In a major culling and review of my wardrobe (pitchforks and and industrial lifting equipment were required) I decided two things.
- I need a little strappy vest top in bright red.
- I’m never going to wear Lavender,other than out of guilt for neglecting it, while flopping around the house.
You remember Lavender don’t you? Golden yellow Rowan Summer Tweed knitted up in a rather good Kim Hargreaves pattern. I bloggged it here but here’s a pic if you don’t remember…
I love the jumper but that colour yellow is just no good on me – even with a tan. I look jaundiced and have a slightly green tinge. Not an attractive look.
I steeled myself and Lavender got stuffed quickly out of sight into the charity shop bag while I toddled off to Marks & Spencer to buy a bright red vesty top. I tried not to think about all that wasted knitting effort.
ARRRHHH!!!! M&S let me down. 😯
I own at least a dozen of their vest tops (actually from their underwear range!) in different colours – I tend to layer two at a time to make pretty combinations in the summer and use them as “undergarments” in the winter for an extra layer. I love these tops. But M&S don’t seem to want to make a red one 🙁
Once I’d finished having my little rage against M&S’s stupidity, I remembered that I have two white vests. Hmmmm…
…I went and bought some Dylon hand dye in Tulip Red…
…You can never just dye one thing can you? I found myself roaming the house looking for things that had escaped previous dying exploits.
Lavender peeped out of the bag and said, “Would you love me if I could be red?…..”
I’d not used hand dye since I was a teenager doing this kinda thing. I remembered why!
It’s hard work and potentially very messy.
I followed the instructions…wash garment & leave damp, mix up dye and water in the sink, stir constantly for 15 mins (my arms hurt!), stir occasionally for another 45 mins -To me, that meant knit a row, give it a stir, knit another row, rinse, wash again (my arms were falling off) into the washing machine for that wash!
Here’s a Work In Progress shot, looking disturbing like a sink full of body parts!
The results were…
I had expected a slightly orangey tinge (yellow+red=orange) but not sugary pink. I would have blamed the Summer Tweed’s 70% Silk/30% Cotton make up but the pure cotton vest is the same. It’s not horrible but not what I wanted – and I already had a sugary pink vest! I think “Tulip Red” isn’t a true “Cherry red” 🙁
I tried again – I couldn’t face all that stirring so I went for washing machine dye – I’ve used this more recently and I don’t know why I didn’t use it the first time 🙄
this time I chose the stronger, Rosewood Red – a darker brick red.
Wash the garments and leave damp (they had just been washed so I wet it and spun it), put the dye and salt in the machine, bung in the machine at 40 degrees on a cotton wash, wash it again with detergent at 40 degrees, dry it and run the machine empty with detergent. Not exactly environmentally friendly but a hell of a lot more time efficient and easier on my arms 😉
Three machine washes later I had this!
Much redder! You can still see flecks of a lighter more orange colour if you look closely but I like that.
The only downer is the way my vest dyed. I hadn’t realised the stitching and straps were synthetic so didn’t take the dye as well as the body – bit of a two tone effect.
My last concern was about how well the summer tweed had held up after several runs through the washing machine and a hour’s soaking and stirring. Surprisingly, after a low heat tumble dry (because I was impatient) I tried it on – it still fits! Amazingly, the summer tweed has taken all the punishment I had thrown at it.
Of course, it’s now so clean that Thug, whilst giving Lavender the “snugglability test” while lounging on his blanket, felt positively grubby next to it – A quick spruce up was required!