Adeline is excited to see she won't be alone for much longer. Photo and Art: J.H. Winter

When Yarn Turns Against You – A Timothy Doll Update

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Not all yarns are good…

Perhaps it’s just an issue with certain dye lot numbers, or perhaps just certain colors are the problem, but I have a little story to tell you about what happened when I used the Lily Sugar ‘n Cream brand of cotton yarn in the color black.

It is a sad, sad story. You’ve been warned…

The beginning of Timothy's transformation into doll form. Photo and Art Credit: J.H. Winter
The beginning of Timothy’s transformation into doll form. Photo and Art Credit: J.H. Winter

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you know that I’ve been hard at work crocheting a new character doll from my Adeline and the Mystic Berries, Middle Grade Fantasy story. Adeline had been the first character to be made into an amigurumi doll, as was only fitting, but now it was time to make Timothy. He is a paramount character to the story as well, so now, it’s his turn to be in the spotlight.

I decided to do Timothy’s head first so that way I’d have a solid piece done before trying my hand at his body and clothes.

The head was worked up just as Adeline’s had been. Then it was time to pick out the yarn for his “crow black hair” as I’d described it in my book. I had two options in my yarn stash. The first was a one pounder of Caron acrylic yarn. I decided I would use this for his undershirt. For his hair, I decided to use the other: Lily Sugar ‘n Cream, black yarn (see photo above).

I’ve used Sugar ‘n Cream yarn before and had no problems, but this time, I wasn’t so lucky. This time, the color decided, it didn’t want to stay on the yarn.

Attaching the hair cap. Photo Credit: J.H. Winter
Attaching the hair cap. Photo Credit: J.H. Winter
Adding the strands of black hair. Photo Credit: J.H. Winter
Adding the strands of black hair. Photo Credit: J.H. Winter

I crocheted the hair cap and sewed that down to Timothy’s head, then got to work making the strands of hair and attaching them to the hair cap. I worked at night and the lighting wasn’t the greatest, or I might have seen what was happening sooner. Needless to say, the yarn was dying not only my fingers and nails black, my fingers were then dying the rest of the face black too, creating numerous marks all over the yarn giving his skin a dirty sort of look.

What a mess! Photo Credit: J.H. Winter
What a mess! Photo Credit: J.H. Winter

After taking a deep breath, there was only one thing I could do. Start over and make a new head.

Things don’t always go as we plan them to when making amigurumi patterns. It is a trial and error process, where mistakes are made. Something like this happening, isn’t anything I had control over. The end result is still the same though, and it’s never fun to have to remake an entire piece like this.

With a bit of grumbling out of the way, I got straight back to work, and did just that.

New Timothy head is on the left. Photo Credit: J.H. Winter
New Timothy head is on the left. Photo Credit: J.H. Winter

I threw the other head away as soon as I’d taken these pictures. I didn’t want to run the risk of getting the dye on my new Timothy head or anything else.

Bottom line? Be careful with the yarns you choose.

This is not the first time a Sugar ‘n Cream yarn has done this to me. There was another highly-pigmented color called Mod Green (if I’m remembering correctly) that did the same exact thing.

Also, when making new amigurumi, be ready to scrap ideas that don’t work, and re-work ones that aren’t quite right. Just as with anything, the extra work you put in along the way, will be well worth the end result. You’ll be happy you took the extra time to make your work exactly how you wanted it to be instead of settling for something that will always bother you.

Have any of you ever had the dye come off the yarn and ruin your work? Did you start over or figure out a different solution?

Adeline is excited to see she won't be alone for much longer. Photo and Art: J.H. Winter
Adeline is excited to see she won’t be alone for much longer. Photo and Art: J.H. Winter

4 thoughts on “When Yarn Turns Against You – A Timothy Doll Update”

  1. Oh no! How disappointing! I have had the color come off onto my hands once before. It was a hand dyed yarn, I believe. Luckily, I was only using the one color and the only thing that got dirty was my hands.

    1. The other project I was working on many years ago that had this issue happen, also only had the one color, so the amigurumi could still be completed. Sadly, Timothy’s head was not so fortunate :)

  2. Argh! So frustrating! I can’t say yarn has ever done that to me, though I usually just stick to hats/mittens/socks and the occasional sweater. I can only imagine what ‘loose’ dye like that might do to a load of laundry.
    Timothy is looking fantastic, despite his dark beginnings!

    1. Thank you Jennifer! I am really happy with his progress. In fact, he’s nearly finished now. I just need to find time to get the last pieces completed and then do a Timothy reveal video. With a newborn, that could take a little bit, but it’s the first thing on my agenda when I have a bit of free time again!

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