A cautionary tale of dyelots and acrylic

My sister got married in October (it’s a good month; I highly recommend it). She just didn’t plan to do so. She and her now-husband took a side trip to the courthouse one Tuesday afternoon, and then finished out the rest of their day according to schedule. It was spur-of-the-moment, but also a long time coming. It’s hard to explain without resorting to caricatures and hyperbole, which I resort to on a regular basis anyway without even trying. They planned a small church wedding and reception for family and friends a month later, which was about as quickly as it could be put together, but which put it about two and a half weeks before I was due to deliver the Peanut. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling up to a 5-hour drive and sleeping (or not sleeping) in a strange bed for one night, then another 5-hour drive the next day. You can probably guess why.

I hated missing her wedding. The pictures of it are lovely. She looks lovely. She looks happy. I sent a kitchen item that would make it there in time, and cast on a proper present from a knitter.

I chose to knit her a shawl. My sister is not what you would call a girly-girl. I do believe 95% of her wardrobe is t-shirts and jeans, in fact. Still, every woman needs something to make her feel pretty, even if she never opts to wear it outside of the house. I chose Citron, which isn’t lacy at all, but rather geometric and solid in its construction. You could call the ruched sections “ruffled,” but I wouldn’t.

I'm sure she won't notice the glaring color difference.

I knitted this in Wool-Ease (she won’t hand-wash, I’m quite sure), which is a worsted weight yarn, and upped the needle size to a comfortable gauge (though I can’t remember the needle size exactly). It’s warm, it’s just a touch girly, and it’s bright freaking red.

Spice must floooooowwwww

If you look closely, you might notice something inconsistent. Specifically, an inconsistency in the shades of red. Let this be a cautionary tale to you, my friends; check your dyelots! I thought that Wool-Ease, being 80% acrylic, wouldn’t really have dyelot issues.

I'm having flashbacks to frantically wrasslin' with Powerpoint at my last job.

HAH. Alas.

All four skeins are Brick Red, but one of them is a little less brick and a little more red. A little more cherry red, really. Naturally, fate being what it is, I started with the odd skein, so it takes up a sizable chunk of the center of the shawl. In dim light you’d never notice, and I certainly didn’t notice until I was well into the second skein and sitting in the bright, airy kitchen at my in-laws’, showing it off. Took me down a peg right quick.

I figure, the pattern’s called “Citron,” right? Well…this blood orange just has a really, really thick peel.

All hail the mighty 2-megapixel cameraphone.

I washed it by hand and tossed it in the dryer, hoping the acrylic would soften up and the ruffle at the very end stop curling. It didn’t. I had to iron it. The lovely ladies at my knitting group advised me to steam the crap out of it, but my iron doesn’t steam at that low a setting. Using a towel barrier resulted in a wonky edge as well (ironing the curl in, instead of out), so I just upped it to one setting higher than the one for acrylic, dampened the ruffle with a spray bottle as I went, and kept the iron moving. I think it killed it quite effectively. The fabric isn’t completely dead, but it’s laying flat at the edge, which was the point of the 45 minutes I spent bent over the ironing board (that’s a lie – I spread it out on my bed so I could sit down).

Isosceles seems to think it’s worthy of her butt, anyway.

This project was incomplete; now it has cat hairs on it and can be sent to the recipient.

That’s high praise.

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About crankyfacedknitter

We are a motley collection of cats, cranks, nerds, geeks, hobbyists, humorists, writers, caffeine addicts and one knitter. We have many offspring, but admittedly, most of them are imaginary.
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3 Responses to A cautionary tale of dyelots and acrylic

  1. texcommando says:

    Your name caught my attention on mommywantsvodka.com.

    I love the shawl. Where did you get that pattern? Is it on ravelry? I have just started a shawl from a possum (don’t judge) yarn that my husband brought to me from New Zealand.

    I look forward to being able to spend more time reading your blog.

    • Thanks! The pattern is Citron from Knitty.com, and yes, it’s a very popular shawl pattern on Ravelry. If you search for it, it will probably be on the front page.

      So, wait…they have possums in New Zealand? I thought opossums were only North American. Now I shall have to Google, and get lost in Wikipedia again. Confound it!

      Oho! I have now been educated on the differences between opossums (North American) and possums (New Zealand, though not native), and am curious about the yarn you got. Is it dyed? Natural? They look cuter than opossums do, and I wonder if they smell better? (Oh internets, I do love thee.) What pattern are you working on?

  2. texcommando says:

    You’re one up on me then. I never took the time to consult the almighty google about NZ possums. I just took my husband’s word for it. It’s actually a 60% Merino, 30% Possum, 10% Nylon blend. It’s called Touch possum yarn.

    I have two colors, one is a darkish red, and the other one that I’m trying to turn into a shawl is a medium gray color that I am discovering has a slight purple/pink color in it. I didn’t even notice it until I had started working with it, and I can’t even tell there’s any color just looking at the plain yarn. I’m glad that it’s not plain gray.

    The pattern is called ‘double crosser’ on Ravelry. I like it because I don’t think it will look grandma-ish. Neither does the one you made. For some odd reason, I want a shawl, but I don’t really know why. I spend most of my time in gym/workout attire. Hand knitted shawls don’t really ‘go’ with yoga pants. But, whatever!

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