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Monday, November 14, 2011

Overdyeing, Part 1

There are a couple of projects worth of yarn that I have been planning to overdye and I finally decided to just go for it.  My reasons for overdyeing (versus just returning the yarn and getting a different color) are complicated and different for each instance.  The yarn I'm showing you today began life as Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Silver Fox colorway.  Madelinetosh is one of my favorite dyers and with the huge range of yarn bases they now have, if I had to knit from only one dyer for the rest of my life, Madelinetosh would be it.  I had ordered the yarn looking for a pale gray and that's what Silver Fox is.  My problem was that I was looking for a pale gray just slightly lighter than standard sweatshirt heather gray and Silver Fox is even lighter than that.  As you can see in the picture, it's almost like the undyed skein walked past a gray dyepot without jumping in.  It is truly the lightest shade of gray that can possibly be gray - any lighter and it would be cream.  It's a beautiful color.
So what's the problem?  My skin tone is the problem.  I have very fair skin with cool undertones.  The cool undertones mean gray is a wonderful color for me (I love gray, seriously love it).  The very fair part means I need to have color that's actually there.  I can do pastels, but they must have some substance.  Wispy, delicate, barely there color just washes me out.  I can do whites and ivories, but any actual color has to actually be there, not just maybe be there.  Silver Fox was bordering on the maybe being there against my skin and I would have looked like a corpse (lovely, no?)  If my skin tone was darker it would have worked out just fine - I don't want to turn anyone with a more normal skin tone off of this color because it should be wearable for other people.
I contemplated trying for a darker gray, but gray dyes tend to pull to one color or another (you've all seen blue grays and green grays and even warm grays) - if I was using gray, I wanted just gray, no undertones.  That meant going for a color on the overdye.  As light as the yarn was to begin with, I knew I could go with pretty much any color I wanted to and except for being just a little bit muted, it would come out pretty pure.  I decided to go for a rich iris or dark periwinkle blue.  I used blue dye with a little bit of purple dye (to swing the blue over into the periwinkle range).  I wasn't necessarily going for a solid, but it seems that that's how it came out.  I'm thrilled with my finished color and once it's all dry, I'll cast on for Melpomene, the newest Muse in Romi's second 7 Small Shawls ebook.



Blogger Jan said...

The new blue is beautiful, and really is my very favorite blue to wear. I'm fondly remembering a dress I had while I was in my 20's which was just that rich blue (sigh). The color is so evenly dispersed, I can't wait to see new shawl in progress.

2:15 PM  
Blogger carolinacrafts said...

I feel the same way about Tosh yarns. LOVE them. That color looks beautiful!

11:35 AM  
Blogger calcairns said...

Stunning blue color! I know what you mean about Madelinetosh; I have several projects in Madtosh going right now. How about finding some gray and doing a two-tone shawl? Maybe that will help satisfy that "gray" longing.

3:23 PM  

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