Thursday, April 27, 2006

Happiness in a Jar

Yes, my desk is always this messy. 50 points if you can locate the following: batteries, purple yarn, multiple packages of Kool-Aid, oversized crayons, ghosty votive candle holder, and package of size 10 1/2 dpn's.


Yes, I admit it. I love frogs. So when I found these cute little guys on the wall by my front porch, I thought I would share.

These are three separate frogs. I promise I didn't just chase one around to make it look like there were more than one. I've never seen three at once before, but whenever I see my little froggy friend, it always makes me smile.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


***Disclaimer: I wrote most of this post yesterday, Wednesday 26th of April. I was too lazy to finish and post it. There will be (more) pics. I promise.

I resumed dyeing the next day after, well, whatever the last day I dyed was. Yesterday? Did I dye yesterday? I honestly can't remember. Sad, huh?

It seems that as my yarn dried, things changed. The kool-aid yarn dried beautifully. The purple, however, well... It wasn't good. It had some surprises on the inside of the skein where it didn't dye evenly. Then as it dried, it got really... splotchy. I decided to experiment a bit and dye the purple yarn in the microwave this time. I mixed up the dye and put in the vinegar and the dye- the dye- it turned blue. At this point I really didn't care. I dyed the yarn anyway, hoping at least that the splotches would get darker. And they did.

Now this poor yarn has seen its day. Dark purple, with light grey-blue-purple splotches. Bits of red here and there. And it's starting to felt to itself. I may or may not ever use this yarn. It's mostly just for practice, so it's ok.

Update: Surprisingly, when I wound the purple yarn up, it's pretty now. I seem to like it. What's with that? Maybe I'll have use for it after all.

My pink yarn. Oh, my pink yarn. Again, Wilton's icing dye. In the microwave, with a tiny bit of vinegar. It was beautiful. It looked like intestines.

It was a dark pink, and the color was pretty even along its length. I wound it into a super-long skein, and I think that helped it dye evenly. Behold the super-niddy-noddy!

I made my original niddy-noddy way too short, only for a 1-yard skein, and I was without a hack saw and desparate, so I stuck my leftover pvc pipe in and there it is. My arms sure were tired. Standing up, it comes about to my hip. Too lazy to go find a tape measure (really, I'm sure I could just turn around and find one, but it would involve getting up), I'm guessing it's about 3 feet long. I will get it shortened. Probably to whatever length this tutorial recommends.

So. Pink yarn. I hung it up, it was beautiful. Then it dried. Splotchy. Part pink, peach, orange-ish.

I'm about done with wilton's dye. I'm so frustrated with it. I will probably over-dye it again then call it quits. I've been using Paton's Classic Merino Wool, about half a skein for each of these experiments, so it's not too expensive.

Update: Yet again, when I wound the yarn into the skein, even though it was not at all the color I wanted, it is strangely pretty. I think I'll keep it. (It is darker in person.)

And just for posterity's sake, here's the yarn I dyed (the first day of dyeing) with the pseudo-kool-aid. I am quite pleased with it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

My first post: Adventures in dyeing

After months of hemming and hawing, here I am, starting a blog. I am not really sure how a first post is supposed to go, so I'll just jump in, if that's ok with y'all.

In preparation for the Dye-O-Rama swap, I thought I would overdye some yarn that I had dyed before and didn't like. I did some new things today, kool-aid dyeing in the microve, and dyeing with Wilton's Icing Color. Ok, well, I admit it. Almost everything is still new. Last time I dyed yarn, I just did kool-aid on the stove. Thank goodness in the swap, there is a 'WTF am I doing?' group. Yep. That's just where I belong!

First order was a trip to Wal-Mart for supplies:

I do want to try out dyeing with egg dye, I may have tried it before but I can't remember. I scored 5 boxes of Paas Dye at 33 cents apiece! There are also 2 jars of Wilton Icing color, in Violet and Pink. I was hoping for Lavender, but with Wal-mart, you never know. Also, some plastic eggs to stash for next year. I love that they're super-big, so I can hide larger things in them. Maybe a hotwheels car or a hair toy or something like that. Under the pile is something not at all related, 3 pieces of felt in red, green, and brown. These are for Booga J's Pincushion Challenge, which officially starts May 1, even though she announced the theme today. I think it'll be really fun, so go take a look!

Here's the yarn I overdyed:

The pink was really too peach-ish, and, the purple? Well, first all, the photo is too light. Yes, I am too lazy to doctor it. (If anyone has advice on photography for blogging, please share!) The purple was done with some grapey kool-aid off brand, and didn't dye evenly. There are some nice purple parts, and, well, some gray parts too. There are also some pink specks here and there but that I don't mind.

I used fruit punch Flavor-Aid on the pink yarn, and violet Wilton's color on the purple.
Here are the tutorials that I used: dyeing with Kool-aid basic how-to and dyeing with Wilton's icing dye.

I dyed the kool-aid in the microwave (yes, I already said that, I know... sigh...) and I learned that I don't really need to use all of the dye- oops! It leaked! That's ok, I just pressed a spoon into the yarn after a few microwave sessions to see if the water was clear or not.

And here's my yarn!
The red, or rather red-pink is pretty accurate, but the purple too blue in the picture. I had some problems with splotchiness in the purple. Maybe I should have gently stirred the yarn more? Does anyone have any suggestions? Also, the purple yarn didn't take up all the dye. The water was still light blue when I took the yarn out. I guess I should have waited longer, but I am sooo impatient, and I wanted to get the yarn done before my girl-child got home from school. The red is a little bit splotchy, but not much. All in all, I like both yarns a lot better now than before.