I suppose you could say I'm crazy. With temps in the 90s around here, what does Paula do? She presoaks 2 pounds of yarn, unearths the 60 qt stockpot that will never be used for food, fires up the new Cajun Crawfish Boil outdoor propane stove, and soon is set to dye.
It's not as crazy as it sounds. I chcek the status every 15 minutes or so, then retreat to the air-conditioned living room. So far, so good, and I am actually going to be a good-dyeing-do-bee for the first time ever and leave the skeins and swatch outdoors in the pot overnight to cool. Whatever exhaust dye is left will be re-heated and used for some other yarn. I have a bunch of mohair boucle hanging around for just this purpose, as I hate to let any of the dyestuff go to waste.
This yarn is for a commission job I'm doing. I'll be designing (what else?) an Aran style sweater for a dear singing friend who is a member of my alto section on a part-time basis. So far she has commissioned this sweater, five hats and a pair of mittens made from my handspun yarn, and she also purchased my "Stars in the Night Sky" triangle shawl. How's that for a vote of confidence? I feel very blessed to have a friend who likes my work this much!
If time and luck are with me this summer, I may get the new sweater done in time to enter in The Big E. Wouldn't it be nice if I could tell my friend that, not only did I design her sweater and hand-dye the yarn, but it took a ribbon at The Big E. That would make it even more special than it's already going to be.
Above is a picture of the yarn and swatch simmering in the kettle. Too bad I didn't think to throw the swatch into the mix until the yarn had already been in the dyebath for 20 minutes. It just is not going to match the color of the yarn, but at least I'll have an idea how the sweater's textures will look with some color added.
I'm using Cushing's Egyptian Red for this. What a nice color, and of course I cannot say enough good about Cushing's. Love the stuff. So easy to use, a good value, and splendid colors!
I missed the spin-in today -- too hot -- and decided not to go to the NETA Summer Spa after all. I was just too tired after Phoebe's first week at RISD and all the driving I had to do to accommodate her schedule. Plus it was a rough week moodwise. I was just feeling unfit for human consumption all around. But being in the process of finishing this dyework that was hanging over my head is helping. So too is the fact that business has really picked up quite a bit in the last couple of weeks. All three lots of my first attempts at dyed silk roving have sold. One little bump is actually on its way to Chilliwack, British Columbia. I haven't looked at a map yet to see, but it sure does sound like a far-flung part of Canada to me.
Fifteen more minutes 'til I can turn off the fire under the dyepot, pop the lid on the pot, and forget about the whole darn thing 'til morning...