Sunday, May 14, 2006

DYE-O-RAMA - so fun, so much to learn!

Knitted blanks
Originally uploaded by spinnity.
It was a very busy DYE-O-RAMA day today. In 12 hours, I went from skeined yarn to --> knitted blanks to --> a jam-packed afternoon of dye work to --> dyed sock blanks drying in the bathroom.

I think the colors I chose for my dye-o-rama partners came out FABULOUSLY... but the rest of the day's work does not feel as successful. Still, for a brand new hobby, 1 out of 4 efforts ending in total success is pretty damn good.

This morning saw me hard at work knitting up the last blank for today's dye day over in Berkeley at Nancy Robert's Machine Knitting To Dye For studio. By 11 am, I had finished knitting, completely unraveling, and reknitting the "Fibonacci" blank.

By 2 I was in the dye studio with two friends and three other dyers (names withheld to protect dye-o-rama surprise). We were all quite busy choosing colors, mixing dyes, and prepping fiber for dyeing. From 2 until 8 pm, life is kind of a blur. I started by applying the colorway I designed for my dye-o-rama partner to the fibonacci blank. I was disappointed to see that all the colors I chose munged into one purple-black mess. Sigh.

We've got a winner!
Originally uploaded by spinnity.
Second attempt was to dye the standard sock blank in the same colors -- this came out MUCH better, because I dialed back the dye intensity to .2 % depth of shade for my lighter pinks and .6 for everything else. Now you can actually see the rose and the red-violet stripes!

Then I worked on some colors for me. Unlike my dye partner, I love earthtones, fall colors, orange, green, brown & red. I attempted to re-create my Sheer Effing Genius from March, when my very first dyed sock blank turned out BEAUTIFUL.. but with two different yarns for the two socks. Today I did much better with yarn selection, but my colors are nowhere near as awesome as the March batch. Close enough to knit with... but they have not re-captured my genius. And this is the biggest thing I learned today -- I cannot yet repeat my dyeing process.

Output of Dye Day
Originally uploaded by spinnity.
But it's early days with this new hobby, so I'll be patient & keep trying. Good notes are essential. And a better knowledge of what wil happen when certain colors are mixed. This will all come with time. And who knows.. when some of these finished blanks dry, they may yet win my heart.

And now it's off to some much needed flat-on-my-back time, to recover from a day on my feet using unusual muscle groups -- like the color center of my brain, which I think may be a little sore tomorrow. It isn't used to this kind of workout!


Anonymous jeni said...

Yesterday was super fun. I can't wait to see pics of how all of yours came out. Most of mine are still drying. The one I hated at first turned out to be the most beautiful of them all. It's so weird how it works out like that, huh?

And some people have already started getting their Dye-O-Rama yarn from their pals. I guess we can send ours anytime we're ready to let it out into the wild. :)

May 14, 2006 10:03 AM  
Blogger Abigail said...

I'm intrigued by your dyeing process. Very cool!

May 14, 2006 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun! I dyed over the weekend, too. My "pratice" dye. I haven't dyed your yarn yet - but I have colors in mind for you. :-)

Your Dye Swap Pal

May 15, 2006 8:08 AM  
Blogger Bogie said...

It was a fun day, jammed packed with new information (for me). And your comment about good notes and a better understanding of what's likely to happen? I whole heartedly agree.

I am looking forward to seeing your blanks without the waste yarn. I unraveled 2 of mine and they look so different! I'm liking them more and more. Tell your DH that he was right.

May 16, 2006 9:20 AM  

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