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It’s totally worth it to sweat over a dyepot all weekend, up to your elbows in citric acid and dye powder, just to see the look on your co-worker’s face when they ask you what you did this weekend.

So, yup, I dyed. With real dyes, not Kool-aid. I had ordered a couple of sampler packs from ProChemical, which had arrived in about 3 days. Talk about customer service from those people! I got one email when they received my order, one email when they shipped, and another after my package had been delivered that told me exactly where the UPS guy left it on my porch. Dang. I’ll definitely be ordering from them again.

I finally got to bust it out a couple of weeks ago. I had gotten a pound of undyed Kona superwash sport/DK for my birthday (oh, how I heart my mother-in-law), and later bought some of the fingering weight from my LYS. If you’ve not tried this stuff, I highly recommend it. Nice yarn. It’s über-soft and takes the dye quite well, in my humble, inexperienced opinion.

The first thing I tried was a purple vat dye on some of the DK. I actually took a picture of it, but it turned out so blurry and icky that I’m kind of embarrassed, so I’m not going to show it. I didn’t like it so much, though. The color, eh. It was okay, but not really what I wanted. But my biggest problem with it was the icky places that didn’t get dyed. Dumb me tied the yarn too tight around the hank, so I got that lovely tie-dyed look. Bleah. I didn’t like it. So I overdyed it. Here it is:


Kinda pretty, no? I’m not sure if I like it or not. It’s really dark, so no good for cabled socks, which is what I had in mind for it. Maybe some nice lace? It’s kind of thick for that. Maybe I’ll get some kind of blinding celestial vision about what to do with this yarn, but until then it lurks in the stash. Next!

A burgandy vat dye on some fingering:


I did the overdye of the purple and this in the same vat, actually. I was a bit bummed when this dried. I was going for more of a raspberry, but got this color. I think I may like it though. Now this would be nice for lace. Baudelaire perhaps?

Then I decided to try a handpaint. Boy, did I make a mess. But it turned out pretty nice, I think. Here it is in the hank:

handpaint on rail

And here it is all skeined up:


I’m actually quite pleased with the way that this turned out. I was kind of going for a September fall kind of colorway, and I think this is pretty accurate. Purple for the Ironweed still in bloom, yellow for the Walnut trees that are already turning, and green for the rest of the trees. Two different browns for the leaves already dead on the ground. I’m itching to knit this up to see if it pools or not, but I have other things to finish up first. The only problem I had with this was that in one of the browns, not all of the dye powder dissolved so I have little red specks in that section. It’s not too bad, but still a tad annoying. They’re not really visible in the picture above, although I can see them because I know that they’re there. Humph. I guess I’ll have to be more careful next time.

And speaking of next time, more dyeing and some actual knitting!




Originally uploaded by chemgrrl.

Another of Oscar…


Originally uploaded by chemgrrl.
Oscar, looking slightly pissed

Ah, the ever important first post. Screw this up and people won’t read your blog. They’ll think you’re nuts, discredit you, ruin you future career, and ensure that all of your children turn out to be crack addicts.

So no pressure, eh?

So how does one introduce herself in a blog? I don’t know who’s out there, or why they’re here, or what they want. So who are you? What DO you want?

You want to know who I am. Okay, fine.

I am the chemgrrl (with an emphasis on the grr part). I’m a grad student in chemistry in southern Indiana. But also, I am a knitter, which is the main reason I’m starting this blog. I have to talk about knitting. So in this space, I mainly will be talking about knitting.

Hmm? What’s that you say? WHY do I have to talk about knitting?

Well, I guess that question falls into the “if you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand” category. I love to knit. I love to make things. I love the softness of the yarn, and the beautiful colors. Oh, the colors (I got into chemistry initially because I wanted to know what makes color)! I want to knit all of the time, and talk about it when I can’t actually do it. My problem is that nobody around me really wants to hear it. Hence, here I am.

What about this other stuff? Flowers? Dirt? Chemistry?

I’m a gardener, too (flowers! I heart flowers!), and like I said above, am a grad student in chemistry. I’m going to have to talk about that, since I’m in the lab 60+ hours per week. In fact, I’m in the lab right now. I should probably be working (ha! ha ha ha!) but I’m not. A girl’s gotta have some fun.

I’m kinda busy, though, so I probably won’t be the best on updating my blog on a regular basis. In fact, I started one before and never did anything with it. I let it go so long that I forgot the password and couldn’t get back into my blog, so it died a horrible blogger death and remains floating in the ether to this day. But! I’m really going to try this time and actually post. Look! I’m already posting! Yay me!

Well, it’s a start, anyway.

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
September 2006