Friday, September 14, 2012


When I'm dyeing, I have a system for taking notes.  I keep track of weight, colors, amount of dye, depth of shade, time, technique.  All this information is important, and I use it to replicate colorways.  Over 99% of the time I can repeat a colorway based on my notes.  There may be slight variation from dye lot to dye lot, but the basic colorway remains the same.

My notes are extensive with plenty of detail so I can reproduce colorways on a consistent basis.  Once in a great while I have problems duplicating a colorway.  It doesn't happen often.   Since it hasn't happened in a long time, I was probably long overdue for a dyer's dilemma.  

This colorway has me stumped.  Not too long ago I dyed up this sample.  After giving it a test run I decided that I was going to use it on a regular basis.

I dyed up some more yarn based on my notes.

This is definitely not the colorway I had knit up.  I thought maybe I had made a mistake in the mixing so I actually dyed this formula a second time with the same result.

I went back and consulted my notes.  I had a couple of ideas written down for this colorway and had circled one of them.  I had dyed the circled one twice, and it was wrong.  Maybe I had circled the wrong one.  So I tried the uncircled option.

That one is wrong, too.

This is the kind of conundrum that drives me crazy - the last thing on my mind when I fall asleep and the first thing I think of when I wake up.  I've exhausted all formulas based on my notes.  Maybe I was sloppy and didn't write down the recipe I actually used.  I've tried several new recipes in an effort to capture the desired colorway, but that approach hasn't worked either.  I'm beginning to think the colorway I'm trying to achieve is a fluke.  Maybe there was something in the water or other conditions that I'll never be able to duplicate.

The hardest part?  After looking at the knitted swatch so many times, I've become rather attached to the elusive colorway.  So I've been knitting to take the edge off.

I'm hoping that with a bit of distraction the solution to this puzzle will be revealed, and it feels good to be making forward progress on at least one pending project.

Signs of the season are starting to make their way into the house. This pair caught my eye - the color of one striping in the other.  My color inspiration for the week.

Yellow tipping toward orange.

No comments: