Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lazy Saturdays.

Yesterday I ran errands and did grocery shopping and was otherwise virtuous. Tomorrow I've got to open up the back porch for the summer, sweeping out a winter's worth of fallen leaves and scrubbing at least two pounds of dirt and bug shit off the patio furniture. But today I'm doing what I want.

Last night I took this,

and opened up the bag, spread out the wool, and soaked it overnight with a mordant. Wool is like those little compressed synthetic sponges you buy for your kids, you know, that are in little pill forms, and you drop it in water and it expands out into a dinosaur.

In this case, it expanded to fill that metal pan, and was still compressed. It could have filled a space twice that size, if the space had been available. (I really need a five gallon pot, but my piece of shit stove can't heat a five gallon pot, so...)

Anyway. I opened it all up, fluffed it, soaked it, and this morning, I dyed.

It's been in the oven for about three hours now, and will probably be in there another hour, so the dye takes.

One pound of Purple Trainwreck. Woohoo!

This is the test dye and spin, before I tackle The Bells Fiber. (For that I think I'll buy the five-gallon pot.) I'm using one pound of fiber. She sent me 500 grams, I think, so it comes out about equal. I think. I hope.

Part of this morning's process involved dumping a whole pitcher of super-concentrated purple dye into that pan of wool. It was so dark and dense it was impossible to see the wool through all the dark almost-black dye, and I was having a stroke, thinking I'd wind up with a whole pan of super-dark purple evenly-dyed wool which wasn't going to do me a damn bit of good in terms of test-spins. For about an hour I had this kind of conversation going with myself:

LEFT BRAIN: Oh shit, oh shit, that's too fucking dark and if it's all the same color and solid it's not going to teach me shit for that other wool.

RIGHT BRAIN: With as tightly packed as that wool is, there's no way in hell it's evenly dyed. Chill out and get over it.

LEFT BRAIN: Oh shit, I'm fucking this up.

RIGHT BRAIN: It's an EXPERIMENT, dumbass, if you learn from it, you did it right.

LEFT BRAIN: Oh, shit.

RIGHT BRAIN: Shut the hell up, you idiot.

At any rate, you can see from the photo it's unevenly dyed (even moreso when you look at the underside and between the coils), so all that fuss was for nothing.

When I'm not spazzing out (and sometimes when I am), I've been spinning the Berry Picking.

I'm actually tracking how much time I spend for pricing purposes, and have decided hand-spinning is like hand-knitting. You can never charge what it's worth. But I spin for relaxation anyway, so it's all good.

Hope everyone else is having a mellow Saturday.


Alwen said...

Yeah, I've been spending my sunny Saturday out in a patch of French violets pulling out the periwinkle/vinca vine/myrtle. It smelled heavenly.

walterknitty said...

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has those kinds of conversations with myself.

Bells said...

Nice one. How exciting to see that much purple trainwreck!

Robin said...

You might want to check out restaurant supply places for pans / pots to dye in. Great stainless steel stuff. The warming pans work well and come in different sizes. Mighty cute sailor in the previous post!!

TinkingBell said...

Lovely colours - yum - almost edible!

Love (as always) the VK review - of course - it takes forever to get to Aus, so it will almost be ready for summer here.

Did you get your new Bendigo shade card yet (with the new LUXURY wool? - mmmmmm)

Amy Lane said...

Wow-- what a lovely way to spend your time... and it's gonna look AWESOME!

Roxie said...

With results like that, you could start a religious cult and have us all dying together. Who has the Kool-Ade?