Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

I’m kind of hooked on buying sweaters at thrift stores and unraveling them; currently, have three in the works and just finished two others a couple weeks back.

Anyway, sometimes I’ll find something that, in its original state, I’d never wear and the Frenchie (who still doesn’t quite get the appeal of unraveling stuff when you can buy perfectly good, new yarn) tells me I’m wasting my money on. In this case, it was a nuclear lavender mohair-blend sweater at the semi-annual “vide grenier” (community-wide yard sale) for about $4.00:

 I did feel kind of bad pulling this one apart, as someone did put a lot of effort into creating it. Still, really wanted that yarn in all its glow in the dark, fuzzy glory.

This just doesn't do justice to the color. You should be seeing waves like gaussing on an old computer screen while looking at it.

Since we’re not in what you’d call Kool Aid territory, headed over to my local African market to see what they had food dye wise. As usual, they delivered:

Red, blue, yellow, green; just like McCormick's. Espig is a food-industry supply house around Marseille, where all sorts of really Cool Stuff seems to come from. Indications on the bottles say, "for pastries, desserts and ice creams. Not to be consumed in present state." (Woudn't have considered that last one if they'd not have mentioned. Now am thinking of downing a bottle of green to see what happens.)

Did what I normally do with the yarn (skeins of about 200 m with 40 drops of color, 1/2 a cup of vinegar and water to cover. Microwave until water turns clear) - found that, for the blue, I was always going to have color remaining, and a lot of it. It cost more than the other colors, so must be much, much more concentrated. The red acted like Kool Aid or Mc Cormick red - meaning, after a few minutes, the water was clear. Let stuff cool, rinsed, then soaked in salt water for a while. Rinsed again, then set out to dry:

There goes the neighborhood. 

Ended up with something like 1600 m of a beautiful morning-fog like blue and about 300 m of a nice raspberry color. Both seem fast and am amazed at the depth and variation of color in both. (Apparently, there was a bit of acrylic).  Am currently working on a classic doily pattern with some of the blue (pictures forthcoming.  I'm not quite done with it yet) and have the rest kind of earmarked for a circular shawl or two.

Heavens, can’t imagine what the yarn would have cost if I were to have bought it pre wound, pre dyed, packaged-up.

No comments: