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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dyeing, Twisting, and SNOW!

No no no!   I mean "dyeing" as in YARN, not "dying" as in Death, silly blog readers!    I was sorting out some of my yarns and had a bunch of plain average looking wools that needed a sprucing up of color before I sell the skeins.  This yarn is a bit too thick for my sockknitting machine, so I decided to put some nice fat skeins on Ebay with custom dyeing colors.

I have some dyepots that are specifically labelled "DYES ONLY" for using dangerous chemicals.  I don't like using the bad chemicals, so now I mostly I dye with food safe colors as in kool-aid, easter egg dye tablets or Jaquard brand dyes.  Then I don't have to worry about contamination or bad fumes in my lungs.  Rosie is taking my dye stuff home with her next month.  I can continue to dye if I want in food safe containers like my soup pot when we move into the motorhome.

I put the pre-wetted skeins of yarn into the pots, one at a time, 
and sprinkle the dye on top of each skein.
The water has some vinegar and salt added.
The dyes slowly sink down as the yarn is steamed (never boiled) 

About a half hour later, all of the dye is absorbed into the wool! 
The water runs off clear.  I rinse them a few times to get out the vinegar smell and 
I hang them outdoors to dry and freshen up. 

These are three huge commercial skeins of yarn that I dyed in tones of blue, 
and the others are coral/salmon color that I added browns to them. 

Next up were some average 4oz skeins of wool that were blah minty green or a strange blue. I lay them in turkey roasters with each skein on their sides, and make stripes with the dyes. When knit up in socks, a hat or a scarf, they make a nice repeating pattern.

WOWZER they sure came out purrrrrtttyyyyyyyy!!!!

I got that dyeing done on Monday.....

Then on Tuesday the wee little Chelsea girl woke up with a fever!   Her mommy dropped her off here before work as the daycare of course doesn't let sick ones in.  When she got here, she was full of silliness and great appetite and kept herself very very busy!  She was helping me twist more fringes on the edge of a rug.  And such concentration for a 2 year old is quite amazing.

It turns out her fever was from the long-awaited eye teeth to arrive, which they did sometime during the day.   She spent the whole morning being creative before konking out for a long nap.

She woke up to Miss Ellen and Miss Connie who came from Illinois to dismantle my favorite rug loom, a Newcomb Studio Loom.  Once that little stinker saw the wonderful array of sockets and wrenches and pliers in my tool box, she was busy busy busy!  Granfaddah would have been sooo proud to see her working!  

She wrenched and twisted and matched up sockets to the heads of the nuts and bolts on the loom.  Quite a busy girl for the hour or so it took to dismantle the loom.  Can you imagine doing that with a 2 year old underfoot?   I didn't take any pics, but I did do a screen capture from the video camera we had recording the whole process for Ellen.  That way Ellen can re-assemble the loom by watching the video tape in segments backwards.

Can you see Chelsea in the lower right corner???  Such a Loom Mechanic! 

Sadly, the loom was loaded up by Ellen and Connie into her van, destined to a new home with someone who will love it as much as I did.   Sigh.  

The big blanket loom will go on Sunday... and the other Union rug loom will go in mid-March.  Then I will be down to my last Union rug loom and Tools of the Trade table loom (those both go with me) 

Last night we were warned about an impending snow storm.  At first, the weathermen were not sure where it was going to hit.  We were right on the border edge of the storm between massive amounts of snow (2 inches falling each hour)  or freezing rain and sleet.  We got the snow.  We woke up to about 8-10 inches of heavy wet slushy snow.  Steve took one look out the window at 5 am and thought "heck with it".  He decided to call in to work. This is the second time in 14 and a half years that he has ever called in on a snowy day!   (he has to use up a day of vacation pay to make up for it)   

This is what we saw out the window as soon as it was light.... 

Yes, the plow went through, one swipe, but left a huge pile of thick chunks blocking the driveway.  When snow is this wet, it doesn't blow through the snowblower very well.  But if you don't get it shoveled out of the way quickly, the upcoming decrease in temps will freeze it thick and solid as a huge chunk of ice!    We enjoyed a cup of coffee and some sweetrolls before he trudged on out to take care of it.  The neighbors next door left for work before the plow went through, so both of their driveways were plugged up too.  My darling Steveio took care of both of them plus ours.  What a way to spend a "vacation day", huh?

Poor Duke is up to his belly in the snow.  
His little legs poke right down into the thick snow and he is wedged into place!  
He actually "peed" while laying down in the snow!  LOL 

 Duchess said "heck with it" and stayed up on the porch! 

I guess winter is finally here.  We lost some branches off our trees, and our cedars and arborvitaes out front are bent wayyy over.  There are power outages all around us, but we are still on.  We are due for high winds kicking up, and more snow tonight, falling temps and freezing.  Let's only hope it melts soon and spring will be here before we know it??????


  1. Hopefully this will be the last time you get stuck with this--next year, warm weather and sun are in your future. Does the kool-aid and Easter egg dye hold up or bleed when it gets washed down the road?


  2. Yup.. the dyes stay colorfast on wool products... but not on cottons or linens or polyesters. Those items you need the more dangerous chemical dyes and
    mordants that I don't care to handle.

  3. Look at the bright side, it's only 20 more days until Spring arrives, but then how much more .... can we expect.

    Kathy just read that California is getting up to 5 feet of .... in the Sierra Mountains.

    It's about time.

  4. I guess I got out just in time. No snow here--running about 55 degrees. Crazy what 250 miles south will do! The loom is together. Just drew up a pattern for weaving and will begin threading. A rug done tonight? We will see.

  5. Howdy Granmuddah,
    How wonderful you only have 8-10 inches and MORE coming in Wisconsin; down here on the ranch it's a freezing 76 degrees!!! We could have used 8-10 inches of snow, but NO it goes to Wisconsin... We'll trade!! What the heck is it doing 76* in February, even on the ranch; itz supposed to be around 25* in February here!! The prognosticator sez NO MORE 20s this year!! At least it'll make your 'river' look purty, when the NEW OWNERS come to look!!
    Grandfaddahs short mechanic is a WONDER with all those tools.. My daughter is too, also.. Shez 50 y.o. , but she was when she was 3-4 y.o.!! All of her husbands have marveled at her mechanical abilities!! And they all left..

  6. we got just about the same amount of snow last night, Karen. I knew winter would eventually show up. I loved seeing your little 2 year old doing such creative things. You are good for her!

  7. Shoveling the neighbors drive...what good neighbors. When you go full time I want you for neighbors, but we won't be shoveling snow.

  8. @Shoeless Joe--- we can be kicking back in our chaise loungers and sipping Margaritas instead!

  9. Just think, this time next year, the only snow you'll be seeing will be on the TV. :c)

  10. I just love how the yarns turn out with such beautiful shades.

  11. The yarns look beautiful! do they not tangle when wet? I would love to learn to weave a rug. It won't be long and you will have that granddaughter in front of a loom weaving away!

  12. The Serengeti looks sad sitting out in the snow. :-(

  13. Those snow pics sure bring back memories of our winters in Ontario when we used to be stuck there. Didn't mind it so much as a kid but just hate cold weather & any kind of snow now. So much more healthier down here both mentally & physically in the warmer climates when one can be out hiking & walking every day in warm temps & lots of sunshine. So much to see & do & it never gets boring.


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