When you were a kid, did you ever accidentally break or lose something of your parents, grandparents, or friends, only to not mention it in the hope that they wouldn't notice it was missing? Tonight the truth came out, and I had a good laugh over it (maybe because today was the 16th straight day of rain we've had, and I'm starting to feel stir crazy). My grandparents were visiting, and Nanny was gushing over how she adores the little ankle socks I knit her a while back. I hauled out my sock yarn stash (it is a bit of a beast) so that Nanny could pick out some yarn for a future pair of socks. Grampy was examining the yarn, and inquiring about washing directions. Mom was explaining how some yarns can go in the washer/dryer while others can't.... and then looked guiltily at me.
Nanny's choiceLast year I had knit myself a pair of plain socks out of some light blue Koigu. I loved them... and then, they dropped off the radar. As it turns out, mom had done some laundry while visiting me last fall, and had accidentally shrunk my socks. Shrank them so much, in fact, that they wouldn't have fit a little kid (and I have BIG feet). She felt so badly that she just didn't mention it, until it leaked out tonight! I had a good laugh... moral of the story being that Koigu does not do well in the dryer!
And now for a final bit from the farm...
Chris is really into natural dyes. She has a dye "kitchen" in the back yard, where she holds workshops and dyes her yarns. One afternoon, she was running a Shibori workshop for a local weaving and knitting guild. Shibori is basically an ancient Japanese form of tie-dying, in which fabrics are stitched, tied, and folded to create a resist, and then dyed with indigo. Indigo is the only naturally occurring blue dye, and has an interesting mechanism of action. Indigo "vats" have to be reduced using something like uric acid. When an item is dipped in the vat and then removed, the dye becomes oxidized, and the molecules form a mechanical bond with the fabric. The fabric comes out looking lime green, and then transforms into a deep blue over then next minute or so. I tried to take a video of this happening while remaining unobtrusive...
Wetting the roving before dyeing
Fresh out of the vat
Conditioned roving, waiting to be spun!
Finished indigo skein