July 25, 2011

Odyssey tank progress, and a fail tale

First of all, thanks for all of the lovely, encouraging comments on the pants! After reading some of your thoughts, and since I have a little extra time this afternoon, I think I'm going to run over to Joann's before my evening work and see if they have any alternate things in a closer color that I could use to replace those lacings. I only looked in the trims, but maybe I can find something in the jewelry section.

Since knitting was my main craft of last week, figured I should show where things stand now.
This is the front so far-- not entirely finished, since I'll have to add the neckline edging and weave in the ends, but it's very close.

As of yesterday, this is how much I've gotten done on the back. I think I'm something like 30 rows in.

After much deliberation, I went ahead and ordered another ball of yarn from the same place. Since I only got something like 14 rows out of the third ball before I ran out, and after measuring how much I got per ball in the front several times, I decided that it's highly unlikely that I have enough yarn to finish. I just hope the dyelot thing works out-- I asked them for the same one if possible in the special instructions box.

(Of course, since I couldn't justify paying shipping for 1 ball of yarn, I ended up ordering enough for another project. I guess I have a yarn stash now. Darn it!)

And in the interest of full disclosure, I do tend to write about my failures as well as my successes on here. And I've been meaning to share this story for awhile, it just kept getting put off because the pants were way more exciting. So here goes...

Some of you may remember that two summers ago, I attempted to make a mini-wardrobe, with varying degrees of success from project to project. One of the projects ended up being that my mom crocheted me a wrap out of this bamboo-acrylic yarn. Which was really sweet of her, but it ended up not really working out. Which was my fault-- not only did I make the mistake of picking the yarn out before I got the main inspiration fabric in the mail, meaning it was the wrong color, I didn't purchase enough of it to get a wrap with a functional length.

So after I started knitting, I unraveled it. After all, I'd never actually been able to use it, and I don't like wasting things. Only problem is, this yarn was ugly. A color I never would have picked, if I hadn't been trying to match this badly-conceived wardrobe. The picture doesn't really show the color that great. On the website, they call it "Misty Taupe". I call it "dirty concrete sidewalk" or "the color of boredom". I think it also looks more tan on the website than it actually was--it's like this tannish grey.

Or was this tannish grey, to be more precise. Knowing I would never, ever wear anything made out of this blah, uninspiring color, I decided that the obvious thing to do was to dye it. So I picked up a couple of packets of iDye at the store--both similar shades of green, one in the iDye Poly and one in the regular natural fiber, thinking that the combination would make it hit both the bamboo and the acrylic.

I had envisioned this nice, mossy green color. This is what I got instead.
Pretty much the exact shade of the weather-beaten wood on the family's old playhouse deck. That's right, people, I went from taupe to a slightly darker taupe. (And this is what it looked like when wet-- after it dried, it was definitely more grey-looking than this.)

Which left me with the debate--what to do with six skeins of still-icky-colored yarn? After awhile, I figured I should probably at least wind it into balls and put it somewhere, because I'd had it drying on a flipped-over music stand and I needed to use that again. So I grabbed the skeins, the swift and the yarn ball winder, and proceeded to wind the first two with relatively little pain. A few annoyances, to be sure, because despite having tied it in quite a few places around the skein, they kind of fell apart in the dye bath a little. But relatively little pain.

The third skein was an entirely different story. About halfway through winding it up, it got so ridiculously tangled that I had to take the remaining yarn off of the swift, spend the next two hours untangling it from the opposite end (mainly because I'm stubborn and I didn't want to let the yarn win), and wind it back onto the swift.

Then I started winding it again, and it fell off of the yarn ball winder. And of course the middle immediately got all sucked together so I couldn't put it back on. I should have taken a picture, but it was around midnight at this point and I was annoyed.

So then I wound the entire skein back onto the swift, and tried to wind it a third time. At which point one of the pegs fell out of the swift, leaving it in a tangled mess once more. I finally ended up cutting a big chunk off and called it a night.

So the next day, and after bouncing it off of my mom, my crocheter sis-in-law and one of my knitting friends, I did the only thing I could do that would leave my sanity intact:
I still feel a little bad about throwing it out, but ugly and unmanageable was just too killer of a combo. So I guess the moral of the story is either a) use an all-natural fiber yarn to dye with, b) tie it up a heck of a lot more than I did, or c) leave yarn-dyeing to the professionals in yarn shops and on Etsy.

(Incidentally, this seems to be a summer of bad dye jobs, given the pants-- I originally tried to dye some off it with RIT dye that was pretty much the exact same color as my pants on the box, but came out a chocolate brown on the cording, and then the tea dye came out way too light. I have one other dye experiment I wanted to attempt at some point before it gets cold again, again with the iDye poly.... I'm kind of scared to try it now!)

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