Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Halloween Story in which I Dye

It was a bright sunny day when I decided it was the right time to get some dyeing done.  I had some yellow yarn to dye for a lady I adore and respect very much.  All the children are at school and I have a while before they get back.

I put the pot on the stove and put a wire tray in the bottom so that the dye doesn't darken upon contact with the hot base of the pot, making it patchy.  This is a trick I just recently realised I should do.

I start heating the hotplates and add in my dye.  I swirl and swirl to make sure the dye is all dissolved, as I know this yellow can take time to dissolve.  Fortunately, this is a lot easier in hot water than in cold dyeing, so it happens quickly.  I test the water by first drawing some up in a big syringe to see the colour in true light, then I dip some tissues in to see how it comes out on white.  Looking good, but I will have to be careful using this superwash yarn, the last time I did this with yellow it took up too much dye and turned orange, because I hadn't used these dyes with superwash yarn before, only my other dyes.

The temperature comes up.  It's ready for the dyeing.

A quiet descends, a calm comes over me.  I'm in the zone.  The Dye Zone.  I am focused on my craft.  I am at peace.

A dip of the end, and quickly out..... nice.

A dip of the middle, and quickly out..... very nice.

It's taking the dye well, evenly, and if I'm careful, not too heavily.

I don't notice the foreboding shadows passing over the dye pot.  A grim grey colours the air.  I still don't notice.  I'm still in The Zone.

I am about to make another dip, to cover the area in between the two sites already coloured when....

BOOM!!!  CRASH!!!! BANG!!!!!!

I stifle a scream and jump with a small whimper.  Good Lord what was that?

Being wrenched out of The Zone, I become aware of my surroundings.  It is dark, it is stormy.  It was a massive peal of thunder which startled me.

Goodness me, the yarn!!!

It has fallen into the pot, it's going to take too much dye.

I thrust my hand into the boiling pot and grab the end of a zip tie.  My hand scalds, but I get a grip on it.  As I pull the steaming hot yarn out of the pot, the zip tie tightens.  OH NO!!  That means the dye in the sitting water in the skein isn't going to be getting to the yarn under the tightened area.

I work and work on opening up the zip tie.  I'm sure an evil genius invented these blasted things.  I'm holding the hot yarn over my forearm as I do it, keeping the rest of the yarn out of the pot.  Just as I'm about to give up and cut the zip tie, which in hindsight should have been my first move, I get it open.

OH NO!!!  The end of the yarn had been dipped in the pot the whole time.  Now I think it's taken up too much dye.

This is bad..... very very bad.....

There are more claps of thunder, I look out the window towards the storm..... It's half an hour to school let out, this storm is going to hit just before the bell goes.  Of course, 3 o'clock is Storm o'clock.

Trying to undo my mistakes, I know that I have to get the heavily dyed area into a SOAK woolwash as soon as possible to try to minimise the mistake.  I also have to try to dip the under-dyed end in the pot to get the colour in that area.  My scalded hand is throbbing a little, but I know it's not burned.

I also realise that I need to rush to school and pull all three of the primary school kids out before the storm hits.  Rushing the yarn into SOAK after fixing the under-dyed area, I give it a quick swirl.

I rush out the door with a few umbrellas and get up to the school quick smart.  I almost make it home with the three girls before the storm breaks.

Of course, the storm lasts until about 3:15 before clearing up and the day was sunny once again.

Time to rush around for ballet and get kids ready for trick or treating.

During the trick or treating that night...... out comes the full moon.

Of course.



  1. Ohhhhhh!!! I want to see the yarn!!!!!! :O

    1. Haha Lori, it's drying right now..... pics soon

  2. EEEEK!!! hope your arm is ok!