Friday, January 2, 2009

Electric Kool Aid Acid Test

So I mentioned the other day that I would be dyeing some Cascade 220 for a yoke sweater... Well, on new year's eve, I put on my alchemist hat and this is what I ended up with:

It may look like a horrible accident that would have me in tears, but believe it or not, it's pretty much what I intended -- I wanted the dye to be sparse and erratic, some large and some small blotches, with the majority of the yarn still the original colour (Duck Egg Blue, for the record.) Some of the skeins have more dye than others, since I started to run out by the last skein or two (though a couple that look undyed in the photo have more colour on the other side of the skein) -- I think I'll just use them strategically, to try to disperse the colour evenly. Or not. I wound one up so far, to see how it looks in a yarn cake, and now I'm pretty stoked to start the project.

For the dye, I used equal parts Cherry and Orange Kool Aid, to try for a colour that wasn't just bright purple but wasn't brown, either. It came out somewhere between plum and dried blood. I'm pretty satisfied with it. The only snag was that most of the KoolAid dyeing instructions out there on the web call for a microwave, or sometimes a steamer basket, neither of which I have. (Or even the sun, which is also curiously absent this time of year.) So I had to do a little extra searching to find some instructions that used a conventional oven instead. It worked fine, but my whole apartment had the sickly smell of Orange Cherry Wet Sheep for a day or two. My HLM was not impressed. I went through a lot of incense, what with my windows being frozen shut by Jack Frost and all.

In other news, I spent the last couple of days plugging away on a new knitting bag (so I'll have something pretty to store my new sweater project in, natch.) I got the pattern free from Knitting Daily ages ago, and recently saw so many nice ones on Ravelry that I had to try it out. Knitting the berry stitch so tightly for three days wasn't the best thing for me, but it turned out so nice that I can't complain. Once again, I used Cascade 220 (this time in Como Blue, which is quite a bit darker than this photo appears -- it's more accurate in the photo below) but doubled up, since the pattern calls for a much thicker yarn. And yes, if you're wondering, those are wooden knitting needles at the top of each panel (10.0mm diameter -- yikes!) The bag was knitted on much smaller needles, of course, but you end it with the big ones, and glue the stitches at the point end so they won't slide off.

The bag is totally roomy and sturdy. I lined it with leftover fishy fabric, since it sort-of matched. I was going to stabilize the handles with fabric as well, but I didn't have quite enough, so they will just stretch out, as garter stitch is wont to do. I will live with it. Right now my Bumbleberry socks are stored in there, waiting patiently to be finished. Did I mention that I turned the second heel?

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