Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Play Day!!

Monday was a day of fun! Liz, RoxieAnn and I decided that we needed to figure out the Louet Dyeing Kits. We each choose a color (Liz - Blue, RoxieAnn - Green, Nancy - Red) and went to work. The kits are all inclusive - 3 hanks of "blank" Gems (fingering weight), 3 colors of dye, a small package of Soak (used to rinse the yarn), a squeeze bottle, instructions for the dyeing process and a pattern to knit the socks up afterwards. A "blank" is what the industry refers to as undyed yarn.

The first thing we had to do was soak the yarn in water for approximately 30 minutes. This was a great time to have some breakfast: fresh fruit & croissants! With our hands clad in disposable gloves, we squeezed the water out of the yarn, laid the 3 hanks out side by side and prepared out dye. This was the fun part, but also the no rules part. You have to just let go and give it a try!! The first color was pretty easy as there wasn't another color to watch out for. The 2nd color was intended to go next to the 1st color. I decided I was going to put skinny stripes of the 2nd color on both sides of the 1st color. So far, so good!! Then the 3rd color came into play - ORANGE! OMG, this orange was so orange that I was convinced my yarn would be ruined. Try as I might, I have very strong color prejudices (orange, yellow, green). With the wind slightly out of my sails, I continued on with the process. As I blotted the yarn, I noticed that the colors were blending in a little. I started warming up again to my yarn. Next, 8 minutes in the microwave to set the color. Each hank needed to be wrapped in plastic wrap and then all 3 hanks went into a Ziplock Bag. Can you say "HOT"!!! It got so hot the plastic wrap tried to melt to the yarn. We prevailed, however, and now our yarn sits drying. I have to say, my yarn is quite interesting and I cannot wait for the drying process to be completed. There is still another step: rinse the yarn. I will do that tonight after my DPN sock class. With any luck, you will see our hand dyed yarn Wednesday!

I really have an appreciation for what creators of hand-dyed or hand-painted go through. Would I do it again? You bet!

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