Like most things in the world, knitting has a set of rules and conventions. Sometimes, we knitters break them. This is my knitting confession.
On Mondays, I’ll fess up to some of my own, personal knitting “no-no’s”. Feel free to join me by blogging some of your own weekly confessions or stories of breaking knitting conventions and join the linkup below.
Confession #6: Hand dyeing yarn is fun, until it isn’t.
This is going to be a long confession because the pain is still so close at hand. First up…
Dyeing yarn can be a lot of fun, especially if you are just doing single skeins. When you are trying to do enough yarn for a sweater in the same color, it gets a little trickier. A while back I overdyed some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes sport into a lovely dark pumpkin orange for my Peabody sweater. After laying the six skeins out to dry, I thought I had done a pretty decent job of matching the color across all of them. I was pretty pleased with myself.
Fast forward to this weekend – my Peabody is finished, seamed, and blocking. When I notice the shoulder of one sleeve is visibly, disturbingly darker than the rest of the sweater. Boo. A whole number of things went through my head, “It’s still wet, maybe it’ll be less noticeable when it’s dry? No, it’s too obvious. Wait, isn’t that the same skein I made the other sleeve with? Yes… it is, and that sleeve is way darker than the body of the sweater. Well, will anyone notice that if I just don’t put my arms near my body while wearing this sweater?”
After about five minutes, I gave up trying rationalizing letting this mistake slip. Even if no one else in the world noticed the color difference (I would just have to make sure to surround myself with colorblind people, right?), I would notice it every single time I pulled out the sweater. And it would drive me nuts and diminish my love for this sweater. And I had worked hard on it, and I wanted to love it fully, as it deserves. So I knew I had to redo the sleeves. (This is where I thanked the stars that the sleeves were seamed into this cardigan. That, and the fact that the yarn in the body wasn’t glaringly different in color. It could have been so much worse.)
So I undid the sleeves and am redoing them. Fortunately I had one skein of yarn left that, at first glance, looks like it will match up more evenly to the body. (Please, please work. I do not want to knit these sleeves a third time. Sleeves are my least favorite part of sweaters….)
I also had a whole other dyeing conundrum this weekend with some mystery yarn I picked up a church rummage sale. After doing a burn test, I was convinced it must be some natural fiber – it definitely didn’t burn like acrylic yarn. So I tried dyeing it with some food coloring. At first it all looked swell, but when I went to rinse the yarn, all the dye washed out. That was a sad Saturday. So Sunday, I headed over to Michael’s to pick up some Rit dye and see if that worked better. After hours sitting in the warm dye pot, it came out looking great. When I rinsed it, it was a beautiful silvery gray. I was really excited how this was turning out after the disappointment the night before. But when I added a bit of soap to make sure all the dye was rinsed out of the yarn – bye bye color! All the dye washed out again. It was a very sad, no good Sunday. Needless to say, I threw out the yarn. It was a bit mangled from being heated, and I was just so frustrated I didn’t want to even see it any more.
So dyeing yarn can be a lot of fun. Until it isn’t.