I dyed the White Russian yarns on Tuesday and Wednesday and spent most of yesterday winding the first kilo (which dried super fast, yay!) into 100 gram skeins. It looks AWESOME. And I kind of want to eat it. It makes me think of vanilla-chocolate-swirl ice cream, which is kind of what a White Russian tastes like to me anyway, so I guess that's a success. How'd it go? Well...
1. The Dexter Kill Table method is holding strong. Excessive use of plastic wrap is definitely making the whole steam bath process easier. I think I may have to cover more of the garage in plastic sheeting, though, since I'm starting to get very faint stains on the floor. They'll probably wash out with bleach (like the ones in the kitchen did...) but I don't want to risk permanent staining.
2. I have to accept that I will always hate the big skein. I love the samples, I love the little 100g skeins, but for some reason, when I finish dyeing the big kilo skein, I just hate it. Maybe it's because at that point I've been staring at it for several hours and fighting it to get the dye to penetrate through. Maybe my brain just can't wrap itself around that much yarn. By the time I pull it out of the steam bath, rinse it, and hang it to dry, I'm convinced that it's the most hideous thing ever and my subscribers are going to hate it, and all I can see is the flaws. Then I divide it into smaller skeins, and suddenly it's beautiful and all I want to do is hug it. I have to learn to trust my samples, which I keep making until they're perfect, and just keep reminding myself that the final product will look better than the intermediate stage.
4. Dyeing earlier in the day is the way to go. My garage starts to get super hot at like 2 or 3 in the afternoon, so I planned my dye sessions this time so that I'd be done around then. It's a lot less exhausting without heat and dehydration sapping all my will.
3. Dubstep is surprisingly good music to dye to. I'd barely heard of dubstep until a classmate of mine at SFSU shoved his headphones over my ears and made me listen to it. Not bad. I recently got the whole Skrillex discography from iTunes and decided on a whim to put it on while dyeing this time. It was actually a really good soundtrack. Upbeat enough to help me forget how tired I get while dyeing, but not so melodic as to make me zen out to much. When I paint, I like to go into that quiet, still place where the act itself becomes a meditation (which is why I listen to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack while I paint), but I feel like dyeing requires a different mindset. The only dubstep I have is Skrillex, so if you'd like to recommend others, please do so in the comments.
Yeeeeeeep, that's about it. Great life lessons from dyeing. I'll post preview pics of White Russian on Monday (behind a jump, as usual, so those of you who wish to can keep it a surprise) and maybe some other stuff too. Yay stuff!