Wednesday, July 18, 2007

18 July: Not idle

I've got quite tired the last couple of days. Not with doing tons of housework, of course, but dyeing some fibre and I've got back into the family history again. And I'm still getting some exercise done.

An e-mail arrived from another "cousin" (her grandmother was my grandfather's older sister), who had been to visit our other cousin. She gave me lots of information I didn't have before, and set me off looking for further bits and pieces. Then the files had to be updated, print-outs replaced, and now I'm in the middle of sorting out computer files to copy and send her. Then there's photos to try to make good copies of.

The fibre dyeing has not been a raging success. I dyed some BFL fibre very successfully last week, but the Tencel that was dyed in acid dyes lost most of the dye in rinsing. As it's cellulose based (please bear in mind that I abandoned Physics and Chemistry at school in order to do Ancient Greek), it seemed that Procion dyes might be more suitable.

So yesterday I got out the Procion dyes that have been in the workroom cupboard since I stopped dyeing cotton fabric and threads for quilting. The notes had to be found, as I couldn't remember quite how to do it. While I was at it, I might as well try some thick cotton threads and a bit of cotton chenille from the cupboard (bought from Texere at a quilt show - I knew they'd be useful one day!).

But the results are not terribly exciting; the single colours (grey and orange) are not bad, but the mixtures (purple and brown) are frankly disappointing. And why does blue dye not stick to fibre, but stick awfully well to skin?

And it's about time to show you how the Yarn Yard fibre is knitting up. It's quite slow, as it's on a 2.75 mm needle, and, as you'll realise, I haven't been doing this exclusively. I pick it up when Le Tour highlights are on, then of course get too involved in the cycling to knit assiduously.

The colours are coming out beautifully, and the transitions between colours have those subtle and unexpected shades you never think of till you see them.

Recent new books - Knitting Colur by Brandon Mably, and Mason Dixon Knitting. Interesting ideas from both of them, but the long-term value remains to be seen.


Melanie Rimmer said...

Hi, I found your blog whilst browing for other crafting/self-sufficiency blogs. I have added you to my links at

If you'd like to link back to me that would be great, but of course it is entirely up to you.


KAZ said...

Speaking as an idle chemist - I love those colours.

stitchwort said...

Hello melanie - craft yes, self-sufficiency no, I think! Thank you for linking; I have rather given up adding links to the blog, as there are so many blogs I read and they are in constant flux.

kaz - colours good, not so sure about the item being knitted!