"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, February 3, 2012

a lovely shade of chestnut




visit rachel for a fun pattern using your knitting mushroom/tower/nancy/ned...


A couple of weeks ago I put some spinach on to simmer. It simmered and simmered, then I put it in a jar to sit overnight.  The next morning I strained it and returned the spinach juice to the fridge (the rest went to the chickens) while I finished plying the 6 ounces of merino that I had spun.  After Googling natural dyes and realizing that my spinach concoction wasn't going to be strong enough for the amount of yarn waiting I decided to see how much Kool-aid I could come up with.

Shown above, we have the result of several packages of grape with a package of cherry... then just to muddy it up, I added the spinach juice.  This wasn't my first time dying but somehow I made a mess of things.  Of course it had to happen when I had the most yarn in the dye-pot that I had ever had in at once.  I was loving the color... a nice mulberry.  Everything seemed fine until I was removing the water from the yarn and noticed that where the skeins were tied together I had apparently gotten a bit, shall we say, enthusiastic?  I thought that I had tied loosely but I guess it wasn't loose enough.  Two lovely mulberry skeins with white spots every 8 inches or so were the result.  Not only that, but the fibers seemed to have (very lightly) felted.

Not one to cry over felted, spotty skeins, I put them out of sight until I could mentally handle the idea of handling them again.  Today was the day.  I mentioned here that I had purchased a new dye-pot.  Today I took her out of her plastic wrap and gave her her first assignment.  FIX MY MESS!

I found my Jacquard dyes and chose Chestnut for it's camouflaging possibilities.  I tossed in the disgruntled skeins along with a recent small yardage from the spool.









I pressed out the water and this time... I think we're good!  Right now the wet skeins are hanging from doorknobs in the kitchen and utility room and I think I can safely say I have saved them!  I feel kinda like a heroine... can you be the heroine if you were the villain to start with?  Hmm.

Blessings, Debbie 

20 comments:

  1. Oh yes you can Debbie, you are heroine in my book. I love seeing and learning all of this...spinach? I never would have guessed!

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  2. I sure hope it worked! I give you an "A" for effort even if it didn't....keep us posted (no pun intended) :)

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  3. You. Are. Amazing. I'm so impressed with the effort with the spinach and the kool-aid for one, and then I'm doubly impressed with the chestnut fix it at the end.

    Every color you showed on this blog is really beautiful to me.

    And I LOVED the way you wrote this. Disgruntled skeins. I love that.

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  4. You are so adventurous with your food and your dyes :)

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  5. Lovely!

    I love your boldness in doing things like dying your yarns!

    Deanna

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  6. Conversion is a form of heroism so if you converted from bad girl to good girl - I say you can be the hero.

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  7. Good for you! Yes, to put things away till we can calmly and happily get back to them - that's the best way.

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  8. Good save! Looks like a nice rich color. Must have been meant to be. PS: Love your cos picture above your stove!

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  9. Worth the effort....love the color!!!!

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  10. Well I like the first color pretty well. I love your dye pot, that is just great. Now that I have done it once, dyed wool, I have been thinking of colors to try. I see why women love it so much it has been so much fun.
    I can't wait to see the color from the wool hanging from the doorknobs. :)

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  11. I admire your perseverance with this, Debbie, and it turned out well. xo

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  12. Oh, as lovely as the berry color was, I ADORE the chestnut brown. Just the sort of cozy autumnal color that warms my soul. I have a nut brown sweater that I wear only once or twice a year (I don't really look so good in brown), but I cannot part with it because it makes me happy to see it there in my closet with all my blacks and brights...just a little touch of warmth.

    Of course, you are the heroine, Debbie! You have taken something beautiful, and then made it even more beautiful, and then still more beautiful! I hope we get to see the beautiful creation that you and this chestnut yarn will make!

    (Thank you for the get well wishes...and I do feel ever so much better! And guess what! Bekah's knitting teacher has told me to bring some knitting needles and some yarn next week, and she'll get me started on some basic stitches. Do you see me smiling?)

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  13. That whole thing was pretty scary! I probably would have stayed with the kool aid colors and embraceed the imperfections! The brown is warm and cozy, though and you are happy, so that makes it all good!

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  14. You are amazing...your creativeness just leaks from everything you do...and then you put it here in words for us to be inspired more

    I had one of those knitting mushrooms when I was a teen...I haven't seen them in years and forgot...since I once knew how to use the needles!

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  15. I've never dyed anything so I'm thinking if you can salvage what didn't turn out, then you are a heroine. Someone else might have just tossed that first batch. I've not used a mushroom before. I've seen lots of folks using this technique to make necklaces and such so I must give it a go ... one day, along with the other hundreds of projects, recipes and patterns I want to try. :) Happy day to you. Tammy

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  16. you can definitely be the heroine in your own tragedy! love the new color and I love that you are brave enough to dye your own yarn! great job!

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  17. If anyone could fix it, I knew you could Debbie, If only you knew how much I enjoy watching you ladies with your yarn, and of all of the beautiful things you create. We have hair sheep so they don't have wool, and that eliminates me, ~smile` truth is Debbie, I am not gifted with this, I do envy you. So i guess I will continue to admire your talents from here in N.C. Thank you for sharing, always a joy to visit.
    Hugs,
    Sue

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  18. Yes, ma'am, you absolutely count as the heroine!! ;) Can't wait to see the dry yarn!! blessings ~ Tanna

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  19. Just imagine if you decide you need more yarn of the same colour. I hope you took notes! I think you count as the heroine. It wasn't the spinach for sure!

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