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Thursday, July 05, 2007


I hope all the Americans out there had a fabulous 4th of July! We started the day with the parade. Leesburg does several good parades throughout the year - we've been to the Halloween one before, but this was the first time at the 4th of July parade. It was lots of fun. Of course, there are always political candidates in the parades, shaking hands and passing out stickers to the kids - by the end of the parade Caleb looked like a billboard for democracy. Except for the part of the parade where the local Corvette club went by (I think Mickael teared up a bit), we all had a wonderful time. For those of you who aren't Americans, I hope you also had a nice 4th of July, but I'm guessing it didn't involve parades or fireworks.

On Tuesday, I realized that I needed to get something knit. At this point it is a semi stealth project (this is getting bad - we now have different degrees of stealth projects), meaning I can sort of show it to you, but you can't see enough of it to see details until later. I knew I needed to start it pretty much NOW and I knew I wanted to do it in red. Fortunately, I had a few skeins of KnitPicks dye your own laceweight and some dye around here, so I tossed two skeins into the dye pot and started adding dye until I got the color I wanted. I have heard that red's are the hardest color to get right and if you've ever painted a room red, (or even your nail's red), you know that red acts differently from other colors. The red pigment is the smallest molecule of all the pigments (turquoise blue is the biggest) and it just acts differently. (For anyone who's never painted their nails red or painted a room red - reds are "runnier" than other colors. When you paint a room red, you must have primer and you'll still end up with 3 or 4 coats of paint on top to get an even coat.)

I knew I wanted almost a bright, clear true red, but I wanted it to pull just slightly towards the blue red side of the color wheel. I have pink undertones to my skin and orange reds are not a good mix for me. Landscapes Dyes have two reds: Grevilia is a cool red and Desert Pea is a warm red. I started with an even mix of the two, but then added just a bit more of the Grevilia to push the color very slightly towards the blue side. What you see above is what I got. I love it! I can't wait to start knitting with it. The only problem? I was talking on the phone to Christine* and didn't keep track at all of how much of which dye I used, so if I ever want to duplicate the color, I'll have to start from scratch. Ah, the joys of Seat of Your Pants Dyeing!

*For those of you not in Mystery Stole 3, Christine is my co-moderator. She is in charge of all things computer tech related and has organized the translation efforts. I met her when I did the first Mystery Stole, 2 years ago and she bailed me out from some computer issues. I frequently refer to her as Kato to my Green Hornet, because let's be honest here, without Kato, the Green Hornet would have never gotten anything done.

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Blogger Bridget said...

I love that color! Good job.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Ohhh pretty color!

You're right - red's a hard color to get! It took me forever to find the right color to come away from orange-red; ALSO a color that doesn't look good on me.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Melanie, What a striking color! This will make an awesome shawl / stole or even a laceweight top like you made recently - gorgeous! Just gorgeous!

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Cathy R said...

What an amazing Red!! I am in awe of the many facets of your talents.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melanie, Congrats on MS3 making the harlot's blog

2:03 PM  
Blogger Micky said...

Yes you are going to be more famous now!
You've got the Harlot knitting with everyone else!

2:33 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

That red is stunning. I am so bad that I don't even write down what colors I am using or the yarn either. I am left with some pretty skeins but I have no idea of yardage.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

Great color! And, it's my favorite. I'm loving the MS3! And so many celebrities!
Sheri in GA

9:45 PM  
Blogger Sherie said...

Wow, you nailed the red dye. Looks terrific. :)

11:12 PM  
Blogger jody said...

ugh! I painted my kitchen cabinets red and it took FOREVER to choose the color and then like 50 billion coats of paint-at one point a friend stopped by in mid-painting and said "oh pink cabinets! you're brave!"-they turned out fine but i'm still not sure if i've forgiven her!!

12:38 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Looks like a beautiful blue red to me!!!! I am looking foward to seeing what it is to be.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Connie Peterson said...

Beautiful color ... good luck in re-doing it later! I never write anything down, either, but I normally do natural dyes, so it doesn't do any good, as the plants make different strengths each time you do it.


5:52 PM  
Anonymous Charli said...

Off Topic

Hi Melanie,

I was writing you an e-mail to your MS3 address and was trying to delete it so I could edit it in WordPerfect, but it got sent instead!

Please delete it and I'll send you a much more succint one.

Thanks! And thanks so much for all your hard and beautiful work on MS3!


3:03 AM  
Anonymous site said...

Thanks for this article, really useful piece of writing.

9:25 AM  

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