Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sometimes you win, Sometimes you lose.

Every once in a while you have an experiment that reminds you of the experimental nature of, well, experiments.

There is such a wide range of usable outcomes in fiber work that this is easy to forget. So you didn't get periwinkle - the lavender was just as good, in the long run. So, the yarn was lousy for socks - it made up into a fantastic shawl. As long as we end up with some usable object, I think most of us are pretty forgiving of the process.

Well, yesterday was one of those days when you just have to say "Negative research is still research" and go from there.

A year and a half ago a friend gave me a lovely ball of yarn she dyed with kool-aid in her microwave. It was, it turns out, Lion Brand Woolease, and I was amazed at how much color it had, considering that only 20 percent of the fibers were wool and could take the dye. I kept saying to myself that I had to try that sometime.

Well, last week, after He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Allowed-Near-Wool (Also known as Lord Feltdemort) did his best on two pair of socks that had each been worn once or twice, I decided the time was now. I got a skein of Woolease in that creamy white color they have, and soaked it in water with a squirt of dish liquid (not lemon).

Next we poured on red dye and yellow dye. This was supposed to be for Worsted Weight Horcrux socks, so we were going for Scarlet and Gold, the Gryffindor colors. What we actually had was not nearly dark enough, it was not even as dark a what you see here, and I should have stopped at the first DROP that poured out and said "We need to get more dye." But you know, there was no more dye in the house, and I could not go out, so I forged on...

And this sad result, hanging on my porch, is the final product. I think that, on top of everything, my microwave is too strong for acrylic yarn on full strength - the texture seems off.

I am not sure any of the worthy yarn charities I know of would really want it, stringy and pale and lifeless as it is. It actually looks better in this post than in person. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.


jayne said...

If it makes you feel any better...

(And I've done a lot of dyeing by now)

About a week ago, I came up with something hideous that I promptly named "Pea Soup Barf" and threw still damp into the garbage can. Yesterday I tried an experiment on a nice yarn in a boring colour and got what I'm fondly saving for a group shot one day. The photo caption will be: The Good, The Bad, and The Fugly. I wish I'd kept PSB for that shot, but I'm wiser now.

The redeeming feature of these failed dye-jobs? They make me laugh.

CatBookMom said...

T, it's kind of a pretty color.... I don't have the courage to even try dyeing yarns. I'm pretty sure I'd get something like Jayne's Pea Soup Barf. Or even worse, the color we called Park Service Putrid, back in my college summers in Jellystone Park. We all swore it was made from all the leftover paint GSA had and sent to the Park Headquarters painting crew. Fugliest brown you ever saw.