Fiber Arts Friday: Dyeing to Learn

6 Mar

So, this week I learned a valuable lesson in dyeing. I have been throwing around the idea of a colorway in my mind for a while. I want to dye a colorway after Cameryn Mahoney, the main character in Alane Ferguson’s Forensic Mystery series. My idea for this colorway was to make it black, white, and green. So I painted her up, and this is what I got:

Yarn dyeing ... fail.

See those icky brown spots? At first I thought the yarn had somehow scorched. So I went to the wonderful Ravelry Discussion Forums, and I asked the question about black dye burning the yarn on the edges. Those smart people told me that it was probably just the dye separating, not the yarn scorching. They were right! So, what’s a girl to do? Overdye, of course!

I was bummed about losing my vision for Cameryn, at least for now. So I started thinking of another color I could add to this yarn to overdye with. That’s when I started thinking about Tally Youngblood, the star of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. I always wanted a Tally colorway to incorporate her love of the natural wildlife she swore to protect, her black tattoos, and her experiences in The Smoke. So I added a charcoal grey overbath to my skein of yarn, and I got this:

Tally, Still Wet

Ta dah! Tally Youngblood has arrived! This picture is of the skein still drying, so it’s not a great shot yet. But I couldn’t wait any longer to blog about my adventures.  Now the brown is still there, but less harsh against a charcoal overdye than it was with a white background. The grey has muted the rest of the skein, like the influence of The Smoke infusing Tally’s life. I love it, and now all I hope is that I can re-create it for future skeins! I’ll post a better picture tomorrow when it dries, as I will be listing her in my shop.

In other fiber artsy news this week, I knitted a penguin baby bib for a baby living in Alaska (well, right now she’s living in her mommy’s tummy, but technically in Alaska):

Penguin Bib

I love this pattern. SO cute! The designer has a variety of baby patterns for washcloths and bibs. I made this in a few evenings of easy knitting, and it turned out really cute. Now I just have to weave in the ends, obviously. The only modification I made was that the original pattern called for making i-cord ties; I personally don’t like bibs that tie, so I made straps and added a button closure instead.

This blog post was part of Fiber Arts Friday on the Wonder Why Alpaca blog. Join us, it’s fun!

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3 Responses to “Fiber Arts Friday: Dyeing to Learn”

  1. Allison March 6, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    Isn’t Ravelry great for when you need advice! The baby ‘s bib is so sweet.

  2. Kate March 6, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    It can be such a bummer when colors don’t turn out as expected – overdye to the rescue!

  3. wonderwhygal March 6, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    I’ve never dyed yarn or even painted it but have plans to do so in the future. I will try to remember this advise. Your yarn is lovely and I can’t wait to see it dried.

    The bib is adorable and I just marked it in my favorites…a future baby gift. Good call.

    Thanks for participating in Fiber Arts Friday.

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