Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My eyes cannot perceive brown ...

... or why else do all the firefighter outfits I dye turn out orange?

This week I am attempting to turn a velour shirt and pants into a Scooby Doo outfit for my daughter. We had a great time dyeing them yesterday, but my carefully mixed dyebath produced what this wikipedia page calls burnt umber or possibly even maroon -- brownish red, or very reddish brown. Scooby Doo, of course, is more of a raw umber color, with a very yellow undertone.

I don't actually like this color, which might be why I can't seem to figure out the dye ratio.

After giving it much thought, this morning we overdyed it screaming lime green (about 3 tsp. of yellow & 1/4 tsp. blue, for 200 g. fabric). Once rinsed, it looked EXACTLY THE SAME to me, though of course since I hadn't matched it with anything ahead of time, I had no basis of comparison. I think it was a little less red but perhaps more orange.

On reflection, I decided that I had added too much yellow and not enough blue. So this afternoon I overdyed it a deep spruce blue (about 1 tsp each blue and yellow, although by now I was not measuring with any accuracy, just spooning and looking at the dye liquor). I was worried about making the outfit too dark, but I really had to get away from the red.

The result is beautiful (I think, it's still wet) but not quite Scooby colored. On the wiki page, it's sort of russet or sepia rather than raw umber, but it's definitely brown, and has a slight yellow undertone (which it certainly should, given how much yellow there is in it!). So I'm thinking this will pass muster.

As an aside, this is my first experiment with Dharma's velour clothes. They are really nice, but unlike many of Dharma's blanks they seem to run true to size. Unfortunately that means that this Scooby outfit is unlikely to fit even through the winter. What do you suppose the odds are that I'll be able to recreate the color?

Next up: Making a Scooby Hat.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A study in contrasts

Outside: bleary

Inside: dreary


Per her request, mittens (or maybe gloves) for C. in "rainbow pink" yarn that she helped card. It's a mix of fuchsia, red, black, maroon, white, blue, and turquoise wool (mostly fuchsia), lavender mohair, and bright blue Samoyed. It's lumpy, bumpy, and emphatically not dreary. Thanks, sweetie!

That train done gone ...

... and my sweater's not on it.

I've finished so many things for afghans for Afghans at the last minute, but I just couldn't get this one done. Shame on me; I started it in July and got much of it done in August, then turned to other things.

As I've said before, I like knitting with wool, and I like finding charities that want wool garments for people in cold places where machine washability is not an issue. Fortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it) there are plenty of places like this. I think this sweater will be going to Kazakhstan, where winters get to 40 below, to an orphanage called Akkol. So it will be keeping someone warm. But I'm still annoyed at myself for not finishing.

Just to make myself feel better, I'll show you the shawls I did finish in time, for afghans for Afghans summer shawls-for-new-mothers campaign.

Why, yes, these photos were taken in a public park across from the post office in a small town in Iowa. I finished them on our drive to Nordic Fest and mailed them off just before the deadline. Are you implying something?