August 30, 2011, I began knitting a LaLa’s Simple Shawl using Katia Samba (100% cotton) in the green ombre colorway. I finished the 84 inches by 46 inches shawl on September 9, 2011. Wow! Eleven days! and the shawl is huge and cotton and lovely. . . . . .
except that I hate the color of it. I wear fall colors and usually green works with my coloring and with my wardrobe. This green, however, made me look sick. I know this because multiple people asked me if I felt poorly when I wore it. Too much blue and pink.
So . . . I put the shawl away in my stash of finished object to be gifts to someone or someones someday.
Now, enter into May 2014. I am going to a conference in Phoenix next month. Beautiful, hot Phoenix in the desert. But I am going to a conference which means being stuck in a hotel/conference center with the air conditioning on about 55 degree F. That’s 13 degrees C for inquiring minds that want to know.
At that temperature, I will need my fingerless mitts, socks, shawls and maybe a hat! I am very cold natured. It will allow me to work on my alpaca sweater, so some good may come of it.
I would love to knit a shawl to take with me, but with grandkids, husband, mother, church, Habitat and other volunteer activities, plus 4 WIPS on the needles, I don’t need another.
Then, I remembered the Katia Samba Simple Shawl. Could something be done to make it more wearable?
Enter RIT dye. Works great on cotton. Hmmmm. What color to use?
Looking in my closet, I quickly determined that a chocolate brown would be a good choice. But would it make the shawl too dark?
Well, I gathered up all my supplies. (5 gallon bucket, bottle of dye, rubber gloves, old clothes, stirring stick, salt.) I changed into the old clothes. I washed the shawl in the washer but didn’t let it spin. It was very wet. I heated the water and salt until boiling in a large dutch oven on the stove top. I half filled the 5 gallon bucket with hot tap water. I place the boiling salt water into the bucket. I poured in the dye and stirred with the stick. I placed the shawl into the dye bath and stirred it around for about 20 seconds. It came out dark, dark chocolate.
Then I began the laborious task of rinsing until the rinse water was clear. The shawl began to lighten in color. I dried the shawl in the dryer.
Lo, and behold, none of the shawl is brown. The spring green is olive. The fushia is salmon. The baby pink is mauve, the orchid is orchid (go figure!), the yellow is caramel, the bright blue is a steely blue gray. The red is coral and something else is a pale wine color (haven't a clue what color it was to begin with) and the white is tan.
I will wear it for a while and see how many things in my closet it goes with. If I need to, I can dye it again for a longer time to make the colors richer.
Right now I am doing a happy dance. And I didn’t have to knit another shawl under a deadline. Yippeee!
Until next time . . . . .