Let Parker paws a moment to consider
Tuesday November 15th 2011, 12:09 am
Filed under: Knit,To dye for

That first one came out definitely a little big. The second one, a little small. The third one coming up–now, there’s your Goldilocks! With a cabled brim and slouch top-to-be.

Meantime, I’m a blue-haired old grammy. I think. Um.

I got up this morning wanting to finally tackle a dye job I’d been avoiding: a secondhand sweater I’d bought that, when it came, was not the soft green-gray I expected but rather was vivid, and I do mean vivid, fluorescent lemon/lime–but in cashmere.

Which is why I didn’t want to give it away but I sure didn’t want to accidentally wreck it.

I got up this morning and straightway filled the biggest dyepot with hot water and stirred in some teal. I’m in it now, keep going. Stir stir stir. Then I did something different: knowing the dye wouldn’t take up well if the water wasn’t simmering, I handwashed the sweater and then put it in there anyway. Worked the new color through and through and through with my hands. It changed just slightly, but for the most part resisted it at that temp. No big surprise.

All that you were ever taught (correctly) about water, temperature change and agitation being the combination that felts woolens? I did it anyway. No catchy scales on cashmere fibers, right? I squished it some more, and then took the pot to the stove. Turned it on.  Stirred like crazy, and about every ten seconds or so for a very long time I lifted it out with my dye spoon and then put it back down, careful to spread it out as it went back in: I had once had dye adhere in a pattern of dark wrinkles because I hadn’t wanted to risk the agitation. Agitate.

Pulling it out and in again like that cools down the water; it took an hour for it to finally get up to a simmer to start the half hour countdown.

I don’t do well standing on my feet. But. When I finally poured out that pot, my new soft green buttoned shirttailed collared cashmere shirt was absolutely, totally, everything I wanted. To dye for.


(Oh, yeah, except the buttonhole thread must have been polyester. I expected that. That’s why I didn’t make a radical change in the color; I have an accent effect rather than an accident.)

Oh, and the blue-haired grammy thing? I knew it was going to be hot work over the stove, November notwithstanding, so I waited to take my shower this morning till I’d finally finished the job. My hands were teal blue from working in that pot at the start, and washing them afterwards did not get it out. Oh well. It would probably take at least the day for it to be gone, two for the nailbeds.

I stepped out of the shower, happened to look at my hands–and then at my hair…

The Cat In The Hat Comes Back, version blue. Tell me if you spot it, okay?

7 Comments so far
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the key thing with the temperature change is S.L.O.W.L.Y!

could I (gently) suggest rubber gloves?

Comment by Bev 11.15.11 @ 7:55 am

A spot of bright teal will perk up almost anything.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 11.15.11 @ 8:21 am

Hahaha… and some women buy blueing in the store. (We used to for horses and dogs before shows…)

Comment by Channon 11.15.11 @ 8:36 am

Next you’ll be singing Blues in the Night, or Blue Tango, or St Louis Blues, or When Sunny Gets Blue, or …

Comment by Don Meyer 11.15.11 @ 10:28 am

Pure cashmere – totally washable! I’ve done this with luxury baby items I’ve made as gifts – toss in the machine and dry in the machine, too, and all they do is get softer, so soft yet easy care for mom and dad. (But I did test one mitt first, just to be sure!)

Comment by twinsetellen 11.15.11 @ 6:14 pm

Sounds like a successful dye day! It’s fun to be able to reclaim something and make it perfect.

I’ve often dyed my hands, but I have yet to have it get into my hair. Hope the blue doesn’t stick around too long!

Comment by Erica 11.17.11 @ 9:12 pm

I’m glad your sweater came out well. Are you going to try for pink next? 🙂

Comment by Amy 11.18.11 @ 5:35 am

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