Thursday, March 22, 2012

How hard can it be?

Five little words. Fourteen letters and a punctuation mark. How hard can it be? is the first step on a road that can lead to great triumph or epic disaster. Legend has it that these words were spoken when Alexis Xenakis, Elaine Rowley, and David Xenakis started Knitter's Magazine, launching the empire that has become XRX, Inc. Of course, the question has also led to many a house burning down as the result of an attempt to deep fry a Thanksgiving turkey.

I just finished spinning this...
Just over 350 yds of fingering weight 2-ply. The fiber is 50% bamboo, 30% merino, 10% bison and 10% cashmere from Louet which was given to me as a gift.

I love it. It is gorgeous. The bamboo gives it sheen, a cool hand and limpid drape, while the bison and cashmere make it soft like a kitten. It is conspicuously handspun, but not lumpy. It begs to be a delicate lace shawl or scarf.

There is only one problem: the color. The natural chocolate brown of the bison down makes the yarn a taupey beige.  Beautiful, but not a color that is flattering next to my face, unless skin the color of oatmeal is a new fashion trend I've not heard about.

I'm thinking about dyeing this yarn, maybe a rich sapphire blue. The problem is I've never done any dyeing. I feel a bit of trepidation. What if I screw it up? Could I destroy everything that is lovely about this yarn in the process of trying to alter the color?

But after all, lots of people dye yarn at home. Many even make money doing it. They can't be that much smarter than I am.

How hard can it be?

Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Ooh, good luck! I'm pretty sure you'll have incredible success with this. I don't know anything about dyeing plant fibers and have only dyed animal fibers with kool-aid so I'm not a bit of help, but I'll be waiting eagerly to hear about how your project goes.

  2. FWIW, we have deep-fried our Thanksgiving turkey for almost 10 years now, and our house is still standing. So, just don't dye the yarn on your wood deck or under the wooden eaves of your house (metaphorically speaking), and you'll be fine.