Tuesday, May 22, 2012

For All Those Nosy People

Roxie, my knitting and spinning mentor (who would also be my weaving mentor were I still living in the fair state of Oregon) asked what my current creative project idea was cuz 'nosy people want to know'.

So here is a clue for those nosy people who care.

Long long ago, more than three years ago, I was considering the possibility of knitting a project using some handspun yarn which I had dyed with Kool-Aid.  Yes, dear reader, Kool-Aid, Drink-Aid and other types of Liquid-Sugar-and-Artificial-Coloring-Aid can be used for dyeing fiber (wool works best).  I dyed mine in the microwave.  That's Twenty First Century Style dyeing.  It works well.  Remember all the clothes you ruined from spilling your drink and getting stains you couldn't wash out?  Yep, it works really really well. Throw a skein of wool into a microwaveable bowl, cover with water already adulterated with one or two packages of UNSWEETENED Kool-Aid and cook on high for nine minutes.  Check every three minutes and stir carefully to ensure that the dye soaks into the entire skein.  When most of the color has been absorbed, allow the water to cool, remove the yarn, and rinse in vinegar water to set the color.

Anyway, I had dyed several skeins of wool in different flavors of Kool-Aid and wrote a blog post about my intentions to knit something with it.  I just couldn't decide what.  I even asked for suggestions.  This post and this one recount my contemplations.

I did begin to knit swatches and even cast on and worked a couple of inches of a sweater.  The main background color I had chosen was the green and well, it looked awful.

After allowing the project to languish for months in that state, I just pulled it all apart and stuck the yarns back in the wicker basket.  Later, I moved the skeins to a dresser drawer in the guest room closet.  I decided to ignore it all except for occasionally grabbing one of the skeins to use for a bunny dress.

Fast forward almost three years.  I decided that this project was not going to defeat me.  (Who said knitters are the most optimistic of all people?)  Finally, I think I have figured out what the problem was.  Too much color.

I have some UNDYED handspun yarn which is not from the same fleece but most likely from the same type of sheep which I think will work well for the main color.  Last week, I checked out some library books with  fair isle patterns.  After pouring over the possibilities, I think I will try some swatches and maybe, just maybe, I'll have a winner--a fair isle sweater that I will actually wear.

Stay tuned.


ellen b. said...

I guess I'm nosy cuz here I am. I don't know about drinking kool-aid after reading this post. LOL!
I'll be curious to see the final result of your ponderings...

roxie said...

Oh, Faire-Isle on a white ground with those great colors? What FUN!! Graph paper and colored pencils might be very helpful here. You gotta promise to show us this as you work on it. Wish you had given us a photo of the unsuccessful swatch. This is how we learn.