Friday, January 13, 2006

Tickled Pink

Travel back with me for a minute. Back to October which now seems like a lifetime ago. I bought a small selection of ProChem acid dyes with the intention of dyeing yarn for holiday projects. And then I did something mind numbingly stoopid and accepted a commission for a fuggly holiday stocking and all those delusions of grandeur came to a skreeching halt. Damn. Double damn.

Fast forward to the first week of January and the first time that I wasn't stressed about knitting projects and classes and life in general. The dyes beckoned me from their hiding place in my stash. In I dove and immediately learned that "real" dyes vs. Kool-Aid produce really dark yarn. I present to you exhibits A and B...

Garish hand dyed yarn

Mini unfelted Buttonhole Bag knit with garish hand dyed yarn

Holy Moly Donut Shop those are some dark colors. Armed with my newfound knowledge, I eased up on the concentration of color and end up with better results but still the colors were crazy-go-nuts D.A.R.K.

Not a bad problem to have but a problem when you're shooting for lighter shades of color. This batch is being knit into wrist warmers for my hair dresser.

A bit discouraged, I went back to the drawing board, this time to try to replicate the color pink from one of my felted bags. Call me stupid but I was willing to at least give it a try. I bought a huge pot, toyed with diluting a small batch of my red stock solution (which is suspiciously fushia in my opinion) and voila! Kettle dyed pink yarn.

I can't begin to tell you how happy I am with the results. It matches perfectly. It's variegated. I'm now hooked on kettle dyeing and plan to do much, much more as soon as King Thing goes out of town again. All those dyes in our pristine white kitchen make him want to faint. Some things are best not seen, non?

Yes siree, I've been as busy as a one legged man in an ass kicking contest (For those of you who don't know, that's a Southernism. I'd love to hear your favorite if you have one). Anyhoo, between teaching knitting classes, private lessons and serious amounts of commissioned knitting and my regular job and oh yeah, being a domestic slave err... mother and wife, the Muse has had very little time to blog or read blogs. I've managed a bit of drive-by blog reading this week with a quick comment here and there. I hate not to comment like I used to but right now, time really is money. My mantra for 2006 is balance and I'm working hard to maintain it. I've been fairly successful and hope to keep my noggin above water this year.

So what's on my needles right now? A simple mindless felted tote bag - one of many - that's destined to be a birthday gift for my former California now North Carolina best friend. I'm lusting after a new knitting challenge but I'm not sure what that is just yet. And considering how little time I have for pleasure knitting right now, I might just need to stick to small projects or I'll be knitting the larger ones forever. I have WAY too many WIP but none of them are calling me from the stash. And spinning sadly has been practically non-existent. I think I might need to try to focus this year on either spinning, knitting or dyeing but I'm not convinced that I'm ready to commit to just one yet. Am I fickle or what?

What I CAN say that I've learned about myself over the past year is that I'm not nuts about sweaters. I know its blasphemy to say it out loud and I might lose my license to knit in saying so. Don't get me wrong, I love Rogue and some of the others that I've made in the past but for the most part, I really enjoy knitted accessories. I think people tend to gravitate to the knit bloggers who tackle sweaters and frankly I admire them too. But I think I've found my niche and plan to delve into deeply this year. Hope I don't bore you in the process.

Well back to work and life. I'll try to stop in more frequently but no promises. Many thanks for the kind words of encouragement. You're all too kind and I've missed you more than you'll ever know.


emmy said...

Keep "Juggling" Girl!
It's always so good to see you come up on Bloglines!
Your yarn is gorgeous and I bet that felted bag is going to be so nice. After our little groups "dyeing" experience I have a whole new respect for those that "dye" for a living.

Post as you can whenever that is. I'll be checking :)

Wanda said...

It's so nice to hear from you again. I'm so happy for you that your best friends from Cali moved closer on this coast. That has to be awesome!

I really love the kettle-dyed yarn, that turned out very well. I tend to like sweaters and all other knitted stuff, so I knit sweaters. But if sweaters aren't your thing, so be it. Do what pleases you. You always knit some of the nicest things, so if accessories are it, then do it and those that like will enjoy reading you no matter what.

I, too, am back in the land of employed people again, so I can't be online and surfing blogs as much. I had to cut back. A little tough, but it's difficult to juggle so many things and I don't want to go too stark raving mad!

Kathy said...

Hey! Good to see a post from you!

I *love* the colors in that mini bag. And I'm a big fan of knitted accessories too...I've done a sweater and am not all that excited about doing another. So you're not alone, and you won't lose your license to knit. ;)

Heather said...

I also love those colors in the bag T, felt that sucker and lemme see it!

Okay - here is my fave southernism...and I'll use it for our knitting purposes here...

"Good Golly Galdamn, T You are dyein' yarn like Grant went through Richmond!"


Amy Boogie said...

I love the dye colors. Yes, even the garish ones. :) I'm a huge fan f socks so I say knitting accessories is a good thing. it takes all different kinds of knitters to fill a basket.

kelly said...

I love the pink! What a great cure for the winter blues. I haven't tried to dye anything yet... but your results are an inspiration!

Good luck with maintaining your balance. I struggle daily with the working wife/mother/knitter/crafter thing... let me know if you figure it out!

Mrs.Curvy said...

Hello there it so nice to read your blog! The pink is just a grogeous color! I have never dying any yarn yet, but maybe one day.

Robin said...

KOOL!!!! Great kolors, I love the Mini bag! We'll have to get together and have a dyeing party!

Nik said...

See, I love dark colors and don't like "pastelly" colors as much. I didn't do any Kool-Aid dyeing because I never thought the colors were deep enough for me.

Cece said...

Hey! Welcome back! we've missed you.

I'm a little burned out on sweaters right now (well, at least knit for me) - so I see where you are coming from. Have you tried socks? Those are fun - and addicative.

Love the pink yarn - it's AWESOME. I should try dying sometime.

Kimberly said...

Wow, the pink yarn is beautiful.

We've missed you too.

Chere Randzin said...

I think a lot of similar method, but I still like your blog. I will pay more attention to almost every day.
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