Yesterday night I sewed together the basic body of the jacket. Here it is:
I’m worried that it may overwhelm the wearer – that certainly is a lot of color! – but am reserving judgment until after the whole thing is together.
Meanwhile, I have finished sewing interfacing into the two back facing sections and one of the front facings:
I still have one facing to do – that will take 1.5-2 hours according to my calculations – and then I have to assemble the lining/facing and sew in the bottom part of the sleeves. But that’s it! I’m quite confident now that I’ll finish everything I planned to finish by Sunday, when I go up to see Sharon again.
Meanwhile, I have been puzzling over how to dye several batches of “large” (25 g or so) skeins at once, without giving up the precise temperature control that allows me to do reproducible dyeing. The problem is that gas burners are hard to control for precise temperature, and electric burners (that won’t blow a circuit breaker) simply aren’t powerful enough to heat a large dyebath in time.
What to do? I posed the question to my Caltech alumni list, and the very ingenious answer came back almost immediately: have a big pot of continuously boiling water on a gas burner, and hook up an electric water pump to a temperature controller. The pump transfers water from the boiling pot to the dyebath, heating the dyebath. A gravity feed (otherwise known as a drain 🙂 ) transfers the excess water from the dyebath back to the boiling pot, to be reheated. The temperature controller controls the pump and adds boiling water as needed to maintain temperature.
The skeins themselves will be dyed in quart mason jars in the larger bath, allowing me to do many skeins at once, without sacrificing temperature accuracy.
This is a GREAT idea, and I plan to build such a system when I next do gradation dyeing. I think a turkey fryer will work well for the big pot – it’s cheap, outdoor, gas-powered, and comes with a 10.5 gallon pot. I can get the necessary pump on Amazon for about $50, and I already have the temperature controller.