Dyeing Results

Posted: March 1, 2015 in Ramblings
What I was trying to achieve (except from pink to blue).

What I was trying to achieve (except from pink to blue).

What I got.

What I got.  Taken in direct sunlight (except for the one at far left).

Dyeing Experiment

Posted: February 27, 2015 in Ramblings

It’s been a while since I tried something new.  There were 8 skeins of Jojoland Consonance (undyed) lying around here for the last few years, unwanted by any customers or Ravelers, so I decided to try making a gradient, sometimes called a color bridge – a range of skeins that begins with a deep color and fades before fading into a different color.

I started with two identical pots filled with the same amount of water and citric acid.  Into these pots I put a lot of dye:  more than would usually be used for one skein.  In the first pot:  1 teaspoon Brilliant Blue and 1/4 teaspoon Hot Fuchsia; in the second pot, the reverse.  My goal was to have a set of eight skeins that started with the deep bluish-purple (we’ll call it the Blue) and faded down to a hint of bluish-purple before passing to a hint of pinkish-purple all the way up to a vivid, intense pinkish-purple (we’ll call this the Pink).

Step 1:  soak 1 skein in each pot for 60 minutes, then microwave the two pots (at the same time) for 12 minutes on full power.

Step 2:  remove both skeins at the same time and let them cool.

Step 3:  when the pot liquid had cooled to room temperature, add 8 ounces of water and 1 skein to each pot.

Repeat from step 1.

So, theoretically, with each skein, more dye would be taken up, and eventually I would have two pots with a slight haze of color in them for the ‘center’ of the color bridge.  Theoretically.  Of course it did not turn out so neatly.

I did make two mistakes that could have been controlled.  One is that I failed to pre-wash the skeins.  As a result of skin oils, or machine oils from spinning, or something, a few of these skeins have pale patches in them.  The only one that came out a true solid is the deepest of the Blue.

The other mistake is that the colors I chose do not exhaust at the same rate.  This is something I already knew from years of working with these colors, but didn’t consider it because this color path was so glorious.  The Brilliant Blue dye always takes up faster than the Hot Fuchsia.  This means that my first two Blue skeins are bluish-purple, but the third and fourth are sort of pale orchid, because there wasn’t any blue left in the pot.  It also means that my first skein of Pink actually turned out more of a plum than I wanted.  That skein took up all the Brilliant Blue from the Pink pot and left nothing but pure Hot Fuchsia for the remaining three skeins.

The theory was sound, but the color choices are what really screwed it up.  I am going to order some cheaper yarn in smaller skeins and try again with a different “color bridge,” maybe, uh, caramel to mint, or something totally random like that.

When these skeins are all dry, I’ll post a picture of them here, but right now, all of them are still wet.

Midlife Crises

Posted: February 24, 2015 in Ramblings

Back in my late 30s, I decided that after age 40, I’d stop coloring my hair.  (Prior to this, except during my pregnancy, I had been pretty manic about changing haircolor, sometimes going very extreme, on a fairly regular basis.)  My reason was that there are a lot of older women around – women with, shall we say, “aged faces” – who dye their hair to a dark color and look wrong as a result.  I didn’t want to be one of them.

From age 40 to 51 I adhered to that rule.  My only fall from grace was a light dusting of blonde highlights in the fall of 2013, but they were almost unnoticeable, so that doesn’t count.

But for some reason, last month I suddenly had a very strong urge not just to color my hair, but to go fairly extreme again.  After waffling for a while, I decided to do one last haircolor hurrah, and be done with it.  Tonight this extravaganza took place, thanks to Andrea at the Regis salon in Sammamish (she’s been my on-and-off stylist for about 8 years).

First step:  coloring the hair red-violet, except for the places where the color streaks would be; those were bleached out at the same time.

Second step:  applying the color for the streaks.

Third step:  cut and blow-dry.  (Normally I let my hair air-dry, so this very smooth look is not something that’s likely to reoccur.)

Here are the results.  I absolutely love how this turned out.  I’m sure at least one reader is going to think of the ‘circus pony’ analogy, but I don’t care!

Side view, resting phase.

Side view, resting phase.

Back view.

Back view.

Here you can see how Andrea did the color streaks underneath an upper layer of the violet red, so the colors would peek through but not be blatant.

Here you can see how Andrea did the color streaks underneath an upper layer of the violet red, so the colors would peek through but not be blatant.

Cougar Mountain Zoo

Posted: February 19, 2015 in Ramblings
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As part of our family New Year’s resolutions for 2015, we are going to go to “a place” at least every other weekend. A place that is not a restaurant or shopping! So far we went to the restoration hangar at Paine Field, we went on the Boeing tour, and this week to the Cougar Mountain Zoo in Issaquah. (We missed the first weekend in January because we had not yet come up with this idea yet.)

It was a great day, lovely and warm, and The Man took a lot of pictures. Here are the highlights.

Who's a pretty boy then?

Who’s a pretty boy then?

I'm a pretty boy!

I’m a pretty boy!

The view when standing with the tiger area to our backs, out over Lake Sammamish.

The view when standing with the tiger area to our backs, out over Lake Sammamish.

These tigers were pretty lethargic (as you see) until the keepers appeared with a box of meat.  Then they woke up and did "tricks" for us to get the meat as reward.

These tigers were pretty lethargic (as you see) until the keepers appeared with a box of meat. Then they woke up and did “tricks” for us, in order to get the meat as reward.

Different tiger, different area.  At least he was alert enough for a picture.

Different tiger, different area. At least he was alert enough for a picture.

Strengthening Exercises

Posted: February 12, 2015 in Ramblings

Testing, 1…2…3…

Posted: February 11, 2015 in Ramblings

Test Photo

Still wishing I could link a OneDrive photo directly from the cloud, instead of downloading it and then uploading it to my server.  This is a test.  Do you see a photo, a URL, or a clickable link of plain text?

Meh. Looks like this still doesn’t work; all I get is a black box. How about below? When you click this link, what do you see?

https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=eeb4f9f84d4c15ca&id=EEB4F9F84D4C15CA%2138085&sff=1&v=3

But that still doesn’t solve the problem. I want the photo in the actual post. Bleah.

Okay, tenth time’s a charm.

This is a picture of Alex!

The Psychology of Shopping

Posted: January 5, 2015 in Ramblings

Alex has to conduct a psychology experiment for his end-of-semester project (due January 15th).  We will be going to Starbucks to ask patrons these questions in person, but it will help him to have a larger sampling.  If you feel like answering the questions, please post a reply below.  Thanks!

Question 1:  Do you patronize Starbucks or another beverage shop (Jamba Juice, Tully’s, etc.) regularly?

Question 2:  Assume your chosen drink costs $3.  If the shop offered a prepaid annual subscription card for $600, which permitted you one drink per day for a year, would you purchase the subscription?

Question 3:  Please explain your Question #2 answer (why/why not).

Thank you!