Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yarn Makeover

Several months ago, my sister received a gift of cashmere yarn. Pink cashmere. As in bazooka-bubble-gum-pink cashmere. It is a lovely fiber, but an unfortunate color for a 40-something woman who's name isn't Barbie. I told Karen to look past the color. Color can be changed. So she sent it to me.

I asked my sister what color she wanted me to dye the cashmere. I kept the e-mail: "Yesterday I thought that shades of brown, a little pink and burnt orange would be cool. This morning I was thinking burgundyish and burnt orange would be nice. I trust your taste so I'll leave it up to you." I had visions of that decorating show "Trading Spaces" where friends redecorate each other's house. No pressure.

And she also sent me this. An alpaca blend in gray. Very soft but very gray. It, too, begged for a trip to the dye pot. The instructions were as follows: "The gray needs to become a somewhat subdued vibrant green. Can something be subdued and vibrant without becoming pastel??" Seriously? Subdued and vibrant? Here's the weird thing (it's that DNA thing again), I understood what she was talking about.

To be honest, I was a bit nervous and couldn't afford to screw up the cashmere, so I didn't dye the yarn right away. I had to live with the yarn for a while. Touching it. Petting it. Squishing it. I waited for the yarn to speak to me. The gray went first.

I soaked the yarn while I mixed the dye, just like always. Then I put about a third of the alpaca in the water in my dye kettle and then poured in the dye over the yarn. (Sometimes I put the yarn in the dye, sometimes I pour it over the yarn...depends on my mood.)

I poured and nothing happened. Normally, the dye strikes pretty quickly. Not in this case. The yarn was still gray. No color change. Oh crap! I pulled the yarn out of the kettle and resoaked the yarn, this time with a tiny bit of Dawn dish soap. There must have been some sizing on the yarn because the water turned a bit cloudy. A few minutes later, and it was back to the dye pot.

This is the gray alpaca:

And this is the cashmere

Ta da! A successful Yarn MakeOver! Hey, that sounds like a new reality show.

  • Stash in the Attic
  • Rate My Skein
  • Trading Skeins
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dye
  • The Yarn Whisperer
  • It's Me or the Yarn

I'd watch!

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