Sunday, August 24, 2008

Disappointing Fay

I think we were all a little disappointed this weekend in the poor show that Hurricane Fay put on in the North Georgia area.  She seemed to pummel Florida with the first hurricane they've seen in a few years, and made landfall more than enough times, but we ended up with an overcast weekend with slight sprinkles.  Mostly it was super-humid.  A bad hair weekend.

School began this last week, and it was mostly satisfying.  I've realized how little I care to be at the law school.  I enjoy my classes, but much like undergrad, I like to get home, do my work in my own space and use my free time to knit and do fiber-things (and see DH, and play with the dog, and all sorts of other-non school related things).  Also, one of my best friends has relocated to the same town I live in, and I'm super-excited to have her around.  Its like undergrad again!  (Except much harder, more expensive and more time consuming)

Today I embarked on my second natural dying experiment.  The first was the eucalyptus wool, a later batch now for sale at my etsy shop BlueMuttDesigns.  The second is marigolds.  I mentioned to my mother a few months ago that I read that marigolds made good dyestuffs (and were readily identifiable in the list I read on Ravelry), so she bought a six pack or two and planted them.  Well, yesterday I saw them and realized they had gotten gigantic.  So I filled up a grocery bag with the heads and here is what happened next:

I pulled the petals off.  It might have actually been easier later on if I had left them on the green parts, since removing all of the marigold petals from the dye bath without a proper colander turned out to be impossible.

Next, simmered on the stove until the water turned yellowish-red.  Next to it the wool was mordanting with approximately 1-2 tsp of alum, 1/2-ish tsp of cream of tartar.  I wasn't really careful with the amounts but used an approximate, since the amounts I had listed were for 1 lb of wool.  This was probably around 4 oz of wool, but were two different types and I have no real idea the weight.

This is the result while still wet.  Initially the color was ridiculously garish.  But the yellow wouldn't rinse out.  Several minutes under a cold tap and two Brown Sheep Wash baths still dripped a urine-like color.  I think the problem was actually the remaining marigold petals.  Once I managed to get most out, the dripping water was almost totally clear.

DH says the color is pretty.  I think its still a bit garish for my tastes.  We'll see.  What is actually there is two skeins of probably 150 yds worsted weight (2 ply) from some undyed I bought at Earth Guild.  The third skein is smaller and is a single.  I think its the undyed that DH got me from Main Street Yarns and Fibers.  Apparently for our anniversary he bought "all they had."  They were low, so it was only about 4 oz.  But it turned out nice anyway!  I think that the eucalyptus wool I have on etsy is from the same batch.  If that's right then its from a local sheep farm.  I can't remember the name of that farm for the life of me right now.

Oh, that reminds me.  Yesterday DH and I went to the local farmers market and I was so excited when we turned the corner and there was dyed handspun hanging from the tent!!!  DH says I "visibly perked up" when we saw it.  It was two lovely shades of purple, both from Cushings dye, she said, from her own sheep!  Next weekend she's going to bring some of her roving and I'm so excited!  I just love getting local stuff, from food to crafts and a source of inexpensive undyed roving would be awesome!

Speaking of Main Street, I picked this lovely Lorna's Laces roving up this week.  The route that this roving took to get to me was a bit circuitous but I love it!  Its about 10 oz total that I bought, and this was only one bobbin full.  I don't think it will go up on etsy since I had some issues with not putting enough twist in some of it so that it pulled apart when I Navajo plied it. 
I love it anyway!  (pottery is from a flea market benefiting the State Botanical Garden that I bought for $.10 because its handles broke off)

Research on a few websites leads me to believe that this color is called Envy, but I think I'll call it Grasshopper.  Its not the vibrant green I would think of as "envy."

And ahhh, I love Mmmmalabrigo....   These are the mittens that I am making for my grandmother.  (The pattern is awesomely amazing and is by Katherine E. Fagan).  I can't say enough how much I love Malabrigo!  Its so soft and so great to knit with.  Even the Max couldn't keep his paws off of it!  (Shhh...Don't tell DH I just ordered another skein from a fellow Raveler-he doesn't understand the yarn obsession)

Last but not least... I found this at my mother's LYS, Cast-On Cottage.  I used to hate this shop, but they changed owners and its really been reborn into a great little shop with really helpful employees and owner and an amazing selection. (They sell Malabrigo). 

I like to try new sock yarns.  I currently have a skein of Trekking XXL (color 147) from a shop in Michigan ready to go, but I felt that one skein of sock yarn wasn't quite enough (since Lime and Violet are my heroes!)  So I found Happy Feet by Plymouth Yarn.   The price was great-$6 a skein (2 needed)-and while I am very appreciative of hand-dyed, indie dyers, my law school budget does not appreciate it.  (And they say you shouldn't use loan money for anything you don't want to be paying for for 10 years-or so-but whether yarn is worth it is certainly debatable).    This yarn is 90% superwash and 10% nylon and unfortunately is called No. 11.  I agree with Lime and Violet that yarns are more exciting when they have cool names... but apparently Plymouth Yarns doesn't agree.  Oh well.  No idea what I'll do with it though... time will tell.


Robyn said...

I think the marigold color is pretty!

puggerhugger said...

Hi Saw your post on RAK! I'm from GA, used to live in Rome. You are not too far from us here in Asheville- are you planning to visit for the Fiber Festival in October? You should!! I like your natural dyes, very interesting. I tried koolaid with good results myself (see bloggie)