Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Proof (if any was needed) that The Holidome Is No Canyon Ranch

Dear Ann,
We’re on teevee!

Here we are, goofing off while being interviewed at Rhinebeck by the unfailingly gracious CAT of Let’s Knit 2gether. Not for nothing, but could either of us get any pastier? Was it just the overcast skies? I mean, no offense, but geez. You can almost smell the Holidome chlorine wafting off the screen. I am just saying. Next year: pack blow dryer.
Everything I have been knitting is either unexciting (see Ladies Panties Scarf, named for its beigey-pink hue reminiscent of Maidenform pantie girdles circa 1965), or likely to expose me to public ridicule (perhaps another dog sweater). By the way, the Ladies Panties Scarf is now ready to lose its humiliating name via a soak in the dye pot. Does anybody know of a good beginner’s dyeing kit, preferably plant-based, to recommend to me? I’m looking to turn this scarf from Flesh Tone (But Not in a Good Way) to a rich, reddish brown, or walnut, or something along those lines. It’s a Christmas present, but no pressure! I will dutifully document these items as soon as I am able, so that all may mock and enjoy.
Love,
Kay

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38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. I wonder if you could tea dye it? Different teas will give you different colors of browns. It would just take some experimenting. :)

  2. Have you considered kool-aid. I think if you mix the flavors you’ll end up with brown, you know like the kids do with the self-serve soda dispenser at the convenience store.

  3. I think coffee will do your ladies panties nicely!! Really, just cook up really STRONG (4x strength) coffee and try it on a swatch. Wool and cotton take it well, I haven’t tried other fibers.

  4. Ladies Panties Scarf…How are you going to come up with a name better than that? Looking forward to the next Olive sweater…The last picture has made me laugh many times :)

  5. Kay, welcome to the wonderful world of Wilton Food Coloring, a glug of vinegar and the microwave. It is amazing how many different hues one can achieve with those cute little containers. I have dyed many miles of roving to spin and felt, not to mention the I’ve overdyed recycled sweaters from the thrift store to use in rug hooking.. Be free! and google “acid dyeing”.

  6. I have an unused natural dye kit that I bought in a fit of deluded motivation. I’d be happy to give it to you in exchange for all the laughs. Or yarn. I’m not above yarn.
    Let me know. It’s been cluttering my shelf since last April and it could be in NYC lickety-split.

  7. Yeah, Kool-Aid.
    Love the video. The story of the escape from spinning temptation…. thrilling!

  8. I just want to be an innocent bystander. I know nothing about dye (except for a disastrous costume that was supposed to turn out black. . . but ended up a sort of washed-out deadly purple; I mean, how can you screw up black????), but I want to learn.

  9. Hello ladies ! :0)
    Walnut hulls will give you a brown without needing an assist. Can’t guarantee it’ll be a brown you like though. Have a look at the Earthues dyes ?
    http://www.earthues.com/

  10. It is kind of funny. I mean, what does it say when folks would ridicule a dog sweater but not a panty girdle scarf??? This is the bestest place to hang out!
    Looking forward to the dye report!

  11. Home sick today. Interview didn’t heal me, but did cheer me up. Thanks

  12. From experience, Crystal light tea mix, vinegar and a little oven heat works better for brown than any mix of Kool Aid flavors.

  13. Kay, I am SO excited that you are talking about natural dyes! It will be lovely fun to watch your experiments. I’ve got buckets of black walnut hulls and also apple twigs (other buckets) fermenting on my porch since October, getting ready for Winter Dying Fun. A new experience, and after about million hours of research, I decided to try plant materials requiring no mordant, for the least risk to the texture of the yarn. Hippocratic principle…we’ll see how it works out :)

  14. No dyeing kit needed, just boil a lot of onion skins for a while, strain, add vinegar to the liquid and soak your scarf while still heating.
    (enameled double boilers are great for dyeing.)It should turn a lovely golden color.
    If you want more brown, you can add some oak leaves to the onion skins when you boil them. Alum also makes a good mordant.
    If you want it a bit redder, you can add tea.
    You may want to test a little tie of the yarn with the different combination with vinegar, then with alum, to see which color you like best.

  15. I enjoyed your video interview enormously and you’ve got the perfect complexions for a Dove Commercial. Knit on!

  16. Do you have walnut or butternut trees out where you live? If so, they make a great rich brown dye.
    I have a friend who does a lot of kool aid dyeing, and she likes autumny natural colors (versus, say, strawberry or lime). There’s all sorts of dye advice on Ravelry.
    I tinted some leftover paint and did the hall walls, thinking I was going to get terra cotta. It was beige. Band Aid Brown. Very much like Ladies Panties…

  17. Do you have black walnuts or butternuts out where you live? They make a great, and colorfast, brown dye. And kool-aid can be used to good effect as well. I haven’t done it, but a friend is a fan, and she likes autumny and olivy colors (versus, say, strawberry or lime).
    Once I tinted up some paint thinking I would get terra cotta, but I ended up with an ugly beige. Band Aid. Very much like Ladies Panties… I painted over it.

  18. You all are too cute!

  19. talking with the stars i will give
    a 10 a 10 a 10 and 100 for the knitting
    talking with the stars 10 10 10

  20. Pasty? Nah! You two never looked lovelier. I sincerely mean that and so would Dove. And 1965 is the year I gave UP panty girdles so any color besides Maidenform pink would be appreciated!

  21. WAHHHH..I can’t see the picture on my computer???
    it looks like nothing is there?
    Never happened before…
    oh well Happy Thanksgiving…

  22. I say go for the coffe dye route, that way you could change it from the “Ladies Panties Scarf” to the “Nescafe Neckwarmer”, or something (wouldn’t be the first time there was a little coffee-caused leak onto the panties…).
    In trying to view the video, it was the “dial up blues” rides again, but you guys looked good to me.
    …Aaaannd I thought the dog sweater was VERY CUTE! I am making one, too. So there.
    LoveDiane

  23. OK, you know I’m a country, earthy girl. But I am cracking UP at the image of you out in Central Park gathering nuts and bark for your dyeing — even I am not up to that. I can tell you from experience: Kool-Aid dyeing is fun but unreliable, and good LUCK trying to find ENOUGH packets of KA to dye a scarf, and trying to come up with the right color combo to make it brown (who knew “Razzle Raspberry” would be TURQUOISE-Y BLUE?!). It takes 523 (approx.) packets to make a decent rich color. Been there, done that. You end up spending more money on Kool-Aid than if you’d just bought a packet of nice dye. I’ve always wanted to try Earth Hues, but I HAVE tried Jacquard Acid Dyes, and been extremely happy with their ease of use, the colors they produce, and the fact that they are eco-friendly. Throw it in the soup pot with some vinegar on the stove, and you’re done (when you hit the color you want), or in a large glass bowl in the microwave. It’s fun! I see a new obsession coming on! (though I’m finished with my own personal dyeing “phase.”)

  24. I’m with Jen. I would tea dye it. It would give it some interesting mottled tones in the red browns depending on the tea you used. I have used tea dying for linen for cross-stitch, and it is very popular for replica samplers.

  25. “Have you guys ever thought of doing a podcast together?”
    Is it just me or is CAT an enabler?
    I would totally listen to it if you did!
    *coughcoughhintcough*

  26. Oh my goodness, I thought Olive’s sweater was INSPIRING. Please don’t stop.
    Also. You both look completely adorable. I did have a coworker pass on to me (a pasty blond) a two word beauty tip a few years back, when it was time for ID pictures here at my place of so-called employment. The words were “more lipstick.” I find that the older I get, the more it applies. I look forward to being the 90 year old with shaky but bright and gleaming lips, possibly knitting dog sweaters.

  27. Aw, you look fine. Let’s not set the standard too high for the rest of us.
    I go natural. It’s fine. It’s how we came. You don’t need decorating.
    Unless you WANT to decorate yourself. That’s fine by me, too.

  28. First, the pasty ladies shot. Umm, I am going to tell Mary Elizabeth on you.
    Second I am down with the food dyes contingent. Wiltons rocks, they have and amazing colors like olives mossy greens and subtle shades. My complaint with koolaid is not much subtlety in the colors or the scent.
    I saw some gorgeous coffee dyeing online, you can probably google it. Very tempting.

  29. I’m making the Ladies Panty Scarf too these days, not loving the colour either, but was thinking of giving it away rather than dyeing it, so I can’t wait to see what you do.

  30. There’s gotta be a use for Thursday’s leftovers:
    Cranberry dye? Turkey stock dye? Or consider the classic, red wine. (I’ve tried all of them in small patches, and, while semi-permanent, all three are too similar to the original beigey pink you’re trying to escape.)

  31. Hey, thanks for the mention on the video! I’m the “lady in the restroom” and I’m still stalking your blog! Also, I posted the video on my blog, claiming my extra 30 seconds of “fame”! :)

  32. Hey, thanks for the mention on the video! I’m the “lady in the restroom” and I’m still stalking your blog! Also, I posted the video on my blog, claiming my extra 30 seconds of “fame”! :)

  33. Maybe filling in your brows with some brow powder and wax (Smashbox Cosmetics @ Ulta makes a nice one) and some lipgloss would be nice. Just gives that pulled together look. This $20 kit brings powder/lipgloss and mascara. It’s $20 dollars well-spent! Best of luck with the dyeing. I’m going to check out the audiobook that y’all talked about with Cat on Let’s Knit Together. Happy Thanksgiving!

  34. Y’all have the only blog EVAH where I can get advice on kool-aid, brow powder and wax (!?), dog sweaters, and torture tools/rug making supplies. Seriously!

  35. If you’d like to give natural dyeing a try, Dharma’s got all the stuff you need:
    http://www.dharmatrading.com/nd.html The colors you get on silk are very similar to what you’ll get on wool. If you’d like to go this route, let me know what dyestuff you’d like to use and I can send you some pointers. I don’t usually use the natural dyes as they don’t work well on cotton (but they do work well on wool) but I’ve done a lab with some groups of students trying all sorts of different mordants along with most of the dye materials in this Dharma page, so just let me know and I’ll email the lab handout to you!

  36. Gotta put my plug in for the eco-friendly dyes created by Wendy D. Johnson at Saga Hill Designs (www.sagahill.com).
    And still puzzling over mockery of dog sweaters – clearly a different value system than my own.

  37. knit picks has a good one.

  38. knit picks has a good one.