Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Sweater Continues

A few weeks have gone by. I decided to knit the body of the sweater by hand, and finish it on the knitting machine. Christmas is fast approaching. I warned Kina that I might not get it done in time. He said something like, "no worries".

My last post ended with the pot boiling on the stove filled with yarn and lichen. In the morning, when the brew had cooled, I pulled out the yarn and it was rather a slimy mess, but a beautiful color.

The best way to get the yarn clean is to whip it around your head like a lasso. The wet lichen flies off in all directions. It's a good idea to stand well clear windows, other people, etc (out in the field is best). I always end up with a fine spray stuck to my face, which may in the end be good for my complexion (is that a chin hair or a bit of 'old man's beard'?).

I did three dye pots with the two bags of lichen I gathered on my walks. As you can see, the shades vary from dark rusty brown to a light tan. Some of it turned out varigated (probably due to sloppy layering technique), but I rather like it... almost like handpainted.

Here's the four colors that will make up the sweater, and what it looked like a couple weeks ago. The dark brown is lichen dyed natural grey, and the tan is also natural grey lichen dyed with a weaker solution. The light grey is a white and natural brown mix, and the dark grey is natural from a greying black sheep.

It took me awhile to work my way up through the bird. This is a kingfisher that has gone punk. I think I will outline him in black, so he stands out more. The kingfisher is an energetic bird who has a strong sense of territory and eats a lot of seafood. I hope that when Kina wheres this sweater he won't be distracted by two kingfishers talking to each other across his button band!

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