One skein at a time

Inspired by Punxatawney Phil’s call of an early spring, and armed with Hellen Buttegieg’s organzing principles, today, I continued with my efforts to get my yarn situation in order.

Having tied together all the scrappy little ends I was able to find and rolled them into a ball of yarn, I turned my efforts to reclaiming the wool in the squares I had made in my second iteration of the project known as the Big Rug.

The first step in the process is to unravel the yarn. Because Lamb’s Pride is 15% mohair, this can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but with a small pair of sharp scissors at hand, I was able to get a foothold on the transformation of my yarn from this:

My box of squares to be unraveled (the before photo)

to this:

My box of squares to be unraveled (after I unraveled 11 squares)

Clearly there is a lot of work still to be done.

For any of you who haven’t had the opportunity to watch an episode of the show “Neat,” there is a section of the show known as “the purge.” This is where the rubber meets the road, and Hellen Buttigieg, the show’s host and organizer does whatever it takes to get the job done. Frequently, she has a trifecta of categories for the stuff to be sorted into. In the “Messy Maria” episode, Hellen creates three categories for Maria’s clothes: Love it, like it, or leave it.

As I unraveled the yarn, I realized that there were definitely several colors I would put in the leave it bin if I had one handy. Because of their lackluster hue, I would not even be able to use them for joining the hexagons. So today, I tried dyeing two of the offending (to my eyes) yarns with Kool-Aid.

I had heard that dyeing fiber with Kool-Aid was easy, and today I set out to learn if what I had heard was true.

Using the directions, I found here, I got to work to see if I could transform the yarns from the something I wanted to put in the “leave it” bin to something that I could at least use to join the hexagons, if not in the hexagons themselves.

To that end, I assembled the requisite materials,

An ounce of Lamb's Pride yarn, Kool-aid, and a pan

wound the yarn to be dyed into a skein,

I wind the yarn into a skein

tied the skein with string so it wouldn’t tangle during the dyeing process,

The skein of yarn to be dyed

soaked the skein in soapy water,

Soaking the yarn to be dyed in warm, soapy water

put the yarn in a pot of water with two packages of Kool-Aid (I will try three packages of Kool-Aid next time), and followed the directions for the stovetop dyeing process.

The skein of yarn in a pot of water with two packages of orange Kool-Aid

When I removed the yarn, none of the dye was left,

The water in the pan after the dyeing process

and I now have a bright orange yarn that I can at least use to join the hexagons.

The formerly yellow yarn after dyeing

Inspired by the ease and success of my first effort, I went through the same series of steps and transformed this once pastel pink into a more vibrant pink that I may even include in a hexagon or two.

Inspired by my earlier success, I dye a light pink yarn into a deeper pink

Unlike the show, I do not have an entire clutter crew to help me, and I am not able to edit the process of my life to fit into a thirty minute (with advertisements) program, but I am pleased that I have finally settled on an iteration of this project that I like well enough to finish and that I am learning how to get myself organized, one skein at a time.

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4 thoughts on “One skein at a time

  1. Great post! I have some Kool Aid that a friend sent me that I am itching to use once the weather gets warmer to assist with drying.

    Now, I have to apologise to you. I have been reading your blog for a while now (although not commenting) and I have only just put two and two together as to who you are which is really, really bad of me! You are the Crochetbug that leaves me the lovely messages about my projects on Ravelry! So thank you for that – I really, really appreciate your comments a lot. I’m just so sorry it has taken me this long to figure out that you write this awesome blog!

    1. Well, as you have no doubt noticed, we share a taste for both granny squares and as many colors as we can fit into one project. I like all of your work, but have to admit that I find the herringbone granny rectangle blanket particularly sublime.

      The Kool-Aid dyeing was much easier than I expected it to be, and it was a lot of fun to see a substantial change in such short time.

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