superwash merino (scraps from the Celtic Knot Project swatches) and they sucked up the dye like crazy (as I expected from reading several handy web resources on hand dyeing yarn) but they were dark PURPLE. Not blue. Oh well... At least this turned out better than my first hand-dye experience which involved 880 yards of Knitpicks dye your own laceweight merino, Kool Aid, plastic bags,
some chopsticks and a turkey baster, a microwave oven, a huge mess my husband was very grumpy about, and a hank of very sorry looking felted up yarn that looked just plain ugly to my too-high-expectations-self. I swore I'd never do it again. How do some people get such fantastic results? Anyways I'm digressing. Here's a detail shot of the main body lace pattern.
Not bad, I think. It wasn't what I had expected, but I drastically lowered my expectations after the aforementioned bad experience, and I think it actually goes better then a random shade of blue would have. It's the same shade of purple as a short section of the hand dye. And the yarn softened up a fair bit in the washing process. It's a DK weight cashmere from
and the price was quite reasonable. I thought it was a bit coarse knitting with it before I ripped to do the dye job, but not scratchy, just coarse. Maybe that has to do with the tightness of the twist of the plies or something, though the yarn itself (composed of several plies, 4 I think) is somewhat loosely plied. I have to look at my knitting a fair bit to make sure I don't drop a ply, especially when doing the double decreases, like, every third stitch in this pattern. I still find it sortof coarse, but a bit less so. Don't get me wrong, it's way softer than a majority of the wools I knit with (except the superwash merino) and dosen't have long fibers that stick out like with Alpaca that tickle me (and my nose) when I knit with it. I guess I just expected something smoother and maybe fluffier. I have never knit with cashmere before, I thought it was too expensive. It's still pricier than most of the stuff I work with, but for a small luxury project (i.e. not a sweater), the price isn't bad.
I think it works...


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