Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Facelifts

I admit that I have been lax about blogging these past few weeks (to the relief of many people, I am sure), but I haven't been doing much to blog about. It's spring!, and I've been futzing in my garden, which has been sorely neglected for the ten springs and summers I've been in Japan.

Outside of pruning and planting, I've made a few pairs of plain socks and sorted through my stash--lace yarn in this basket, sock yarn in that basket, and the "What chemical was I imbibing when I purchased this stuff?" yarn in a large plastic bag over there.

Some of the WCWIIWIPTS yarn was actually very nice, but the colors were either insipid or frightful.

..rustle...clank....out came the cauldron and Potions kit....

Here is a Before photo of Schaefer Andrea in the Louisa May Alcott colorway. I. Hate. Brown.



A flick of Chinese Fireball Red dragon scales...


I didn't much care for the green in the Andrea Helen Hayes colorway either.



A bit of Gillyweed and some Merpeople hair later...


Consultation with my Advanced Potions textbook allowed me to transform Fleece Artist's pale blue and yellow Cornflower colorway into something a bit more interesting:



And Fleece Artist's lackluster Saffron colorway was transformed into a spicier flavor:



I used potions with hues similar to the colors in the underlying yarn so I wouldn't end up with muddy colors. The process works surprisingly well, although I am still adding red to a particularly stubborn skein of ghastly beige Malabrigo laceweight in an effort to make it attractive. (It was billed as Peach, but the color I received bore no resemblance to either the on-line picture or the namesake).

One word of advice if you decide to try this at home. Do NOT add Eye of Newt to your potion mixture. Otherwise, you'll end up transforming your skein from a plain, but mainstream yarn:


Into something like this:*


A little vitreous humor (snicker).




*Actually, this incredible skein of handspun was created by the fabulously talented Jacey Boggs. You can find this yarn, as well as other amazing creations, at her web site: Insubordiknit.

22 comments:

z's momma said...

The transformed yarns are gorgeous (especially the one with gillyweed and merpeople hair).

Now, what are you going to make with the 'new' yarn?

2trees said...

But how do you knit those eyeballs?

Dave said...

Perhaps you should offer your services as a consultant to certain dyer(s)?

And, vitreous humor!

Opal said...

What an amazing metamorphosis! Quite an inspiration to try my hand at doing some of my own. I'll definitely remember to leave out the eye of newt though. ;-)

Kenny said...

No way!!!! You redyed commercial yarn?!?!?!? U're just too freaking awesome. Great knitter and now a potion maker like harry potter. So, do you like the new colors now? Are you going to keep those yarns? :)

(sly smile)

Jane said...

Nice transformations. I love the gillyweed & merpeople hair one best too.

punkin said...

"vitreous humor" hee hee hee

Naomi said...

Oh, I *love* the new version of that first yarn.

BadCatDesigns said...

As usual, you made me choke and laugh all at once. I must spin (or connjure) myself some eyeball yarn...I am thinking a new Crone shawl design?

Laritza said...

That last skein is way too funny! Yarn that will never be knit.......I suspect you have a couple in the category in there :)

Jane said...

I always knew you were a magical being:-) After all. How many of us have spider-friends who knit? I love how you transformed those skeins of yarn. They went from Meh to fabulous! I think the skein with eyeballs would be wonderful at Halloween! As always, it's a pleasure to read your blog even if you had to tear yourself away from the garden.

Soo said...

Beautiful dye jobs! You've inspired me -- I've already identified 4 skeins that need work. Now, I just need to learn how to dye wool....hmmm...(inspiration without talent is dangerous!)

clarabelle said...

Wow, amazing transformations! I would love to get into the dye thing, but I hate wearing rubber gloves, and I've got the manicure to consider (not). Seriously, I must check out this art before too long; I have a few skeins which could be improved...

smittenknitten said...

Lovely, inspired work! Who knew that gillyweed and merpeople hair would produce such gorgeous results? Can't wait to see what your transformed yarns become.

Kay Meadors said...

Great over dyeing job! I couldn't have done a better job. That's what I call turning a sow's ear into a silk purse.

LittleBerry said...

I've missed your blog.. have checked most days to see if you've updated, but looks like you've beem busy.... your creations are lovely and an improvement...

I'm planning to spin up 3 singles from 3 different rovings that are similar in colours and when I knit the stole and it doesn't look right, it's getting over dyed **sniggers** much more exciting when you've actually knit the garment before you overdye!!!

Nice to have you back :o)

riaknits said...

Groanworthy puns for the win! :p

I love the comparison of dyeing to potion-making. I don't think I'll be able to do any dyeing for a while without thinking of this and giggling. :3

Monika said...

Ah what a great idea! I like all the after yarns much better! How did you do the FA pale blue and yellow. It really looks interesting.
You should blog more. I like you humour. :o)

queenmamajen said...

The vitreous humor got a reaction from my dd's, 9, 7, and 6: Eeeewwww! That's SICK! Gross! Disgusting!

Consider yourself (or the maker) complimented :)

Courtney said...

I love all the colors...very pretty!

Kristina said...

The transformations are all quite fabulous. You and I have a very similar colour sense, it seems. Perhaps I should comb my collection for lackluster colours and send your way...?

Off to find some eyeballs.

picperfic said...

what an excellent idea and you have changed the colours so beautifully!