A Hankering

Lately, I've had this crazy idea of learning to dye yarn (also, doing it so wonderfully that I start a business, get famous, go touring and have groupies. I'm nothing if not realistic.).

Of course the first step is learning how to actually do it, and since I didn't want to contaminate my house with chemicals (at least right away), I decided to beg my mom for koolaid. I've never seen koolaid in France. After using it as a permanant dye, I wonder why.

I also begged the internet to cough up some reasonably priced undyed yarn. That ships to the European continent. This took ages.

Finally, all the chips were in place and my hankering to dye hanks of yarn could finally be put into practice.

I took a hank of Australian Merino and placed it in the pot of water. I wanted a mostly blue but varigated cherry colorway. This is not what I got. It started out ok. Sorta:

First batch to dye for

And then the Cherry started encroaching on the blue and I was all, argh! More blue! More koolaid in the pot!

Despite adding more, I was forced to watch as the Cherry spread. Mocking my efforts with surprising ease.

This is when my son came into the kitchen, "What's for dinner?" He looked in the pot and recoiled. His body totally said WTF is that?

I could hardly blame him. It looked as though Hannibal Lector had been experimenting with various odds and ends in my kitchen:

First batch

With my second batch, I tried to just do a varigation of reds by holding half the skein out of the pot until the last minute but it still required a lot more packages of koolaid than I was bargaining for. And my colours aren't particularily deep (though they smell quite yummy).

I hereby give you the results of my labours:

Brains colorway

Brains colorway

Hemophelia colorway

Hemophelia colorway

I think the names of the colorways give the experience a satisfying je ne sais quoi...

Don't you?

FO: Pink Bubblegum Scarf

The yarn for this scarf was bought to teach my daughter how to knit.

Her garter stitch (in French: point mousse) seemed to be going well. That is, until her nine year old survival instincts kicked in and she gave up.

Since my brain has been relentlessly turning over a bulky yarn cowl idea, I figured the yarn would lend itself well to the stitch I have in mind for it.

It did. Most satisfyingly.

Pink bubblegum scarf

FO: Pink Bubblegum Scarf
Yarn: Phildar Express 50/28/22 Nylon/Acrylic/Wool
Total yardage: 186 yards/171 meters (3 skeins)

I knitted this baby on 6mm needles though I should have apparently used 9mm needles. I guess I'm dyslexic.

My daughter is pleased as punch. I can hardly wait to find out how she'll accidentally destroy it.

I'm hoping she'll surprise me with her creativity.

Pink bubblegum scarf

Dear Rick the Sock


I've got a bone to pick with you.

When I picked up Cookie A's "Sock Inspiration", I just knew that the "Broken Dreams" colorway from Zen Yarn Garden would be perfect for you.

Not only were the colors similar to those in the book... but the pattern. It was the pattern that drew me in. Lovingly complicated, just the way I like them.

Because I am a complication snob. I'm convinced that I CAN DO ANYTHING!

And yet. Despite the complicated nature of the pattern, you could sense the pattern. That it wouldn't be a difficult one to memorise.

And this was true.


This sock was so DIABOLICAL that by the time I finished ONE SOCK, a whole MONTH HAD PASSED.

I'm gonna go with pregnancy brain. It's the only way to justify it taking me ONE WHOLE MONTH to knit ONE SOCK.

Do you have any idea how many times I frogged? I DON'T EVEN WANT TO GO THERE! It took me ages to figure out where to place the heel (and I have to hand it to the ZEN (HA HA HA HA) Garden Yarn. It didn't fuzz out). To make things worse, it wasn't even the fault of the pattern! The pattern was written perfectly. GRUMBLE GRUMBLE!


It is solely for this that reason prevailed because buddy?.... YOU CAME SO CLOSE TO BEING NAILED TO A TREE WITH ALL 5 OF THOSE DOUBLE POINTED NEEDLES!

But the worst. The absolute worse was was when I finally, VICTORIOUSLY, finished that one sock.

Rick the Sock

I immediately tried you...it... WHATEVER... on.


My leg looked like a trussed sausage. I'm not even kidding. That wonderful pattern? I felt like my leg had been tied up and was sitting in a dark room.

Awaiting torture.

Involving probe lights, water and electricity.

To wit: My leg felt like a dish of string-bound tripes. Are you familiar with tripes? Is that even a word in English? Let me check....


I unknowingly ordered tripes in a French restaurant a couple of years ago. Let me tell you, you don't make the mistake of ordering edible stomach offal of various farm animals EVER AGAIN.


Now I'm afraid to knit the other sock. I am undecided. Because not only is the pattern the same, it is mirrored. I fear for my already fragile health.

And you risk certain death.

That said, I tried the sock on again for the posterity of photos and I didn't have the same feeling of being ligoted. I can only imagine that though my pregnancy is further advanced, there had been swelling that I hadn't noticed when I tried you on the first time because I was still working.

Rick the Sock

For your sake, you better hope that that's the case. That this pregnancy is the cause.

Otherwise, your days are numbered, Sock Boy.

That's a promise.

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