New Yarn!

I’ve been waiting and waiting and it’s finally here!
I ordered this back in August after agonizing over yarn type and color choice for ages, then patiently waited. I eagerly rushed home to the mailbox each day, checking (fruitlessly) for the squishy shipment. After two weeks, I called the distributor, only to find out that the color I wanted was backordered. Did I want to switch?
It had taken so long to choose the color in the first place, there was no way I was going back, I would wait for it to come in.
Flash forward to November, after making countless progress calls and waiting for weeks, the miraculous happened, the shipper had been restocked! My order was on its way!
And on one faithful trip to the mailbox, shortly before Thanksgiving break (and my birthday!) the package appeared. I rushed inside and carefully opened the envelope, gently removing the tissue-paper (aided by the not-so-gentle Berkley), and found inside that which I had been waiting for so long…

It is everything I had hoped for; soft, smooth, with just enough sheen. The color is the perfect shade of peacock, not too green but more than blue. It’s stronger than Kidsilk Haze, though lacking the fuzzy halo. It is destined to become the luminous Butterfly; my first real lace project.

The yarn is 1890 yards of laceweight JaggerSpun Zephry, a 50% merino 50% Chinese tussah silk blend in Peacock. I ordered from, and aside from the delay, I am very happy with them – they were extremely helpful, I talked to one of two people each time and they always remembered my order and always gave me status reports, offering to exchange it in order for me to choose something that was already in stock.

I am so excited! I’ve already started on the frill, and though it is extremely time and attention consuming, it’s very rewarding. I’ll update on that soon.

I’m headed into finals, it’s a little scary when I look over the amount of stuff I have to do in the next two weeks. I’m going to have to lock myself into a room/cafe for days in order to make a dent. But on the bright side – after the 13th, pathophysiology is out of my life forever! (or at least for the rest of my masters program)


Sunday = Fun with Dye

I am way behind in studying pathophysiology. It’s only two weeks into the semester, and I’m already behind. So I decided to do the responsible thing, and spent all day dyeing yarn. After reading through all 70+ pages of the Craftster forum on Kool-Aid dyeing, I felt ready to get my hands wet. A trip to Michael’s on Friday with my friend Allison armed me with some basic supplies and itching to get started. A long night out stalled my plans, and Saturday was spent recovering.
And then it was Sunday, with nothing to do except a ton of reading and Epi homework. It was time to dye.

The Ingredients:
Paton’s Classic Wool Merino yarn, Aran (on sale!) – 2 skeins
Wilton’s Dye Gel – 1 bottle each: pink, violet, burgundy, teal
Plastic cups and knives left over from Thursday’s Grey’s party
Lots of Glad wrap
Pyrex baking dish
2 pots, intended for herb planting

The Process:
1. I wrapped the yarn around the two pots, splitting each ball into two hanks.

2. I tied 4 pieces of yarn loosely around each hank, in order to keep it from falling apart/tangling.

3. I soaked each hank in hot tap water and some vinegar (I guess one “glug” per hank), squeezing out the air. I let the hanks soak while preparing the dye.

(My helper is the one and only Berkelface, aka Berkley)

4. For the dye, I put a dab of color into each plastic cup and added hot tap water, mixing with the knife. For the first hank, I made the colors really strong, and had to make more in order to cover the yarn. I played with the ratios of dye:water for the rest of the hanks.

5. I squeezed out the yarn, and placed it into the Pyrex dish (for the first hank, I tried to stretch it out on plastic wrap and add the dye, but ended up with a leaky mess – it turned out, but definitely wasn’t the easiest way to go).

6. I poured the dye from the cups onto the yarn in the dish, squishing it in with the knives (originally, I used my hand covered with a plastic bag, but again with the mess). I added a little more water to some, though there wasn’t a lot of logic behind it.

7. I covered the dish with plastic wrap and poked holes in the top.

8. I put the dish in the microwave and nuked it for 2 minutes at a time, allowing it to sit for a bit inbetween (mostly because I’m lazy and didn’t want to run to the kitchen all the time). I repeated the 2-minute cycles until I thought the water was mostly clear, or in the case of the first hank, decided nothing else was going to absorb. I let the dish sit for a while in the microwave in order to cool down.

9. I poured off the excess water and then put the yarn into a bowl with cool water and a tiny drop of dishwashing soap (mostly to try and counteract the wet-wool smell). I gently wrinsed the yarn until the water ran clear, and then squeezed the yarn dry.

10. I hung the yarn to dry. It took a while, about a day, probably because I had to hang them inside as the weather is iffy right now.

11. After they were dry, I wound them into skeins, and voila!

In the middle of this, Epidemiology homework did get done, though pathophys is waiting until tomorrow…