Tag Archive: Rebecca

Cochineal: The Finale

It had to end sometime. It eventually became a question of what would exhaust first. The dye pot or me. But, after a long day of dyeing, I had this lovely assortment of reds. (Plus the two batches of fleece.) All from two ounces of cochineal, some alum, cream of tartar, and vinegar.

The Final Assortment

The Final Assortment

I’d say it was almost worth all the effort.

Merino Equals Marvelous

Here are some of the first skeins of the plied merino yarn. Is it not gorgeous? When it came off the swift I had one of those “oooooooohhhhhhh” moments. A moment only equaled to . . . um . . . well, I’ll figure something out.

Five Skeins

Five Skeins

Once More Into The Breach

Shortly after I gave up on the sweater I got the crocheting itch really bad. There was nothing for it but to grab at the yarn and try again. I checked one of the balls for crocking, and it didn’t seem to be the culprit skein, so I plunged forward with a few modifications to the original design.

Sweater Beginning

Sweater Beginning

I used the base ch/sc that Doris Chan used for every project in the Everyday Crochet book. It works beautifully because in the crocheting world, a normal chain tends to grow when you put other stitches on it.

That explains why my original free-style attempt got so big. This way you chain and put the first row of single-crochets on at the same time, making it the size it will wind up at! I think I had something like one hundred stitches to make it big enough.

Teal Trouble

Okay, so I dyed the Rebecca yarn teal, and that felt like enough of an adventure, what with too much dye powder and all. How could it get worse?

Well, for starters, I suddenly discovered that I’m not up to creating a garment of this importance without a pattern. And I found this out after crocheting a good-sized section of it. I did, oh, maybe four rounds of double-crochet stitches on the “hem” of the sweater and thenstopped to try it on. It was about four inches too big around. I’d have been swimming in it, if I didn’t run out of yarn before the end.

Time and Time Again

Note to self: Dyeing takes at least twice as long as you originally planned, so be prepared!

Yes, I’ve had another long day in the kitchen. All I wanted to dye was the Rebecca yarn.

The Finished Yarn!

The Finished Yarn!

The dye bottle was supposed to dye two pounds of fiber. I have a pound and a half of yarn. The instruction sheet for Jacquard dyes recommends a half bottle of dye per pound of fabric. I decided to play things safe and put in a half bottle of dye for the pound and a half of fiber. Well, the yarn turned the color I wanted before the solution even got heated up!

Two New Colors

I got to play with the teal and periwinkle dyes. They became some rather nice samples, and I learned to not try to microwave-set a yard of yarn in a small glass jar with a whole teaspoon of dye solution by sticking it in the microwave for a minute.

Periwinkle Samples

Periwinkle Samples

Good thing it was superwash. Although it seems to have gotten fatter for some odd reason. Boiling must take off the superwash coating. The darker strand is the boiled one.

The one on the bottom is actually some of the Rebecca yarn, which I popped into the very hot, leftover dye water from the boiled superwash.

Can you see how the yarn almost looks like it’s glowing? It took me a bit to figure out why it was doing that. I think it’s because I just dunked the yarn in, gave it a couple seconds in the hot water, and pulled it out. The outer fuzzies dyed blue, but the core of the yarn is still cream. I may have to experiment with double-dyed yarns in the near future.

So Near And Yet So Far

The Completed Rebecca Yarn

The Completed Rebecca Yarn

Ta-da! It’s done. All the work and excitement has transformed into twenty-three ounces of light-worsted/worsted yarn. According to my calculations, that means that only nine ounces of weight washed out with the lanolin. As far as I know, that’s a decent amount. I’ve read that Merino wool loses half of its weight when you wash the grease out. Anyway, I am now trying to decide what color to dye the yarn, and whether to just wing it on the pattern, or look around and see what I can find.

Rebecca Yarn

I have officially finished spinning all of the Rebecca wool into singles, and I’ve even started plying it! I have two nice skeins done already.

The First of The Bunch

The First of the Bunch

I’m not sure how much they weigh, or how much yardage is in them. I’ll find out once they’re all done. And, once they’re all done I’ll just have the two drop-spindling projects left to finish up.

Ha ha. Just two drop-spindling projects. I spun a little on each of them today and managed to remind myself that they’re good for leisurely, enjoyable spinning. Not so good for speed work.

Right There! I Can See It!

Look what is showing through my once-enormous pile of turquoise fiber.

I Can See The Bottom!

I Can See The Bottom!

This is all I was able to make before running out of purple locks to stick into the thin single.

The Finished Lumpy

The Finished Lumpy

Actually, I’m rather glad I ran out. It was getting a little tiring. I have a few chunks of badly felted locks left, but they don’t look as pretty as the ones in the yarn. That enormous skein on the end was what I got done yesterday. Oh, by the way, all the stuff you’re seeing here are things I got done yesterday. It was late when I got around to winding things down, so I didn’t get this up until now. I shall try to be better about that.

Oh, My Feet

I’m ahead of schedule! Two and half hours on my feet running the Great Wheel has paid off in these five little beauties. They’re right around one ounce apiece!

Five Marvelous Spools

Five Marvelous Spools

I spun two of them this morning, and the other three while we watched Miracle on 34th Street. I’m so happy that I got ahead! It means that I might not fall behind in the next couple days. I’ll just forget about the fact that my arms and back and everything else are complaining loudly.

And I added two more big fat skeins to the unnamed yarn.

More and More

More and More