Monday, July 26, 2010

Red socks . . .

When I was at Apple Leef Farm awhile back, I bought some undyed sock yarn intending to throw it in the dye pot when I dyed my Red Scarf Project.  Keep in mind that I've had my undyed scarf yarn and the dye for quite a long time . . . well, since Susie Gibbs announced the project back in May. 

I tightly twisted the two hanks of undyed Panda Bamboo/Wool/Nylon.  I soaked them for an hour or so before putting them in the dye pot.  Wow . . . the red is there, but so are about a gazillion other shades from the lightest toe-shoe pink to the brightest watermelon.  In fact, my granddaughter was eating watermelon as I was photographing the yarn, so I put her bowl of fruit next to the yarn so you could see just how similar they are.  Beautiful . . .

I can absolutely say that this is exactly the color I wanted . . . I just wonder if I could ever replicate it.  Do you think?

I can hardly wait to start in on my variegated red/pink/coral socks.  Yum . . . they look good enough to eat!!


Project red dye . . .

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 . . .

Great fun!!

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!!!