Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dyeing Adventure

The following is the account of kalkette's dyeing adventure. Plus a dinner recipe. We've got it all over here at Chez Kalkette. Some time ago a dinner-making kalkette noticed that the color of beets is the color that is the favorite of kalkette's mom. Kalkette's mom has put up with many things from kalkette over the years and it was determined that she deserved a nice gift for Christmas of her favorite color. Kalkette decided to try her hand at dyeing for her mom. This is the result. The plan was to make this I thought it would be beautiful in a nice magenta/fuschia color. So, I took a lesson from here and got started. I skeined up a ball of Patons Classic Wool Merino and soaked it with 3/4 cup vinegar:

It's supposed to soak overnight but I soaked it from the morning until it was time to start dinner. About the same amount of time.

I then took one bunch of beets and removed the stems and peeled them.
Then I julienned them and put them in a large (microwave safe) bowl.

Trust me, they are way more fuschia than this picture. Then I covered them with just enough water to completely cover them;
I put this bowl in the microwave for about 10 minutes, checked them and then another 10 minutes. This was to leach the color into the water and also to cook the beets. They are much denser than the other ingredients and I didn't want them coming out raw.

While it was cooking I peeled and julienned a sweet potato.
Now I took out the wok and added a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. (Please note that olive oil is not recommended for super hot cooking as it has a lower smoke point than other oils. I use it for the health and because my stove doesn't get super duper hot but if you are going to use an electric wok or an open flame or something hotter, then use another kind of oil.) I put the sweet potato in the wok and stir fryed it.

I added another tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and added this:
It's a bag of fresh veggies. Carrots, red cabbage and broccoli. They are raw and ready to be made into a broccoli slaw but I use them as a stir fry. Yum yum.
By the time you add the broccoli slaw mix, the beets should be done. I took out a metal colander and a large pot and set them up like this
I set it in the sink but I wanted to reserve the water for the yarn dyeing. Now add the beets to the stir fry and fry them up. This is more for texture than anything. This will make the other veggies turn sort of magenta too. That's okay. They still taste wonderful. I like to serve mine with some brown rice and a little soy sauce. It makes about 6 servings.
Now drain the yarn and squeeze out the extra water. Put the yarn in the bowl and pour the water over it. Add 1/2 cup vinegar. If there isn't enough liquid to cover the yarn, add more water. Otherwise, place the yarn in the microwave and microwave until the bowl is hot and almost boiling.
I microwaved it for ten minutes and the water was steaming so I knew it was quite hot. Then I left the yarn to sit in the microwave for 15 minutes (with the door closed to keep the heat in). You may want to reheat it at some point during this time. It depends. You want it to remain as hot as possible for that length of time, without boiling as that can felt the yarn. Once that time has passed, remove it from the microwave and allow it to cool. Then rinse it well and remove as much water as possible.
Here is the yarn ready to be hung to dry.
I hung the skeined yarn in the laundry room sink to dry and the following day I had this:
It didn't turn out at all the color that I wanted so I'm not sure what to do with it and it is very lightly variegated between a darker red and a lighter red. It was a very fun adventure though and I had a blast. :)
Back to the Christmas knitting, we have less than 8 weeks now you know. Anyone panicked yet?

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