Friday, April 07, 2006

Pacific Northwest Shawl Update

I just couldn't stand it any longer. I looked and looked at the brown yarn and finally my heart said no I would never wear a brown shawl. So, I started thinking about what color I would like. I love purple, but my favorite one shot dye is Raspberry. It just is so pretty and so so raspberry that I think I could picture myself wrapped up in a warm raspberry shawl. So this is what I did to the yarn and just let me say that Knit Picks yarn just loves to be dyed. So here goes:

Here is the brown yarn in all it's glory. It is the one on the left. The yarn on the right is the alpaca that was left over from my Knitting Olympics Project for my husband. I was thinking lace socks, but I am now pretty much convinced that there isn't enough so I am now thinking lace cuffs I just haven't picked a pattern yet.

So, into the dye pot it goes. I believe, from endless amounts of dye classes in college, that if you put the yarn in room temperature water and slowly heat it up it is less of a shock to the yarn. Thus it won't felt (This is the theory). Also warming up the fibers makes them more open and thus more receptive to taking in dye.

I mix the dye with a bit of the hot to just about boiling water to make it easier to mix in with the dye. I started with a 1/4 tsp of dye to see what would happen. Of course my professor would faint at the idea that I haven't weighed the goods, done a sample, etc...but where is the fun in that? Then I pour the dye mixture into the dyepot and mix it thoroughly around so that it will dye the skeins evenly. (Also Theoretical) The nice stick is a part of one of my grandmother's old mops that just happened to be handy =)

I didn't like the look of it when I mixed in that first 1/4 tsp. It is just a bit too pale, especially if you consider that it will lighten up a bit when it dries. So, I added another 1/2 tsp to the pot to make sure that it would really turn out a nice dark raspberry color.

Ah, there we go, a much better color. By the way, in case you haven't heard it enough, I just love One Shot dyes. No vinegar to add, no nothing. Just add the nice hot water and cook. I let the water get to just about boiling. I stirred quite a bit too, which is also suppose to be a no no, but even dyeing requires stirring and a lack of felting requires no stirring. So, I compromised and stirred carefully. How this is different from regular stirring I have no idea, but somehow it works. I let the skeins sit in the dyepot overnight while the water cooled to pick up the most amount of dye possible. Then I carefully wrung them out and hung them up to dry.

Here are the results. Three lovely skeins of raspberry goodness all ready for a nice shawl pattern. (sorry about the blurry picture they wouldn't cooperate). They are a little felted, but thankfully they balled up nicely and didn't give me any trouble. I am now debating about the pattern. I know the pattern I got was for The Snowdrop Shawl by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, but when reading the pattern I noticed that part of it requires picking up 218 sts on just one side of the shawl and then another 218 sts up the other side. Now, I am an experienced knitter, but that is just a bit daunting. So, I am debating whether I will switch to the Pacific Northwest Shawl with my husband, since he got the pattern this week and is planning on doing that. Hmm....decisions, decisions.


Knot Another Hat said...

You go girl. Really cool to see the whole dyeing process - thanks for the careful pics. One day you'll have to show me how to do all that. Some day when I'm available for fun extras like that. Hah! Who am I kidding? Nice work!

Fyberduck said...

the waspbewwy is goiiiiigous! I was actually wondering about changing my patten, too, hehe.