Monday, November 22, 2010

Quick & Dirty

I discovered that there’s still about 3” to go on my Happy Legs and I’m running quickly out of yarn. I had more of the same brand but not the same colour in the stash: leftovers from these socks and these fingerless mitts (Ravelry links). One 70g ball had much darker areas than the others so I chose that one to over-dye. After winding it into a skein and securing with cotton ties I washed it in Orvus and then soaked the wool in my everlasting bucket of acid water for an hour. I no longer have any idea what the exact pH of this is. I should check, shouldn’t I? It still works well though.

Lanaset (aka Telana) was to be my dye of choice because it has the most neutral black of all my synthetic dyes. I used my ever-adaptable casserole method which works well for a single skein and is quick to do. I dissolved 1% WOF (.7g) dye powder in a little hot water in the dish and added enough water to keep the skein very wet but not swimming. Then I smooshed the squeezed-out skein quickly into the dye, making sure that it all got into the solution. Since the wool is already acidified, the dye takes up almost immediately and if fairly even results are wanted then speed is of the essence as the yarn hits the dye. I popped on the casserole lid and nuked the dish in the microwave several times in 3-minute bursts. After it cooled a bit and the water in the dish was clear, I rinsed the skein to get out the acid and any excess dye (though there wasn’t any visible so the dye exhaustion was excellent). Lastly I spun out as much water as possible in the machine and now I’m just waiting for it to dry. The wool still shows some of the underlying red but it’s all muted down and should work fine for the very top of the panty part of my netherstockings…er, tights. Photo to come when it’s dry.

And there’s even enough of that yarn (in its original colours) to make another project. Perhaps a hat to go with the knee socks and mitts? However, I’m determined to get these things off the needles before casting on anything else.

I’ve also been plugging away at the Watercolour Rag Quilt though it’s going rather slowly for some reason. Still tearing squares out of the dyed fabrics and pinning them together in sandwiches with flannelette in the middle.


I’m nearly half done this part, but I’m going to have to piece some squares from the scraps and patch a few holes to have enough to make this thing as big as I want it to be. I was working on it last evening but had to quit when I screwed up and cut 4 pieces 1” too small on one side. Doh. Need my wits about me to make 8” squares more-or-less the same size. I’m obviously not really a quilter.

In other news, there is NO NEWS! No new grandbaby yet - two days after her due date. Well I don’t blame her for not wanting to come out. It’s cold out here! We’re currently having a rare November cold snap, some snow included. So much for the anything edible left in my garden. They’re all turned into popsicles. Oh well. Anyway, interesting sounds are made when cars crunch through the small amount of frozen slush that remains on the streets outside! Kind of a nice break from the usual pounding rain.

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