I had another dye day on Sunday – no tie-dyes this time, but my friend Ginny and I wound all the skeins I needed for the color study, wound and dyed about 2 pounds of cashmere yarn for a project she was working on, and wound and dyed about 18,000 yards of yarn for the sea-turtle project. (That is enough yarn to weave samples, do a set of samples for the Fine Threads Study Group, and weave a shawl. We’ll see if my enthusiasm lasts that long!)
Here’s the sea turtle yarn:
The colors are more like the first photo (wet) than the second, which looks too blue.
I’m not sure if these skeins are going to work – I had to mess with the skeins a good bit in order to get even dye take-up, so they may well be tangled. Next time I will use smaller skeins and soak them for longer. However, I am very pleased by the even-ness of the dye job, especially on the lighter skein. Pastel colors are very difficult to dye evenly, and when I put the skein in initially, the outside instantly soaked up the dye while the inside remained white. I solved this (eventually) by letting it soak in the cold dyebath overnight – no heat – and the color evened out over the long soaking period. Whew! Saved.
The dark green yarn is the pattern weft. I think I will probably overdye it in blue – the piece will be boring if it’s all sea green. I do plan to overdye the finished piece in mottled shades of light blue (the warp is going to start out white), but I’d like more variation in hue than a light overdye will give me.
I wish you could feel the pattern weft! It is a 2/60 nm yarn (15,000 yards per pound) that was sold to me as 100% silk, but by the feel it must have a substantial percentage of cashmere. I’m not complaining! It is positively sumptuous to the touch. Assuming I haven’t tangled it irretrievably, I think I’m going to love this shawl. (The tabby weft is 120/2 silk, so not exactly shabby, either.)
And yesterday, I made another batch of marmalade. Three batches, actually – I spent all evening in front of the stove and barely finished in time. I made strawberry-blood orange marmalade:
And Sorrento lemon marmalade:
And aprium jam with candied ginger and vanilla:
What’s the difference between marmalade and jam? Technically, a marmalade is bits of fruit suspended in jelly, while a jam is made from whole fruit and typically thick and chunky. (I didn’t know that until reading the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, which is where I got my recipes.) The strawberry-blood orange marmalade is particularly beautiful – strawberry jelly with bits of blood orange suspended in the jelly. And the flavor! To die for. I will make this again, I think.
The other marmalades/jams came out nicely, though the ginger and vanilla were too strong in the aprium jam, I think.
Book-wise, I have finished tearing the visual design chapter completely apart, rearranging it, and rewriting all the text. I now need to polish the text a bit more and redo all the examples. Not looking forward to that part – it took me ages to do the initial set of examples (for the blog), but I think redoing them in more cohesive form will greatly strengthen the chapter.
Plans for the next few days? Work on the book some more, work on the embroidery piece, dye the weft yarns for the color study and the fabric for my muslins, and make bergamocello (bergamot liqueur) and more bergamot marmalade. My friend Alfred is coming over on Sunday to help me put the auto-advance unit and fly shuttle assembly onto Emmy. If the weather is hot, we’ll do some more dyeing; if the weather is cool, we’ll make chocolates. I have a lot of new flavors to try out, and I need to test my tempering machine!
And finally, here is Tigress the Mighty Huntress, chasing a “bird” cat toy. She’s quite the athlete, isn’t she?