Okay.  So, like everything else, I’ve been researching this to death.

Originally I thought to myself, I am going to only use natural colorants, natural colorant snob that I am….  But then I spent WAY too much time poking through the colorways at Mosaic Moon, Selah, and Three Irish Girls.  And moseying over to Hyena, one can’t help but mention Laines Magnifique and from my own Congo I found both Huckleberry Knits *and* BugSnugger.  (Insert DEEP sigh.) Her Florence is so lovely.

And THEN to make it worse, I found this little project over at Ravelry.  This has all added up to a very serious yearning for wool.  Now, this is a strange feeling for me.  After all, let’s be honest, I can barely knit.

Beyond that I’ve been using wool for YEARS.  I made my first homemade soaker out of a salvaged Goodwill sweater for Christian (CHRISTIAN!) in 2000.  When I was running True Vine I found soap to be a very lucrative venture for trading for knitted longies.  I pulled out my wool collection, longies, shorties, a darling pair of capris, and soakers last night.  I touched all of them, removed pilling, and looked through with my fingers.  And gasp!  Wouldn’t you know it? They’re DIFFERENT!

I know ya’all who knit, you’re laughing right now.  You’re thinking, “Wow, she’s a bit slower than we realized.”  Yes, it’s true.  I never really THOUGHT about wool beyond, “Ooh.  That’s pretty.”

I need to put blame squarely where it lies.  On the FedEx man.  I won’t say this to him when he comes today but this is ENTIRELY his fault.  If he had come oh, say, last week, I’d be working on learning Magic Loop.  I’d be knitting with some inexpensive plain peony pink yarn, contentedly making uni-color legwarmies.  I’d be so busy I wouldn’t have time to be ogling projects on Ravelry.   Nor would I have had the time to poke through all of those colorways 384 times.

And most of all, and this is important… I would NOT have had time to watch dyeing tutorials.  Or find dyeing links.

But he didn’t come now, did he?  No, he failed me.  And so I HAVE looked through them all.

And it all adds up to trouble.  Big trouble.  Because I also found that my local (semi-local) yarn shop carries undyed, natural wool.  And that it is REALLY inexpensive.  And that Cascade 220, while CERTAINLY not BFL Aran weight, is still great for learning to dye.  It also washes up nicely time and time again and so will work fine for someone who just wants to “not ruin” some wool for longies.   I will move onto this: Baby Burgh but as I want to dye THIS WEEKEND I am settling for good ‘ole Cascade 220.  As a side reference, turns out she carries NUMEROUS brands of undyed.  Color me a happy girl.

So, after being certain I wanted the baby’s coming home outfit to be in colors ranging from light pink to deep rose with browns and creams, last night Abigail was wearing this smock top:

And the lavender and dark purple, white and aqua said, “No Kelly THIS is what you want!”   Which wouldn’t be such a serious issue, except I can’t find a good lavender in Wilton food dyes.  Laugh at me.  I’m okay with that.

Now, for those less uppity parties, read on.

Tutorial here: Knitty and I’ve pretty much decided to paint on the dye.  Now if only I can find out a general tip on how to do the repeats so I don’t get massive pooling in the longies I’ll be happy.  Of course if it was that easy then no one in the world would ever have the problem of pooling now would they?  From what I understand (oh so limited) the best way to prevent pooling is to alternate skeins, but when we’re talking about dying, the shorter the repeated lengths, the better.  Of course, that’s more difficult now isn’t it?

For color charts, we have the Wilton color chart or the Kool Aid color chart, depending on your preference.  There’s also a great Kool-Aid how to here along with a color chart that is fantastic.

And, now, herein lies the problem… Purple is one of the hardest colors to get true and get to stick.  I’d be very content if my purples came out all dark with cranberry like this other WordPress blogger.

And, finally, bless the woman who did this.  Oh my.  What a lot of work and she’s wonderful for documenting it all for ME.  Okay, well maybe not for me, but I’m grateful nonetheless.  What an amazing little experiment she has going on there.

So, now all *I* have to do is get Delphinium Blue and Violet to actually make violet, oh and I’d like that to variegate between dark and light shades of purple, add in a little strip of Blue Moon Berry Kool-Aid in one area for my aqua and then of course decide between using white yarn and natural colored yarn which is a doozy considering I’d like a cream colored sweater but I think the dyed longies would look nicer with white.

And this is why the internet should be banned from people who over-research.  In the good ‘ole days they didn’t have options.  They could do walnut brown, onion skin yellow, berry tans, nettle green, things like this.  THAT is why they called them the good ‘ole days.  No options, no discontentment.  Sigh.

Right now this is what I’m thinking:

Dark, deep purple – Grape KoolAid
Dark, brighter purple – sky blue Wilton mixed with violet Wilton  Delph. Blue also works.
Lighter shades of purple- Violet Wilton
White – leave alone
Aqua – Blue Moon Berry

Doing far fewer of the white and aqua sections, a moderate number of Violet Wilton dye and then the most of the Grape KoolAid and the Darker, Brighter purples.  I really want a variegated purple with stand-out white and aqua.  Hm… Best laid plans and all that.

Just wait for the pictures.  That’s all I’ll say.

Countdown: Four Days.

And just WHERE is that FedEx man?!