Elephant jokes

elephant cartoon

When I was a kid, elephant jokes got very popular for a time. In case that wasn’t happening when & where you were, here are a few I remember.

Q. What’s red & white on the outside and gray & white on the inside?
A. A can of Campbell’s Cream of Elephant soup.

Q. How can you tell if an elephant has been in your refrigerator?
A. You’ll see his footprints in the cheesecake.

Not good, huh?

Again, maybe just where I grew up, but the elephant jokes transitioned into nun jokes.

Q. What’s black & white & gray?
A. Sister Mary Elephant.

That’s the nicest one I can remember.

So why am I posting about bad elephant and nun jokes? Because of my dyeing, specifically my black and white and gray dyeing.

It took some days longer than I’d anticipated to get my warp bouts wound for the shawl, and then more days to find the time and energy to dye them.

yellow blotches on tencel

I was quite surprised when I took them out of the ‘scour’ bath (soda ash and Dawn) to find these odd yellow blotches on the yarn. Fortunately it washed/rinsed out.

Then I laid them on my table in the basement and set about dyeing. Oops! Had to stop mid-stream and run to the store since I ran out of saran wrap, darn it!

Got it finished, remembered to wind tiny bouts of both natural silk and 10/2 gray cotton to see (a) how the dye would take on the silk and (b) if I might like the gray & black as an alternative to white & black. Interestingly, the silk and cotton both took the color the same
as the tencel. Hmmmm. Not what I expected.

Did my usual steaming of the wrapped yarn, then soaked it all for 12 hours in a 5-gallon bucket of water.

Took it out of that bucket, only to see that there was a LOT of red on the yarn where the dye ‘broke.’ I have no problem with the dye breaking on this, and in fact got some comments from customers that they like the color variation, but this was most definitely too much red. So I rinsed quite a bit, then put it into 3 large dishpans with a little bit of Dawn to soak for another 12 hours.

After that second 12 hours and plenty more rinsing, the red is virtually gone. Thankfully. But when I was hanging it to dry, I couldn’t help but think of those old elephant and nun jokes.

black & white tencel hanging to dry

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