My friend, Susie Gibbs, at Juniper Moon Farm, recently blogged about a subject close to her heart, Orphan Foundation of America’s Red Scarf Project. She also offered a great deal if you wanted to purchase red yarn from her . . . but I had other ideas.
Since I'm a relatively new spinner (just several months old), I have recently been pretty obsessed with spinning. It's as though I just can't quite get enough of it. I L.O.V.E. spinning. I had spun some beautiful merino wool/mohair blend I purchased from Apple Leef Farm; I also had a big spool of mohair and another big spool of merino wool. So I four-plied two plies of the merino wool/mohair blend that I handspun, and one ply each from the spool of mohair and the spool of merino wool.
You would expect red dye to "take" equally on all different plies . . . right? I mean, come on . . . we're talking about mohair and merino wool, right? Wrong. The red absorbed differently on the strands. When I removed it from the dye pot and was hanging to dry (which I failed to get a picture of since it was pitch dark by then) I was pretty sure it was a goner . . . a lost cause . . . a failed attempt . . . the end.
Never wanting to admit failure, I put it on the spool winder and wound balls (three to be exact, 270 yards total). I scrounged for my size 11 needles, rifled through patterns on Ravelry, and began knitting. I tried to find a pattern that would maybe not hide the imperfections in the dye job, but minimize them. I had noticed this pattern earlier, and finally decided on My So Called Scarf (disclaimer clause: this is a copyrighted pattern which is available free on Ravelry; however, you can't use the pattern for profit).
Wow!!! I'm so glad I didn't scrap this yarn. I took a picture of the wound yarn and the beginning of the scarf. I hope it shows the variations in the coloring well enough for you to see how beautiful this thing is turning out.
The picture looks a little dark, but in fact, the red is dark . . . very dark. But I also think you can see what looks like faded spots in the spools and in the scarf on the needles. And that's exactly what it looks like: faded red. It's absolutely beautiful.
I'll be taking this for show and tell Wednesday at my Texas Twisters weekly spin-in, so I hope you'll be there to see it! It's great.
And read my next post for another crazy outcome with this dye . . .
BTW, Susie also is offering a very generous giveaway if you want to participate in this project! And you have until December 15th. I might have to make several scarves so I get into the drawing several times. Her yarns are TO DIE FOR!!!