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Translation

Translation

As you may or may not be able to tell, I’m gearing up to make a new version of the Egyptian Stockings, with some more-authentic materials than I used last time. Another thing I’m trying to do is make sure that my research is even more solid than it was last time, and that means spending a couple afternoons a week translating French museum catalogues into English.
Translating French textile catalogues. Because I apparently have a skewed concept of 'fun.'

Indigo Dyeing, take two

Indigo Dyeing, take two

Remember my indigo dyeing adventure last time? And how it didn’t turn out so well for my cotton yarn? Well, after I got it all untangled, I decided to bite the bullet and dye it again. Of course my hands turned blue again…

Oh Loki-hands, I missed you.

But I got a darker yarn. Here you can see the difference in the first dye-bath blue (the tiny skein), and the second dye-bath blue (the large skeins).
Indigo yarn, second dyeing. I kept a sample from the first dyeing for comparison. It's probably even a bit darker than it shows here.

This picture is much more color accurate, and shows the blue and natural cottons next to each other. They look really beautiful and vibrant together. 
A better sense of the depth of the indigo. Next to the undyed yarn.

Adventure in Indigo

Adventure in Indigo

One of the things that I have been meaning to do is attempt indigo dyeing. We did it at Willow’s dyeing weekend last year, and since I started knitting the Egyptian Socks of Doom, I knew that I wanted to make another pair with a more period kind of yarn, indigo dsfddyed by me. So during a Poppet-free day, I set out to make it happen.

First I soaked all my yarn (I figured that since I had a dyepot going, I may as well dye up some silk tram and wool, too) while I got the pot started. Indigo Dyeing

This is the kit I used. I got it at Knit Picks, but just about anywhere that sells dye materials will have it.  Indigo Dyeing

After mixing. There is an iridescent blue bloom on the top that Willow referred to as the “mother” and the kit calls the “flower.” I dunno; it’s pretty. Underneath, you can see how green it is. This is the proper color for an active indigo dye-pot. The blue color comes from the oxidation after the yarn comes out of the pot.
Indigo Dyeing

The yarn during dyeing. Look how green!

Indigo Dyeing

Right out of the dye-pot. You can see the oxidation starting there on the right.
Indigo Dyeing Left to right: wool, cotton, silk tram. The lightest tram in the middle was literally only dipped for a second. I wanted to see how light a color I could get.
Indigo Dyeing

I eventually abandoned my rubber gloves, after the dye spilled over the top. Turns out that 5-gallon buckets are deeper than regular gloves are tall. Luckily I have no job to get mad at me for being part ice-giant. Indigo Dyeing

All the Indigo yarn. I added a lighter blue wool, too. Indigo Dyeing Indigo Dyeing

And then I did something stupid. The cotton yarn wasn’t rinsing as clear as I would have liked, so I decided to try rinsing it in the washing machine. But I forgot to turn off the agitation, so it all ended up a tangled mess.

Still hopelessly tangled, after a couple hours of (fairly) patient untangling.

I cut one string, just to have someplace to start from, and in the course of untangling, found the actual ends. I tied buttons to them so I wouldn’t lose them, and continued. It took forever. I am SO tired of untangling yarn. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though.

But ten days later, after much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth, it was all done. And ready to be re-dyed, since it lost so much color in the agitation. It needs to be navy, not cobalt. Victory is mine!