Sunday, July 16, 2006

I hand painted yarn!

I realized one reason I have a sizable stash but no compunction about buying more yarn is that most of my stash sucks. So, I took a ball of beige sock yarn and dyed half of it turquoise and half red-brown. Okay, those were not the colors I expected, but it still turned out cool. Cool enough that I actually went to the trouble of "rescuing" some yarn to dye it. I have an entire pack (4x90g balls) of this wretched baby blue fingering weight yarn wrapped with a blue-green variegated eyelash yarn. I have no excuses. Anyway, while watching an episode of Midsummer Murder on late-night, I separated two skeins and this morning I dyed one of them. It is still finishing up, but so far I can tell a couple of things.

First, the wool/nylon yarn I dyed yesterday has very little siphoning (where the dye seeps up outside of the part soaking in it), to the point that the two were in shallow bowls which were touching and there is a one-inch section that did not get colored. The crap wool/ acrylic blend, one the other hand, I did in a jar, because I wanted one end to have deep color and the other to have light color (one dye). Within one minute, the dye had siphoned about three inches out of the dye and within twenty minutes had gotten all the way to the bowl of undyed yarn. So, my plan of moving small sections into the jar for short periods was moot, but the part that was in the dye jar is darker than the rest. Second, the wool yarn held the color better. Even though tons of it washed out, the color is very bold. However, I can see even while it is still wet that the color is going to be much lighter, even the part that was soaking in the dye.

This was was lots of fun, though. Certainly way more fun than the thirty or forty progress reports I wrote in between checking on the yarn's progress. And probably lots more fun than my reading list for the next few days. I rather foolishly told the academic director that I would rather read ten chapter books a week than teach vocabulary. How my words have come back to haunt me. The next day (Friday), I received half of my reading list for the summer session:
The Pearl, A Wrinkle in Time, Lord of the Flies, Maniac Magee, Hoot, When My Name was Keoko, and Small Steps. I'll get the rest on Tuesday (Monday is a holiday in sunny SK)All fine books, no doubt, but I haven't read all of them and the rest I read when I was in school (looooooooong ago). Did I mention that this is for a five week program and that the chapter book classes are only one of three subjects I'm teaching?

I also have to prepare daily writing topics for all of the classes (not just mine), for a portfolio the students are going to create to show their parents how hard they worked in summer school. I found this out on Friday when I got the books. I have one week to prepare. That's why I get the (not-so) big bucks. I'm the head teacher, so that kind of prep work is my job, but I like warning. I also have a slew of new teachers to train. So, part of my Power Procrastination Plan (P3) is to dye yarn and shop online for my mother's impending visit. Oh, and after yesterday's dying success, I went to get more dye- an hour away. While I was at THE (as in only) mall, I also had dinner and checked out the English language bookstore. Total time expenditure- why just a shade under six hours round trip. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Here's a shot of the turquoise and brown yarn:

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