Saturday, August 9, 2014

Purposeful Dyeing

A couple of days ago, something reminded me of a scarf that I've admired for years-- Moonstitches' Rhubarb Scarf.  I'd like to make something similar. 

The stitch itself seems simple enough.  It's a version of the well-known "Catherine Wheel".  What's more, there's now a free pattern inspired by the scarf, so you don't have to fiddle around with working out a pattern for yourself.  (It even includes a ruffled edge!)

However, for me, the allure of the original scarf has at least as much to do with the color choices as it does with the stitch pattern (though that scrumptious ruffled edge has definite appeal).  But that yarn is Japanese, difficult to locate (possibly discontinued), and when located, is not the right colorway-- and costs more than I'm willing to pay, anyway. 

The yarn in question (Diakeito Diamusee Fine) is a "light fingering"-- and I happen to have a few skeins of perfectly dye-able light fingering yarn in my stash.  Why not give it a try?

. . .

Now, before I go further, let's make sure our expectations are reasonable.

First, the yarn I'm using is economy-grade Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Solid ("soft white", a.k.a. cream).  Instead of being 100% wool, it's 50% superwash wool, 25% rayon (from bamboo), and 25% nylon.

Second, if you look closely at photos of Diamusee Fine, you'll see that there are at least two colors plied together at any given point in the strand of yarn.

So... Basically what I'm saying is that I need to manage my expectations.  There's no way to perfectly replicate that yarn with this one.

Also, I'm trying a new-to-me dyeing technique-- microwave dyeing in mason jars!-- so results are bound to be somewhat unpredictable...

But I choose to be optimistic.  The hand-dyed yarn will be pretty!  The scarf will be presentable!  The weather will turn cooler in another couple of months (or three)!  And I will wear the scarf and be proud of it!  People will stop in their tracks to stare in wonderment at the amazing scarf I have brought forth, and they shall tremble at its fearsome beauty!!!

None of this business of crocheting twelve versions of the scarf and still not being satisfied with a single one of them-- nope, not for me.  I've yet to see the scarf that's worth that much trouble.  (See?  This scarf has driven people to distraction.  It's dangerous.)


I'll be back with dyeing details (and photos), at some point.