Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Muh-muh-muh my Mariah

I'm sick. Again.


Fortunately, I think I'm now in the recovery stages, but yesterday was pretty hairy. The ironic part is, we're (that would be my family and I, not the royal we) pretty sure I had food poisoning. From spinach dip I ordered from the place where I work. Oh, the hilarity. And oh, I don't know how many years it will be until I can look at spinach dip again, let alone eat it.

Well, now that I've disgusted you all away, let's see some pretty pictures!

I'm making some steady progress on Mariah, not that it felt like that until I saw the first pictures I took of the sleeve. For my size I have to repeat the arm shaping 17 times, and right now I'm around the 14th repeat. I love the way this central cable pattern looks, and how the arm increases are incorporated into cables. Here's a photo that shows the shaping better, though the edges are still pretty curly.

Ha - I originally typed 'surly'. And yes, that pale, shapeless lump in the photo actually is my normal-human-shaped arm. Anyway, Jodi Green is a straight-out genius.

I haven't been knitting much lately, mostly because we're in the middle of a disgusting heat wave. I live in Vancouver, folks. It's not supposed to reah 35 degrees here! (Americans: no, it isn't that cold here. Think 92 or so.) But I did dye some yarn for lace.
It's Scheepjes Invicta again, the same yarn I used for my gorgeous, beauteous Laura doily. All the other times I dyed yarn, I used Kool-Aid, but this time I used Easter egg dye, "Dudley's Dazzling Dye" to be specific. Tip: go to Zeller's a few days after Easter and get a box for 96 cents. It came with 5 packets of colour: purple, red, blue, green and yellow. I planned to dye the yarn as I always had before, despite the change in colourant, but came away with interestingly different results.

First, I wound the yarn into a hank and soaked it in hot water for 30 minutes. Then I squeezed the water out of the yarn (the bonus to dyeing superwash yarn is you can be as rough with it as you like). Next I prepared the dye, which was where things went differently. I diluted the packet of purple dye in about a cup and a half of hot water (I like to start off with less than the total amount of water and add more or less as suits the colour) and it was really pale. I mean, really really pale. I added more water nonetheless, because there wasn't enough water to dye the yarn even if it had been dark enough. I decided to pour the dye onto the yarn to see what happened. Where the dye hit the yarn, the change was perceptible but much paler than I had envisioned. I succumbed to the inevitable and ran upstairs for the red and blue dyes.

When I added the red to the water in the measuring cup, the water turned pale pink; at least tonally all these colours were going to be the same. But then I added the blue and freaked. The water turned a lovely royal blue, even with the red already there. I added a bit more water and poured the dye onto the yarn. Fortunately, the blue purple mixed with the "did someone spill some lavender water?" purple. And, as I always forget, the yarn is always paler than the dye. (At least when dying white yarn, in my experience.)

In the end I'm rather pleased. It's mucho different than what you get with Kool-Aid, and I'm going to kieep that in mind for next time. Photography note: I took these photos on a very bright, sunny day: that's why Mariah looks more Crayola red than cabernet red. I was afraid by shooting the Invicta in such bright light you wouldn't be able to see any colour at all. But - here my most rudimentary of rudimentary of colour circle skills are put to the test - I think by putting it among the green of the grape plant, the purple is complemented rather than washed out. Woohoo!

As a final note, a photo I took while shopping downtown last week or so. This shop clearly caters to the fiber snob in us all:


At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

Mariah looks fabulous - and you're right on with the colour wheel idea. AAcckkk! Have been reading colour theory - must stop!


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