How to drive someone crazy from 1100 miles away

20 November 2006

A learning process

In which we learn the importance of washing the swatch.

So, I bought a nice chunk of handspun at Rhinebeck in a pretty green, a very sagey and herbal green, and it was destined to become a sweater for sweet little Princess Walter. I wound up a ball and then made my dutiful little gauge swatch instead of guessing at some gauge and hoping it was okay (incidentally, the gauge I guessed at was dead on, but that is not the point). I made up a pattern for a cardigan with a little border into which I intend to embroider a few lazy daisies, and happily cast on and finished all five pieces in record time. Bound-off little cardigan pieces for my one year old niece. I was so excited. I knew if I blocked first, finishing would come out a lot easier, so I ran a sink full of room temp water and some Woolite. Gently laid all the pieces into the water and walked away as calmly as possible.

I came back a few minutes later and noticed something odd about the foam on the top of the water. It was blue. The rinse water (both first and second) was also blue. Huh.

The lovely green of the yarn has become downright limey. I know, I should have washed the swatch to find this out sooner. And I am a little nervous to do the embroidery in anything but a plasticky (is that a word?) acrylic now, to avoid the white daisies absorbing any more dye that might wash out of the fabric. And yes, they must be white to go with the buttons I knitted in. Not to mention, I will do the finishing with the same yarn, which doesn't really match anymore. I don't want to wash the seaming yarn first; I'd prefer to sew up the seams, do the embroidery, and then give it a reasonable soak to even out the seaming and body colors. That way, I will know the daisies will stay white and hopefully it will all at least match in the end.

But it's not what I wanted. It's not the color I had in mind. And I won't post a picture until it's all finished up so someone can tell me it looks great finished (who really wants a bunch of pictures of cardigan pieces, anyway?).


There are other things going on in my life right now (like crashing a knitting party Thursday night and Thanksgiving plans) but I am too sad about the green that is no more.

Wash your swatches, people!


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