Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mystery Revealed: Meet Bradley!

So, I had a blast participating in the Fresh Stitches Bradley Mystery Crochet Along this past month, and the final clue was just released on Monday, so f course I finished him up as soon as possible. Meet Bradley!
He's an adorable sea turtle! The mystery had an extra twist this year that was so much fun. Clues #1 and 2 were all the pieces we had to make - all don in natural, undyed wool yarn. Clue #3 told us which pieces to dye what color and how to dye them ... with Kool-Aid! Stacey at Fresh Stitches has blogged about Kool-Aid dying for years now, but I never took the plunge until now. I'm so glad I was slightly forced to finally do it, lol.
Here is what my pieces looked like at first. Totally creamy white colored. I decided to use quart sized mason jars to dye my pieces, so I just boiled some water in my kettle, put the kool-aid in a jar, poured in enough water to cover the pieces, and added the crocheted parts.
It looked pretty cool immediately and lots of color showed up within seconds.I let my pieces soak for quote a while, then let the water cool down before I removed them officially. About 40 minutes into dyeing, I noticed the green pieces were pretty splotchy looking with some pieces much darker than others, so I removed the pieces, added a bit more water and half a packet of kool-aid, then added the pieces back and they looked much better for it. Nice and evenly colored :)
The truly magical thing is that all of the dye from the drink mix soaks up into the yarn, leaving your yarn pieces sitting in clear water when they're done. Isn't that amazing?! I was a convert right then and now I seriously want to dye everything with Kool-aid.
Straight out of the jar, this is what my pieces looked like. I set them on my drying rack for a few days to make sure they dried really well in preparation for the final clue. Clue #4 told us how to assemble the pieces and make him into his cute turtle self.

I seriously love the colors I got with dying. The pieces are so vibrant and bright! I actually had a hard time adjusting the photos due to how bright the yarn is. Also, the shell still smells like blue raspberry lemonade Kool-Aid (it's not crazy obvious, but if you stick your nose on it you can smell it) which is so stinkin' fun. 
The dying process left slight irregularities, but I think that just adds to the fun. He has a very painterly quality to the dying now.
The only thing to keep in mind is that they underlayer of yarn inside each stitch didn't get as much/any dye. This wasn't noticeable until I was sewing the pieces together, and it's not a deal breaker at all, it just makes me think it would be better to dye the yarn before using it (even though it's more of a hassle).

So there you have it: a mystery solved! Everyone I show this little cutie to lights up and says how cute it is, so I call that a successful design. Thanks so much, Stacey, for another awesome mystery crochet along! I can't wait to see what you dream up next year :)

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