Rinse, repeat

… and repeat … and repeat … and repeat … and repeat.

You get the idea.

I realized the other night that I needed to get my Spring is in the Air shawl blocked if I was to take it with me to the Knitter’s Review Retreat.  No biggie – the blocking bed was clear, so it was just a matter of a Eucalan soak and pinning out.

The Yarn Goddess laughed out loud.  So did the writers of my cosmic sitcom.

See, I chose this Sundara Sock in Caribbean for its intense blue-green.  After a two-hour soak in what started as very warm water, the bath in the blocking bowl was a lovely shade of aquamarine.  Okay, we’ll need to rinse this a bit.

… Only problem was, every bowl of rinse water was a shade of swimming pool, starting with YMCA blue.  With each rinse, I thought about a pool I’d been in at some point in my life.

I gave that up around the 20th rinse.  And I stopped counting rinses.

I abandoned the rinse bowl and went straight to running water through it from the spigot, except for periodic checks in my snow-white bowl.  Checks that revealed more swimming-pool blue.

How ’bout another Eucalan bath?

Look: the same YMCA pool blue I started with.  Again. Every time I used woolwash, I went back to the beginning with intensely blue water.

This went on for an hour.

Because what would be the point of wearing a bright blue-green shawl over a white shirt that would presumably pick up transferred dye?

It was, of course, the owl hours when I gave up and tiptoed up two flights to pin it out. 

(Yes, I know there was some kind of an alternative involving vinegar, but my own dyeing experiments have shown that if the vinegar doesn’t strike right, your dye job is a mess.  And I could not contemplate going back online at that hour with my now-pruny fingers.  Feel free to enlighten me for future events …)

The Yarn Goddess or my dear St. Jude took pity then, because this was the. easiest. pinning. job. ever.

Spring is in the Air (and on pins)

My working theory is that the double decreases that make up the majority of the pattern were a great place for dye to hide, and it took a l-o-n-g time for the woolwash and water to penetrate.  Makes as much sense as anything else.

Pattern: Spring is in the Air by Kristi Holaas, large size, not beaded.

Needles: US 5 Addi Lace

Modifications: Alternated skeins along the garter-stitch border.  Worked the minimum bottom edge repeat for less pronounced points.  Dagger tips are more fussy-looking than I like.

Crescent shape achieved through lifeline

Blocking: To achieve a true crescent shape, I ran a strand of crochet cotton lifeline through the border prior to soaking.  I first pinned the corners; then located the center point on the bottom edge and pinned that.  Pinning then radiated from the bottom center with minimal readjustment and no additional pinning of neck edge.

Places for excess dye to hide

Finished size: Used 153 grams, blocked to 20.5 inches deep at deepest part of curve.

Observation: My wrists definitely did not like the very repetitive mesh pattern.  This is good to remember for future pattern selection.

You’ll get prettier pix another time.  Perhaps someone will volunteer to help me this weekend.

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3 Responses to “Rinse, repeat”

  1. Nancy Says:

    LOVELY work! Have a wonderful retreat. You’ve earned it!

  2. Lanea Says:

    It’s lovely!
    Try Synthaprol next time (http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/2127-AA.shtml?lnav=chemicals.html). I use it frequently, since I’m a blue girl and blue dye loves to crock.

  3. bullwinkle Says:

    Omg. That is gorgeous. Love the blue. (Soothing, calm, serene …)

    I’ve got the camera with me (and my own shawl to block at the Retreat. Oops… Blocking wires. Don’t have blocking wires. Got pins though. Thread will work…)

    I’d be happy to take pix!

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