Monday, March 1, 2010

Success and Disappointment...


Are both a learning experience, I've found. Often, when I'm exercising my crafting muscle, I run into problems I didn't anticipate. Recently, I decided to make a wall plaque for a friend's young daughter as a birthday gift - this child is extremely creative, and her parents haven't dampened it a bit, which I admire. She is always trying out new mediums (she colored on paper with chalk for an hour one day) and cutting and pasting paper together. I found materials that match her bedroom decor, and started sewing several hours before the party. What I didn't anticipate, however, was the amount of time it would take me to embroider... I was literally putting the finishing touches on the plaque moments before walking out the door. But what a success - it turned out beautifully, and may have reenforced the lesson (which I've learned numerous times) not to wait until the last minute to get a great, crafty gift idea. But it seems my creative mind works best under pressure.

My next crafty lesson this week was this - never trust a dye job you didn't do yourself. I've had this great little sock yarn in my stash for a while now - a friend who stopped knitting gave it to me. I haven't worked it into socks yet because the dye pattern features very short color repeats, which nearly always results in "pooling" of the colors on my sock - a yarn trick I detest. But I found a pattern I wanted to try, and decided to use this yarn as the guinea pig.
The pattern is a neat construction that features knitting on the bias (the stitches move diagonally across the knitted plane, not horizontally), and the heel is "oragamied" together in a neat little swirl.
It took me less than a week to knit these cute little socks, and less than two minutes to have them ruined! Of course, I didn't take any pictures of the socks before I washed them (I always wash my newly finished knits - to get out any oils and dirt, and to shape them). I plunged them into the bathroom sink, and they immediately turned the water to mud...
What we have here, folks, is a failure (on the yarn dyers part) to exhaust the dyes. Black dyes, and other dark colors, tend to leave excess color on your fiber, which must be washed out thoroughly or it will bleed into the lighter parts of the yarn. Many people experience this with dark colored clothes, or the whole "red sock in the white laundry" dilemma. But for me, it came in the form of destroying a week's worth of knitting in two seconds. Of course, when I showed the socks to POSSLQ, he admired them and didn't seem to notice the dull, darkened colors of my previously bright socks. Bless that man, he is good to me. But here's some pictures of the unused portion of yarn, and the mucky socks for comparison.

A little lift to my spirits this weekend (especially after the sock disaster) was eating dinner with POSSLQ at my brand new dining room table! Here's the dining room, all ready for table...

And here's the dining room all full of new dining table!!! Thanks, Leigh Ann!

1 comment:

  1. Your new table is beautiful........as are your socks! I'd love to be able to knit socks. Would you care to share the pattern? Even if they are faded, they are still lovely!

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