Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fat Cats and Dye Vats

Kentucky was fun and very relaxing. The cats there are this big:This is Rocky, making his second appearance on my blog. He's now a svelte 19 lbs (he's lost weight since last time). My aunt was the uber-hostess, as always, and we had a fantastic time. And I didn't come home empty handed:
Damn Walmart and their low low prices! I went four days without internet (ok, technically my phone has email) but couldn't go that long without buying yarn. I prefer to view it as a fair exchange, since I left behind a baby sweater, a Mason Dixon bib and a baby hat, none of which I got pictures of cuz I had vacation on the brain. My aunt's daughter is expecting her first baby

We got back in town on Monday evening in time to beat the Independence Day traffic, but also just in time for the daily afternoon rush hour. Doh! Back at home, I got around to felting the handpaintedyarns bag.The final size is 14x16, which I'm happy with. I hope the giftee will like it too.

July 4th was quiet, apart from the stormy weather. We've gotten so much rain here lately, a daily thunderstorm is pretty much the norm. After the requisite cookout (yummy burgers!), I decided make my first attempt at Kool Aid dyeing. Here's what happened:
Ok, there's more to it than that, but apart from the constant fear of scalding, it wasn't too bad. I used Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, 6 packets of Tropical Punch Kool Aid and a double boiler (stainless steel bowl over a pot of water over a low flame). Here's what I learned:
1. Make the skein long and thin. The fat skein I wound made it hard for the dye to penetrate evenly.
2. Tie off the skein in multiple places. The way I did it with one tie makes it susceptible to tangling (i.e. this is going to be such a pain to wind into a ball!)
3. Find a bigger bowl. Again, for even dyeing.
4. Triple up on the rubber gloves. My right thumb is the same color as the yarn because both my right gloves had holes.

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