The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Friday, February 23, 2007

Socks to Dye For, Part Deux

You were on the edges of your collective seats, weren't you? (Pretend--it will make me feel important.) So I dyed the yarn without destroying the pot, spilling dye on the oak floor, changing the color of the sink to black, or soaking myself from head to toe in nasty hot liquid (no knitbloggers were harmed in the dyeing of the wool). I consider this to be quite a feat. (Or possibly feet...since it's a sock thing....yeah, okay. I'll stop.) I hung the skeins up after dropping one and I think that's where we left off. So, few hours later I ventured to gently untangle the one hank and gently, loosely reskein it and hang it back up to dry, and was much encouraged by the fact that my hands looked to be the same shade at the end as they were at the beginning--even after an hour of handling wet wool so I think the color took okay. And it looks more or less right. I think it's a tad bit darker than the original stuff, but I'm taking Mr. K's advice and using the original for the band and heel and toe, with the newer stuff in the pattern. See what you think:

I'm pretty much good with it. The downside, of course, is that having managed to dip two hanks of yarn in black dye without major harm to person or property, I can already predict that I will sometime soon be spending more money than sense on acres of undyed yarn and dozens of dyes. This is because I will have convinced myself that the above dyeing experience has miraculously changed me from "I wouldn't have a clue about dying wool if I was standing in a clue field during clue mating season covered in clue musk" to "I am brilliant and will give the good people at Koigu a run for their hand-dyed money." And, even as I recognize the all-too-familiar truck of stupidity and overconfidence bearing down on me, I am a deer in its headlights. I have no excuse, and I won't when I write the sobbing blog entry about the 6 pounds of mud-colored yarn I have managed to produce. When this day comes, and it will, I ask only that you be gentle with me.

My other activity for today is the retraining of my mind from "I don't know what's going to happen with the nursing school application thing so I think I'll worry it obsessively for the next three months" to "I don't know what's going to happen with the nursing school application thing and I can't do anything about it so I'm going to think about something else." Big leap for a control freak such as myself. I asked Mr. K how he handles things like this; as it happens, he has ADD and says that he can't obsess about anything for very long before getting distracted by something shiny. Not having ADD, I'm forced to let that solution go.

My method so far consists of "Man, what if they don't let me in over that damned license...? What am I going to do then....oh. Shoot. Quit obsessing. I know, I'll think about the next socks I'm going to make. That's it. I'll have enough black Koigu for another pair of mosaic socks...that would be cool...I could wear them to the interview for nursing school for good luck...I mean--damnit! Did it again. Okay, how about the pair after that? I have that lovely Angora Valley yarn, I could...." and so on. So far, I believe I've planned enough socks to outfit myself through 2057, as well as all of my neighbors, three local apartment complexes, the Radio City Rockettes, the business park at the bottom of the hill, and a small convent in Italy. And all of the cats (which is impressive, in that it requires twice as many socks to outfit a cat.)

Mr. K says I should take a page from Ed's book and, indeed, Ed has the market cornered on relaxing and worrying about nothing. Then again, Ed would also corner the market on Cream of Catnip soup if it was ever offered, and I'm pretty sure that my rolling around exuberantly on the floor the way he does would open up a whole new set of things to worry about. My committment proceedings, for instance. That seems like a somewhat bad thing so, socks it is.

And chocolate. Lots of socks, and lots of chocolate. Which, when I think about it, may actually be Knitingalenip.


  • At 5:52 PM, Blogger Marianne said… you well know, I'm afflicted with the ADD...(as is Bobby)(and Smooch for that matter) but I think you're safe...really.
    I want my name on the socks list.
    My nip happens to be that dark black chocolate...
    You did a great job with the dye and the socks are gorgeous!

  • At 6:46 PM, Blogger Jenn said…

    If you keep going back over and over your application, and worrying about what will happen if/if not, why not make a contingency plan? That way, the next time you start to worry, you can tell yourself "I have a plan for that, I don't need to think about it". Or some such rot.

    Love, love love the socks the dye job turned out marvelously!

  • At 6:58 PM, Blogger Kali said…

    What? No wine? No bubble bath? I swear by bubble baths. It doesn't do the yarn any good, but I always feel better after a hot, bubbly soak! (with the wine) (in a plastic cup because I am a klutz, not a dummy!)

  • At 1:02 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    At times like this I have a what's the wost that could happen policy...although I don't want you to worry any more than scap that idea and take up drinking chocolate instead.
    Just repeat afetr me...there is no need to worry...there is no need to worry! Just look at those socks as a good omen!

  • At 1:09 AM, Blogger Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said…

    AHEAD of you on this dyeing addiction, and also gave way (albeit briefly) to the confident belief that I could out-Noro Noro any day now. And yes, I do have rather a lot of natural undyed yarn waiting patiently to be transformed into something for which the world will eagerly shriek. What I want to know is how they manage to make theirs look so shiny and bright. Mine always comes out muddy.

    As a fellow-obsesser about worries, I recommend the chocolate route. That and rolling round the floor with the furry familiar. Thanks to you, dear Ms. K, I have the chocolate... dear heaven to live in a place where that stuff is readily available!

    The other method of controlling the obsessive worrying is to start one delectable new project every time. Insane? Yes. Tempting? Very.

  • At 4:46 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Ah chocolate can't go wrong! The department store intown gets in lots of really expensive chocolate for Christmas , Valentine's day etc so it's only a matter of waiting for it to be 50% off.We bought home some really fine stuff today at 75% off as it's sell by is April it being Christmas stock.
    Glad your dying was a success , I usually end up with a coloured work-surface or two and am sort of banned !

  • At 6:32 AM, Blogger Dianne said…

    Ms.K..It looks to me as if you've performed a very successful 'sock-ectomy'..that will also look good on your 'too dye' for application..Happy Knitting~~

  • At 7:22 AM, Blogger picperfic said…

    crikey....what a kafuffle! Glad you managed to get the yarn dyed safely!

  • At 9:30 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    Great job! Amazing! And if you ever do produce mud-colored yarn, I'll take it (I love earth tones).

    About the cat socks, yes, they need twice as many, but they're so much smaller!

  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Love, love, love the socks...glad the dye job turned out well!

    Wish I could stuff some yummy, decadent chocolate in the comment box for you!

  • At 11:27 AM, Blogger Charity said…

    What's this I read? A socks list? Sign me up, too! :0)

    I'm loving the socks, the dyeing, and the whole idea of the chocolate. Mmmm-mmmm good.

    I find it helps to do something totally absorbing, that requires full concentration. You know, like balancing my checkbook. Or, much more fun, reading the latest yarn catalogue.

  • At 11:53 AM, Anonymous said…

    Ah,'s a slippery slope. Rest assured, you won't be alone. Re: Muddy colours...Check the PH of the water, add citric acid crystals, and only use stainless steel or enamelled is good if you are baking in the oven instead of stovetop. There are many wonderful books out there now!

    Chris in AZ


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