Oh Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart

The Cecilia cardigan I’ve been working on for my friend to wear at her wedding is done and blocked! But, like the song says, she’s shaking my confidence daily…

cecilia finished

Cecilia, all done!

I’m REALLY happy with how the silk yarn blocked out — it should fit my friend perfectly, and I can confirm that tomorrow when we go for her gown fitting. The sheen is gorgeous, the buttons suit perfectly, and the tubular bind-off on the ribbing, though fiddly, is utterly exquisite.

BUT. Here’s the thing:

cecilia wonky

Colour variation?!? Click to embiggen…

 Check out the weirdness that happened to the dye when I blocked it.

For the record, I soaked the cardigan for about half an hour with Soak, and changed the water a few times in the process until it almost ran clear; there was a fair bit of dye run-off, in a blue-purple colour. I laid out the cardigan on a towel indoors for a couple of days, but it was very slow to dry, so I took it outside with me one sunny afternoon and laid it out on the picnic table for about 3-4 hours, after which time it was nearly completely dry (except for small areas, like around the buttons).

Somehow, all the bits that were exposed to the sunlight are darker and bluer; the areas that were shaded (even the underside of the front panels, meaning the other side of the same strand of yarn!) are pinker. You can see the difference, above, between the front and back of the cardigan (centre), and especially along the stockinette panel that runs up the side (right). It looks like there’s a fold, and shadow, on the left side of that image, but I promise, that silk is lying completely flat on a table, and there’s no fold except at the very top of the picture, right by the sleeve. There’s that sharp a line of demarcation in the dye where the sweater was folded while blocking!


I didn’t realize how striking the colour difference was until I went to photograph the sweater, and by then, I didn’t want to soak it all over again because it might not have time to dry before the fitting on Tuesday — and I really want to make sure it fits my friend then.

So, with a week and a half between the fitting and the actual wedding, what do I do about this? 

  • Re-soak, and hope the colour evens out somehow?
  • Re-soak, remove buttons, and steam for a while to hopefully set the dye better?
  • Re-soak and try to overdye somehow?
  • Just ignore it and hope no one notices?


Filed under Dyeing, Knitting for Gifts

6 responses to “Oh Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart

  1. I would be inclined to reblock and repeat the same process/resoak but in reverse maybe?


    • Annie Bee

      In reverse, as in, block it upside down? I’m definitely wondering about that… I would need a sunny day to make that happen, for sure!

  2. Oh dear, I have no idea what to do, but I know that you know people who know things. Hope the fitting goes well and that you can sort out the colour thing.

    Also thanks for the earworm 😉

  3. Jeanie

    Be sure and take pictures at the fitting. With that much texture in the pattern and sheen in the yarn you can get a better idea seeing it on a body and in motion. It might be fine, or you might see a way of setting the dye. After you see it at the fitting and know what your primary goal is, maybe an expert in silk dying like Tina Newton of Blue Moon Fiber Arts would have ideas.