You know you haven’t posted in a while when…

…your cookies expire and you can’t remember your password.  THAT was a fun five minutes!

Sorry for the radio silence, it’s been nuts over here and I’m pretty sure you guys don’t need to see post after post about bags and bags and being chained to the sewing machine, ad naseum.  ;o)  (speaking of bags though?  The buckets and spindle bags are up)

So, I know I haven’t been around much and you’d probably like to see what I’ve been spinning (yep, I’ve been spinning!) or knitting (yep, that too!) however, there just wasn’t enough sun yesterday to take the photos I needed to take.  This means you get RR pictures – always exciting, I know.  ;op

He and Dave went to a club shoot over the weekend in New Hampshire – I stayed home with the dogs, it was a lovely weekend full of Lord of the Rings extended versions and knitting.  (and whatever I wanted for dinner, whenever I wanted it, whatever I wanted to watch on TV whenever I wanted to watch it and no lagging on the wifi.  It. was. ossum.  I was happy to see R when he got home but still.  I love my ‘me’ time.)  Where was I?  Oh yes…kabooms.  I even have video!

[flickrset id=”72157624095927859″ thumbnail=”square” overlay=”true” size=”large”]

Click the first photo and you can then click through them after they’ve been embiggened.  I hope you like them!



Seven Sleeps…

…six by the time most of you read this.

That is the amount of time that needs to pass before I’m able to buy fiber again. This past week has been particularly hard because while updating my links I saw that you can buy batts off of the Grafton Fiber site. Now don’t hurt yourselves clicking over there and try to leave some for me, k?

There was also the little update at Knitterly Things that included a crapload of roving…and there’s still some left. How do I know this? Because I spent 20 minutes drooling on my keyboard before I came to my senses and closed the browser window.

I won’t even mention the weekly updates from Amy…or that evil helpful Karen reminding me of them (I remember a couple of emails from the just as evil helpful Cynthia too)…ohwait, I just did ;o)

So I did what any other person on a fiber diet would do if they had three pounds of dyeable roving and 126 packets of Kool-Aid. I made a mess of my kitchen.

Now, after my day of fun with flavors, if you were to visit my kitchen you would first be hit by the unmistakable scent of cherry, grape, strawberry, blue raspberry and pink lemonade. Next you would be blinded by the roving hanging in my window. It smells like a third grader threw up and looks like clown poop.

Lovely.

You probably want a visual. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

clownroving.jpg

On the plus side, I’ve known absolutely hideous roving to turn into breathtakingly beautiful yarn. Keep your fingers crossed, k?

Welcome to…

<p>…’An Idiot’s Guide to Dyeing Yarn with Kool-Aid’ (or, watch an idiot dye yarn with Kool Aid – you decide)…</p><p><img width="175" height="131" style="border: 0px none ; float: left; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;" src="http://jessaluknits.com/uploads/Photos/psghetti.serendipityThumb.jpg" alt="" />First, after I tie the skein in about four places, I soak the <strike>victim</strike> yarn in a bowl of warmish water (with a few very <i>very</i> generous glugs of vinegar). I let it soak for several hours – like 4 or 5 or even overnight.</p><p>While it’s soaking I mix together the dyeing solution. I use two packets of Kool-Aid for each color and then I sprinkle in some black cherry or grape to tone down the ’80’s psychedelic’ look that Kool-Aid is famous for. (pssst – when you sprinkle black cherry into lemonade you get that really weird light pink that<img width="175" height="131" style="border: 0px none ; float: right; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;" src="uploads/Photos/kool.serendipityThumb.jpg" alt="" /> is in this skein). It doesn’t really matter too much how much water/vinegar you mix with the Kool-Aid, it mostly matters how many packets of the mix you put in the water. So, if you are going to dye a whole skein with one color you would mix six or seven packets of the color into enough water/vinegar to cover your skein (that is, if you want really deep colors, if you want lighter, go with less). Here, I am using the ‘dump it on and hope to hell it looks pretty’ method hence the only two packets for each color. So I put about four ounces of water and two ounces of vinegar in with each color. This actually has shown to be too much water (and now my dishwasher has lovely red drips all down the side of it) so next time I’ll probably use two ounces of water and one ounce of vinegar for each color. (or what I <img width="175" height="131" style="border: 0px none ; float: left; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;" src="uploads/Photos/actionshot.serendipityThumb.jpg" alt="" />*really* do – a little bit of warmish water and a glug of vinegar in each cup – really scientific, I know.)</p><p>So once the skein is done soaking, squeeze it out and lay it on three or four lengths of plastic wrap. Then pour on the color in sections – btw, I’ve noticed in superwash yarn that the dye takes almost immediately.</p><p>Once you have applied all the colors you want (I try to stay at four or less), put a couple more lengths of plastic wrap on top of your skein and package it up nice and pretty for the microwave. I like to put it in<img width="175" height="131" style="border: 0px none ; float: right; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;" src="uploads/Photos/baggage.serendipityThumb.jpg" alt="" /> either a large ziploc bag (vented, of course – no one wants a spectacular explosion of color in their microwave…at least *I* don’t) or a glass dish. I nuke mine for two minutes – which is usually enough. You might want to go longer. If you do, cook it for two minutes, let it rest for two, then cook it for two again. Don’t go longer than two minutes at a time…it’s not pretty. Burned kool-aid and wool don’t smell so hot, either. ;o) The test for whether it is done or not is by looking at the water in the skein – if it is clear or mostly clear odds are you’re done.</p><p><img width="175" height="131" style="border: 0px none ; float: left; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;" src="uploads/Photos/hotgloves.serendipityThumb.jpg" alt="" />Once it’s done, let it cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn yourself (as you have probably already guessed, I learned that one the hard way. I’m not known for my patience). Unwrap the yarn in the sink and then run hot water on the SIDE of the sink – NOT directly on the yarn or you’ll end up with a felted mess. (one good thing about superwash – no felting. But I still don’t run water directly on it). You’re going to have the yarn between the running water and the drain, kind of like a dam, to rinse any remaining dye out. Make the water cooler bit by bit until it’s cold. <img width="175" height="131" style="border: 0px none ; float: right; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;" src="uploads/driedout.serendipityThumb.jpg" alt="" /></p><p>After rinsing, I squeeze out the excess water and soak the skein in some Eucalan and warm water for about an hour. Then, I put it in a lingerie bag and spin in it my washing machine (the bag is a *very* important step). After it spins it’s mostly dry. However, I’m impatient and don’t like to wait so I put it on a drying rack in my dryer on extra low for about 30 minutes ;o)</p><p>After it’s dry, I re-skein it and voila! Pretty yarn. ;o)</p><p align="center"><a class="serendipity_image_link" href="uploads/Photos/skeined.jpg" onclick="F1 = window.open(‘/uploads/Photos/skeined.jpg’,’Zoom’,’height=495,width=655,top=144,left=192,toolbar=no,menubar=no,location=no,resize=1,resizable=1,scrollbars=yes’); return false;"><img width="175" height="131" style="border: 0px none ; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px;" src="uploads/Photos/skeined.serendipityThumb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p><p>(notice how thrilled the dog is. She can hardly contain her excitement.) Hopefully this has helped some people who still have questions about dyeing with Kool-Aid :o) You can also try Googling ‘dye yarn with kool aid’ (in quotes) and see what you get. Good luck! <i>(I set up a slideshow with all the photos I took during this project <a target="_blank" href="http://jessaluknits.com/exit.php?url_id=1378&amp;entry_id=206" title="http://jessaluknits.com/gallery/v/dyejob/slideshow.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://jessaluknits.com/gallery/v/dyejob/slideshow.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">here</a>. You can change the speed and the size of the photos by using the drop down menus)</i></p><p><i>P.S. Thank you all for your complements on my new ‘do :o) You guys are awesome!</i><i></i></p><p><i>P.P.S. I’m going to be MIA for a couple of days – I have a big appointment at the dentist tomorrow to try to finish up my new smile. I’ll be on the couch in a <strike>stupid</strike> stupor tomorrow (and <span title="Roger Rabbit – my SO" class="serendipity_glossaryMarkup">RR</span> will be here too so those of you who know where I live – don’t even think about sneaking in and raiding my stash…although, he might let you take it just so he can reclaim some closet space…)</i></p><p><i>P.P.P.S.  This one is *the* most important.  Somehow my TiVo managed to miss the last ten fricken minutes of How I Met Your Mother’s fricken SEASON FRICKEN FINALE.  (okay not somehow.  I know how and I hope his approval rating drops in proportion to this little stunt.  The ass.)  It’s not on YouTube (which saved my ass previously with Grey’s) and none of my ‘local’ friends have it.  I have. to. see this (as does<a href="http://jessaluknits.com/exit.php?url_id=1379&amp;entry_id=206" title="http://lauraknitting.blogspot.com/" onmouseover="window.status=’http://lauraknitting.blogspot.com/’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;" target="_blank"> Laura</a> – we’re both majorly not happy about th
is).  I am willing to give away sock yarn for this.  Hell, I’m willing to BUY sock yarn for the lucky recipient if that’s what it takes.  If you have this episode, please, I beg of you, take pity on us and let me know.  I will be forever in your debt.  Seriously.</i><i></i></p><p />

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