Sunday, August 22, 2010

In the Lab Again

But this time I have pictures to share.

First, I have pictures of Westley in his improved window spot next to the TV.

Yes, they are basically the same picture, but the second one gives you a better idea of what he gets to look at out of the window, and the first shows the indoors off better.

Westley LOVES his spot now. He's very nearly glued to it. He naps there, watches the world there, bakes in the sun there, and surveys his indoor kingdom (aka my apartment) from there. He still has to share with the alarm clock, but that may change soon. The only down side (for me) is that this shift required that I move the TV antenna 10 inches to the left of where it had been sitting, and this was apparently enough to lose the tenuous connection with the air waves and I can no longer get OPB (PBS to the rest of the world). I miss getting to watch Nature and Antiques Roadshow.

On the other hand, I do find myself with more free time now (not lots more, cause I didn't watch TV that much anyways) but enough to give into the fiber dyeing impulse. This time I dug out the 4 ounces of ecru merino roving that I treated myself to for my birthday back in April. I used Kool-Aid and vinegar (only food safe dyes in my house on account of the Dread Pirate Roberts), but instead of simmering or steaming the roving, I decided to try baking it.

I got a large aluminum roasting pan from the Dollar Store, soaked the roving for an hour as per usual, then I painted the roving.

I made the base dye bath (the blue) using 4 packets of Blue Raspberry something or other and one packet of Grape. This went into the pan and the wet roving went in on top of it. I used my (very dry) hands to squish the dye (gently) into the roving. I had beautiful blue hands at the end of this process. The red is Cherry that was applied with a dropper.

After I took these pictures I sort of squished the red dye in so that it wasn't your face.

I then put the pan into my cold oven and set the temperature for 200 F. My oven, being the piece of junk that it is, got up to 250 (and was still climbing) so I turned it down to 150 for about half and hour, then turned the oven off and just let the pan sit in the hot oven. Right around the time that the pan was cool enough to handle, all of the dye had been exhausted. I then dumped out this water, put in a 1:5 mixture of water and white vinegar, and let it sit for about an hour (it really doesn't need an hour, but it doesn't hurt anything and I was not in a hurry). During this bath, I was sitting on the floor next to the pan when Westley decided to pounce on my toes (I might have been egging him on). He managed to get his back foot into the pan of vinegar water as he pounced, and he was SO SURPRISED!!!! Now he had a WET FOOT!!! I couldn't stop laughing as he step-shook his way over to the rug, where he spent a great deal of time cleaning his toes off (between every toe).

I rinsed and squeezed the water and vinegar out, and spread it on my baking drying racks overnight. I don't have more pictures, because I'm not happy with how the blue turned out. It's much too pale for what I wanted. So I'm going to do another blue dye bath (with more dye) and bake it again (which was a great method!) to see if I can get a better color saturation before I take finished photos.

I'm going to finish off now and go knit some (more) four inch squares for a friend's baby blanket. And work on my sock, which I did a fantastic and death defying cable fix on yesterday, and last night I finished the gusset, turned the heal, and started up the leg. I'm on the home stretch!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment