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The clever and talented Syne Mitchell suggested batching dyed cellulose in the microwave rather than letting it sit overnight, and I gave it a try with a nice fat skein of Leafy Sheep bamboo blend sock yarn. Then I did it again with two rather small skeins, and really liked the way the colors came out. All aquiver to knit up a sample with the small skeins, I looked at them again once they were completely dry.
Nice colors, eh?
Then I looked more closely.
Wot’s this, then?

Ick! At first I was thinking it might be a dye issue, or a lack of dye issue, or a soda ash issue, but then I realized that I must have melted some of the nylon fibers.  On the small skeins, it’s quite obvious.

One the large skein, it’s there, just a bit harder to find.
Only pretty from a distance

If you look at the purplish bit on the upper right, between the pink and the blue, you’ll see that the texture is a bit irregular.  And there’s more, scattered throughout.  I’d been unsure about the dye job anyway, pondering overdying it with protein dyes, but now it’s either bound for the trash, or destined to life as a Horrible Example.

Your take-away message for today:  Don’t put nylon in the microwave.

Update:  see the comments for a short discussion on this.  Microwaving yarn with nylon content can be okay if you are careful and don’t overcook it.

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Here are the results from the overdyeing. It’s kind of like opening presents, when I get to unwrap and rinse off yarn that’s been resting overnight!

For some reason, this skein was very hard to photograph showing the variegation and true colors.  Untwisting it a bit and putting it in natural light helped some.  I’m calling it Strawberry Smoothie, and there is only this skein.

All untwisted

These photographed truer to life.  I cudgeled my brain trying to think what this reminded me of, and finally remembered:

Pile of Pickle

Presenting  . . Indian Chili Pickle!

Want pickles with that?

There are three skeins of Indian Chili Pickle.  By the way, this is not the chili pickle I usually get, but after going to three stores, I took what I could find. Patak’s Chile Pickle is more finely chopped and has a yellow to green ratio that is closer to the yarn.

These are all 400 yard skeins of the Leafy Sheep blend, 40%wool, 40% bamboo, 20% nylon,  fingering weight, just right for socks.  Because these are dyed twice they are $20 each, plus postage. Contact me via the comments if they tickle your fancy!

No, not pink spaghetti for dinner, but a skein of the Leafy Sheep sock yarn dyed with the last of the Zinnia Alter Ego silk dye.  It came out a very pretty medium pink, and only the wool and nylon fibers in this blend picked up the color.

Tickled pink

The fibers are carded together quite well, but there is the very occasional slub of bamboo that stands out because it didn’t get dyed.

Slub

Otherwise, the undyed bamboo gives a very pretty shimmery effect, I think.

Pink strands

But, never one to leave things alone, I’ve overdyed this skein with MX dyes, which will work on the bamboo. I used Coral and Fire Engine Red, which should make for one vibrant skein.  Right now it’s batching, which is a fancy term for sitting on the counter.

Resting comfortably

Tomorrow it gets unwrapped and rinsed out.

I also drizzled MX dye onto three more skeins, and will overdye them in a yellow Jacquard Acid Dye tomorrow, after they’ve had their rest.

Brown bamboo

I could call it Cinnaman Bun, but the overdye will change it all.

Wrapped tight

(Actually, I wrote this yesterday, so for today read yesterday and for tomorrow read today.  Got that?)

The other day I checked my fig tree to see how the the ripening process was going.  Last year I upgraded it from from fig stick, which it was for many years, as it managed to put out about 4 figs.  This year it’s coming along nicely, and will perhaps triple production. Imagine my shock when I saw that I wasn’t the first to harvest this year:

 Someone’s been eating my figs

That branch is only about a foot from the ground, so any number of creatures could have eaten them, but I’m betting it was raccoons.  However, I did manage to get  7 very ripe figs.  Not a lot, but by adding a small apple there was just enough for a half recipe of Super Fig Tart.

Figgy tart

The crust has cheddar cheese in it, and would be quite nice with apples only, I’m sure. That less-than-perfect lattice job?  We calls that rustic.

Visitors are grand, but they do cut into the available blogging time.  Our dear friends Dave and Diane were visiting, and much fun was had.

Diane got some yarn for a scarf for her mom, and I helped her with the cast-on, Diane being a bit new to all this.

The joy of yarn

A trip was made to Serious Pie

Pie man

Pizza was traded

I”ll trade you arugula pesto for zucchini and anchovy

Diane experienced the All-Powerful Reeling Machine

Big wheel keep on turning

We made a trip to the Bellevue Botanical Garden — this trellis? Woven; no nails, string, or glue.

Woven trellis

Pictures were taken

Still life with water droplets

The elusive Camera-Toting Gents were spotted in the perennial border

Camera bearing gents emerge

and we managed to lull them into displaying their characteristic behavior.

Camera-bearing gents grow bold

There were even a few late-season roses.

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming

Those colors would make a nice sock yarn, don’t you think?