Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Michael Phelps and Me - Part 2

If you're of a certain age, you'll remember the intro to the ABC Wide World of Sports: "the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat." Defeat was definitely in the air when I came up with this dye job.

My plan had changed, so the project needed brown yarn. I dyed a nice big skein with the odiferous Tamarindo Kool-Aid and got rust instead of brown - a faded rust that would never go with the bright orange. What to do with this skein? Back to the internet I went and found a reference to mixing Tamarindo with Lemon-Lime to get a forest green. OK, evergreens are still part of the autumn forest, right? Back to the crock pot with all the precious Lemon-Lime I had, only to be found at a supermarket about 20 miles from home (Hannaford's in West Peabody).

The above photo is what I got - faded rust with blotches of green. This disaster is known on Ravelry as the "peas and carrots" yarn. Hideous. My fault - I had misread the post about the colors. You don't overdye Tamarindo with Lemon-Lime - you mix the two flavors together in the initial dye bath. Knowledgeable people also said that if you want a good brown, you should mix together Orange and Grape. Have not tried that yet.

Kool-Aid dyeing fact: Kool-Aid is an acid dye. If you read the ingredients on the label, the first ingredient is citric acid. To remove Kool-Aid dye from yarn, you need a base to counteract the acid. Baking soda in water is the gentle, accessible base recommended. Have not tried that yet either, although one of these days, the peas and carrots are going for a baking soda bath.

As you can see, Kool-Aid is rich in food coloring. Hence its use as a dye. If you stick a hand into the dye bath to push the yarn down so that it's completely submerged, you will have an instantly dyed hand. For example, a person in Rockport possibly might have had a bright orange hand. (Useful to know if you want to be an Oompa-Loompa for Halloween.) To remove the dye from your skin, you can simply rub it with baking soda. Yes, I have tried that and it works.

So now I have normal colored skin, overcooked peas and carrots yarn that I can't use, and bright orange yarn that I have to use. But with what?

Believe it or not, the answer came to me in a dream.

- Maureen


Chris said...

I am intriqued! :)

SheilaShine said...

Well, written. You leave us wanting more. "Don't end here," I yell at the computer. If I didn't like peas and carrots before, I sure do now. LOL......