Posted by: mick | August 7, 2008

A year in Michigan

Exactly one year ago today, Jason and I were arriving in Michigan to start our new adventure.  I’ve got to say that, in the past year, I’ve enjoyed myself more than I thought possible.  We’re both really happy here and, while we’re excited for the adventure our lives as professors will be, moving to new places, we’ll both be sad when we have to leave Kalamazoo.

Notice how short I am.  You’d think they’d have a step-stool!

Last year, Jason was devastated because we got here two days after RibFest.  He loves his meat-themed festivals, as is well documented.   Kalamazoo is a town fond of the summertime festival.  There has been a Greekfest (we attended), IslandFest, Taste of Kalamazoo, and now RibFest.  I had to make it up to Jason that we missed last year, and so we went with a friend today.  It was a great time.   I definitely recommend going to these things on a Thursday; the lines were non-existent and we got a nice seat, which was fortunate as there was a downpour.  The sun came out soon enough, though, and we had a great time.

And now on to the fibery goodness.  When we sat down to play with color, I had a hard time convincing Jason to create one.  He was so nervous he’d mess up, and I had to explain to him that I was playing with color and had no particular scheme in mind.  So, I created a yellowy green and a burnt orange, and Jason made a nice fuchsia-like purple.  In the dye-pot, they looked like this:

Jason thought it looked like zombie brains (he was the slightly creepy kid in class, for sure), and I agree that it looks reminiscent of Halloween in some way.  We were really shocked, as you can imagine, when we got the cleaned, dried results today.

I’m really pleasantly surprised!  The roving is primarily orange in tone, but that shifts to a maroon, with spots of yellow, teal, and green.  It’s really quite lovely and very interesting to look at.  This is about a half pound of the white Corriedale that I got free with my wheel; I left the other half undyed for later.  I ended up using the hot pour method as described in The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook, a book that Sara recommended when I was first thinking of dyeing yarn.  I have to agree that this is a really helpful book; it describes color and dye methods in detail, and I’m excited to try the cold pour method next.

I tried the hot pour because they said it creates more subtle, muted colors, and those are more my style (at least in roving, it seems).  I think that several things happened to create this colorway: first, I was impatient and didn’t wait for a color to exhaust before adding another; secondly, I put entirely too much dye in the pot and, finally, for some reason the colors that we mixed so carefully somehow came unmixed.  We got blue, yellow, red, and orange, but not really the colors we put in.  Overall, though, this was a happy accident.  I think the roving is really interesting and unique, and I can’t wait to try spinning some up tonight.

And finally, I’ll leave you with a thing of beauty.  My first real yarn, a two-ply of mystery fiber, about 23 yards.  It’s uneven and bumpy, but to me it’s a thing of beauty.



  1. So where are going then?!?

    Look at you with all of your fibery goodness! Dying and spinning and thangs!!!

  2. I like how Jason is making a face to go with the pig body…

    That purple in the dye vat looks exactly like a blueberry pie… although contrary to blueberry pie, it probably would kill you if you ate it. That’s sort of cool that you can’t tell what things will come out looking like, its more of an adventure.

  3. Before I read the paragraph I assumed the picture of the dye to was a particularly wacky fruit pie. The roving totally looks like candy floss, colour and everything. I’d be tempted to eat it.

  4. That roving is gorgeous! And ribfest? YUMMMMM!

  5. seriously. hands messy with dye and barbeque sauce. i’m not sure there’s anything better.

    all of your yarn looks gorgeous!

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