Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I know it's been such a long time since my last post. I want to thank Grace, Susan and Marsha for the sweet e-mails. You all inspired me to sit back down at the computer and pound out a post. Thanks girls! I can't believe how fast the time has flown. It's been an event filled summer. Lots of work and not enough play! lol! Our summer here in northern Illinois has been a cold one. It's the coolest summer I can remember. The weather is not helping my garden. I am praying for heat so my tomatoes can ripen. I was able to get several jars of pickles made. Looking at the calendar I was shocked to see that fall is less than 30 days away. The first day of Autumn begins on September 22. Speaking of fall, I have finally started knitting my very first socks. I hand dyed the fiber myself. I call it cornfield colorway.

One of the creative things I have been playing with is dyeing yarn. I have been experimenting with different methods cooking batches of wool yarn. I am using simple supplies like good ole Kool Aid. You know, the stuff you drank as a kid.

First you need to make sure your fiber is 100 percent wool. For this method I used the crock pot. I filled the container half full of water and set the heat on high. Let the water get steamy. Using yarn that has been skeined soak it in water with a touch of soap for at least 20 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water. You are ready to add the yarn to the crock pot. Because I was experimenting I decided to pour the dry Kool Aid right on top of the yarn.

I used lemon lime and orange Kool Aid. The smell from the kitchen was perfumed with fruity scents! I gave the yarn a slight stir to dissolve the powder. I wanted the colors to meld together and still look orange and green. I'm not sure how long it took for the colors to bond to the fiber. Probably not more that 30 minutes. You know it's finished when the dye is gone. The water will look clear.

Take the yarn out of the crock pot. Watch out, it's going to be hot. Let it cool off. I rinsed it in the sink. Hang it out to dry and then re-skein the yarn. Here is the finished product.

What do you think? Pretty cool. I have tried all different methods that I will share with you in the future. I have to say that the entire process is so enjoyable. If you have any questions please ask. I'm not an expert but I can muddle my way around and tell you what not to do! lol!