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My Strawberry Ishbel


3476583061_5561e80f0b_bRecently, I dyed some yarn with Kool-aid (and blogged about it here). 

This was the result I got with Strawberry and Tropical Punch flavours.  I really liked how it looked in this state, as a skein – a lovely blend of pinky tones from nearly-white to almost-red.

I decided to try making Ishbel, a lovely, lacey shawl/scarf by the Scottish designer, Ysolda Teague. I made the smaller version of the pattern, a triangular scarf. 

3975094974_93549375e2_bThe Malabrigo Lace yarn is so soft, it makes a very luxurious and cozy scarf.  The stripes from my dye job didn’t quite strike my fancy, however… they were a bit too strong and distracted from the lace pattern.

After doing a little reading online about overdyeing and colour-mixing with Kool-aid, I decided to overdye the finished scarf with Black Cherry flavour (which, as far as I can tell, is not available in Canada – but a knitter friend of mine had some to share).

The tricky thing is that you need heat to set the dye, but when natural fibre yarn is heated it can easily felt.  I mixed two packets of Black Cherry Kool-aid and a bit of blue food colouring in a crock pot full of cold water. It looked very dark, sort of inky purple. I submerged the folded-up scarf, put the lid on, and turned the crock pot on low. Then I left it alone, resisting temptation to poke and prod and see how it was doing. 

3975094248_b86709c681_bAfter a few hours, the yarn had soaked up all the dye, and the water was clear. It’s quite amazing how that works! I turned off the crock pot and let it cool down before I removed the scarf, rinsed and blocked it. The colour was a bit of a surprise, I was expecting a darker reddish-violet, but as you can see it ended up in autumnal shades of brownish/orangey red. 

Any knitters familiar with Ishbel will probably see the mistakes I made!  But, considering it’s my first completed lace project, I’m pretty happy with it.