Thursday, February 26, 2009

Goodbye February

I can hardly believe February is almost over. It has really flown by and I'm not the least bit unhappy about that. I spent all last week putting together a "puzzle" as it were. I'm in charge of devising the hanging plan for my local guild's biennial quilt show. I did it 2 years ago and the whole process of hanging the show was completed in record time with a minimal amount of anguish. It was a major accomplishment of organization, if I do say so myself. Of course, the problem with being really good at something is that you get persuaded into doing it again. So I ended up with a database of 270 quilts, pictures of 270 quilts, and a layout of the gym. The rate limiting factor is the number of hanging rods and standards. I tried to group things so that logical groups hung together and was mostly successful. So now what's left is to print up the plan, complete with what's hanging where, labels, etc, etc. The show is next month and I'm very happy that the difficult part of the project is finished and I can return to art.

In the winter I always get the urge to knit. Several years ago I saw a sweater that looked like it had been dyed after it was totally knitted and that has been on my mind every since. I order yarn from DharmaTrading and used a top down method to knit a sweater (I hate sewing up the seams). Here is the sweater:

The plan was to dye the whole thing a golden yellow, then add in some blue, and finally a bit of red, which results in a gold-green-brown combination. So here is the golden yellow. I used the parfait technique that Ann Johnston describes in her book, except that she's stuffing fabric into tall containers. So the sweater soaked in the golden yellow for about 10 minutes, then I added soda ash.

After about 10 minutes I added the blue dye, let it soak for a short bit, then added the soda ash. I wanted the green to only cover the bottom half of the sweater so I tilted the pan to keep the blue dye at that end.

Lastly I added the very dilute red dye, waited a bit, then added the soda ash. I forgot to take a picture. After letting it batch for several hours next to the hot air heating duct I rinsed out the dye. For some reason all the blue dye went down the drain. (It might have something to do with the fact that it's pretty old). So I mixed up a different blue, poured it on, and it's batching again. We'll see what happens.

I've also finished 6 more 12" squares but haven't photographed them yet. Tomorrow I'm planning on going to the American Craft Council's Show in Baltimore. It's an amazing display of very high end crafts and I could easily spend big bucks there. My favorite crafter is the man who upholsters chairs with different pieces of colorful upholstery fabric. They are just beautiful and I know if I bought one it would immediately be christened with a hairball from my cat.


Rachel said...

I can't wait to see how the sweater turns out!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Me too. This is a technique I never thought of. A part of me feels you are very brave to take something that took a lot of time to knit and experiment this way!