Posted on June 20, 2004 at 9:02 am

rovingBeth from my knitting group invited me to her house for a dye party Saturday, and I had not an ounce of undyed fiber in the house.  I called the incredibly helpful Fairy Godmothers at Halcyon, who shipped me a pound of corriedale in time for the Ball.  You know you’re desperate when you are willing to pay as much for the shipping as you pay for what’s in the box.  But I considered it my fee for the learning experience. 

My flea-marketing husband, in his continuing attempts to be involved in the mystery of knitting, has begun to bring me crockpots from yard sales and curbside trash piles.  Yep, curbside trash piles.  That’s him at the end of your driveway Monday night picking through your cast-offs.  I won’t let him drive anymore because he gets completely distracted by anything put out next to people’s garbage cans.  He can identify trash at 40 miles an hour.  Sometimes we play that game where we drive by an unassuming tangle of rusty ironing boards and halogen floor lamps and he can tell me what is in the pile, sometimes down to the brand name.  And sometimes we have to stop.  This is the part where I slouch down in my seat and hope no one I know is driving by at that moment, or worse, lives in the house he is picking from.  Honestly, I think of it as recycling, and I am at peace with his fascination with other people’s trash.  It could be worse.  This I know because I have a dear dear friend who is married to a man who brings anything home that isn’t entirely ruined by mold or rust.  Lumber. (everybody needs lumber!)  Broken scooters (great wheels!).  Shredded kiddie pools (we can patch it!)  When the time came for them to buy a house, the husband insisted that they have enough storage space for all the stuff he’s picked up over the years.  A bigger house.  So they spent 20% more to be able to fit all the free stuff, most of which she spends her free moments plotting to get OUT of the house.  So I count myself lucky.

But I digress.

Thankfully, I had a crockpot.
I learned that dying is not rocket science, but it is really messy. It looks really scary in the books, but it was very simple.  I learned to not use too much water at first.  To keep everything hot, and not to stir the wool because you think the dye won’t make it to the bottom.  It will sink, if you keep adding colour as the wool absorbs it.  Stirring equals muddy colours. 

And picture above is of my results.

greenSo when I came home, the pressure to spin was irresistible, and I finally sat down with my new wheel.  This is from the green Linda Diak batt that Kathy brought me from Fiber Frolic.  It’s a little tricky pre-drafting it for this newbie, but I think I found a way to make it work. 
Today I promised Margene that I would cast on my shawl for the Lace Along.  I sent Kate an email letting her know that I would be sitting down to that at 1:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time in case she is ready.  Pray for the girl, my friend.  She has a wedding to knit for.  According to her counter, it’s 102 days away, and she’s yet to choose the pattern for her Kidsilk Haze.  And I don’t think I’m being helpful.
I’ll post a picture Monday to prove I did it.