My friend Jo came over today and we played with Procion MX dye. She had a bunch of little skeins of cottons and rayons and she wanted to see how the colours appeared on them. Jo is new to dyeing but she’s having a great time and I have the very functional dye studio that she doesn’t have. So she brought cookies and I made tea and after that we got down to business. She made me do something too so since I’ve been procrastinating overdyeing my faded handwoven kitchen curtains for about a year now, I decided to go for it. I soaked them a bit to get them wet, smooshed them into a bucket with a bit more water and started pouring yellow, orange, and red-brown dye all over them. After leaving them for 15 minutes I poured soda ash solution over and smooshed a bit. Then I tucked them in with a blanket to keep warm. Now that they’re rinsed and drying on the clothesline they look like orange sherbet threw up all over them! I actually like it even though it’s nowhere near an even dye job. Not even Unevenly Even. OK, orange is my favourite colour and they do go with my Persimmon Paintings that are nearby where they are to hang. And they’re much better than the faded pastel stripes they used to be. Hopefully if it ever gets light enough around here (before spring or before I forget, whichever comes first) I’ll get a photo. Oh and I figured out a great way to keep several small containers or one large one of dye warm so it works properly. I used this electric heat mat that goes with my little mini greenhouse for starting plant seeds. It's waterproof and keeps a constant temperature of around 35 degrees celcius. Jo’s little skeins turned out lovely shades of blackberry and blueberry and raspberry. I swear, all our work was full of yummy fruitiness today. Must be because it was dark and mostly rainy and very late fall-ish. We’re just perverse like that.
Next I’ve been working on my crochet/knit Not-So-Granny-Square Cardigan. As usual I’m working first on a sleeve, just in case something is horribly wrong with my design and I have to frog. There’s not so much knitting in the sleeve as shown by the fact that I’m almost done in one day. One day in which I was also dyeing and entertaining my friend Jo! Well we did work on our projects while the dye was batching, me knitting and she rug hooking. I’m such a slow knitter and I usually knit either large projects or ones with lots of teeny stitches (like socks) so I’m not used to something that has such quick gratification. I could get used to this! So far I’m liking the sleeve though I’m a little bit worried about having enough of the main yarn for the sweater. It was handspun many years ago and recycled from another oversized sleeveless sweater then overdyed to rusty red so I have no way to make more that matches. I plan to use a second yarn, one that’s used in the crochet squares, to work the edgings and button loops. I may need it for the little collar that I was planning too. It’s going to be a surprise! To me. Not to worry — this kind of thing is good for one’s creativity.
Meanwhile, I’m turning the heels on T-Man’s Socka Socks. Hope to have an in-progress picture of both projects tomorrow. Right now it’s almost bedtime. Dark. More rain coming. Brain shutting down. G’night.