Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I keep losing hats.

First there was the beige hat I knit out of that expensive yarn so that it wouldn't be itchy. I don't know where I lost it, but it's gone. Then was the green fleece hat, a trifle thin but beloved because it actually fit my big head. I don't have many hats, you see, and now all I have left are the too-tight Russian hat (it's big and furry and black), the kitty hat I won't actually wear out in public, and The First Hat I Made, which is important for sentimental reasons but is too short to be warm.

Admittedly, it is now the season (she says, with a warning look at the window) for hats to become unimportant, but I decided a while ago that I wanted a hat. Or two. So my first major spinning project became white Blue-Faced Leicester wool that I intended to spin and then dye into three colors (actually, two, because I decided to leave one white) in order to make the Hayden Hat. I dyed the wool yesterday:

This is Kool-Aid dyeing, along with Easter Egg dye dyeing the only way I know to do it. I got a birthday check yesterday as well, though, so I'm thinking I'm going to find some real dyes and see how much trouble I can get into. Anyway, a word of warning: the Kool-Aid Magic Twist that says it turns from green powder to blue liquid is lying. It came out a pretty color, but the color is almost entirely green. The blue lemonade color was a light, thick blue, so I tried adding a tiny bit of red after this picture and that mellowed it out some.

At the same time I decided to try dyeing some brown Corriedale I recently purchased. I had also decided, in my hat longings, that what I really wanted was a brown hat made from bulky yarn, so that it would be warm and also quick to knit. And when trying to decide what type of wool to get I read somewhere on the Internet that Corriedale is perfect for beginners. I had done pretty well with the Blue-Faced Leicester, but I figured I'd give it a try. I struggled to spin the thick single I was going for to get the bulky yarn and when I spun a thinner one just to see it wasn't a lot better. I'm slowly mastering it (my mastering technique seems to be to fight with it for a while, then put it down for a few days and when I come back I'm better at it) but the BFL is, in my opinion, superior for a beginner and just in general. The moral here is not to believe everything you read on the Internet. Shocking, I know, but there it is.

So, I thought I'd try dyeing the brown with red, just to see what would happen. Beware the blurriness of the picture, but here's what happened, with the original on the side for comparison:

It's a sort of cherry-chocolate color. Could be interesting. Maybe I'll make some mittens out of it.

I also decided, at the same time, to try overdyeing some salmon-ish silk that Jen gave me a while ago. I'd like to do something with the yarn but salmon just isn't my color. So I dunked a snippet in the blue and a snippet in the red:

The original is on the left. The blue-dyed one became a sort of silvery color and the red-dyed one became cherry red. I could potentially do something with either one, but I think I'm going to wait for real dyes and see if I can do better.

So that was my dyeing experiment for the day. I also finished and plied the first skein of bulky brown:

It was a fight, but I think it's going to be worth it. Also with that birthday check I'm going to be buying myself a nicer spindle--and a stitch pattern book or two to try to design a wedding stole for me--and my strange hobbies continue.


JLB said...

Great projects! I always think of you when I see knitting projects online.

And I was just thinking about your birthday... I remember that it's in April, but I don't remember the day! Do tell... when exactly is your birthday? :)

Jennifer said...

Looks very nice! I like the blue color a lot. (But I would, you know.)

I never thought about dying the weird-o colors of yarn I end up with from lots. I'm not sure why I never thought of that! But it's a great idea. And the silk looks nice!

Jenny said...

Jade--it's the 5th. Really, really soon. :)

Jen--thanks! I like it too, though I'm curious to see if there are other Kool-Aid blues or if this is it. :)

JLB said...

hmmm... my guess had been the 8th, so I guess I was close! Do you have some fun birthday plans?

Lyvvie said...

I was glad tyo read on and see that was bright blue yarn in the bag, at first sight I though some weirdo was dyeing their spaghetti.

Good luck with the new hats!