Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The plunge

Today I received my order from Prochemical in the mail -six little jars of powder dyes. I just couldn't wait till I got all the kids to bed, so I had the 6-year-old helping me mix the dye solutions. We pre-mixed two different blues (navy and national), and a yellow (sun yellow) with water, about a half teaspoon into 100 mL, and then I used these to mix up a green in a separate jar. I also added a touch of red to make the green a little browner. I was testing the shade of the mix by dipping a little corner of paper towel into it -worked pretty well. I used the crockpot method, which worked wonderfully, and was so easy! First I was a little worried that I might have too much dyein the pot, because I didn't have a scale that could weigh 1 g, and I had just estimated the density of the dyes to be around 0.5, which could easily be way off. So to get to a roughly 1-2 % dye ratio, I used about 1.5 tsp total of powdered dye for 200 g wool. (I used about 20 mL of white vinegar for those of you, who might want to try this. I dosed it in two parts, 10 mL right away, and 10 mL about half way through the process.) The liquid seemed really dark and saturated when I put the yarn in. But lo and behold, about an hour into it, most of the dye had been absorbed, and the liquid was almost clear, and yellowish green.

The end result was a very nice surprise: mostly dark green with slight variegations of lighter and bluer tones. Just what I was looking for! But for a scientist, this was a VERY unscientific process. I combined the colors in a completely approximated "I feel like this could work" kind of way, and the variegation -well, that was mostly caused by poor mixing and too much wool for a small crockpot. But it worked, and that's all that counts!

I took the picture when the yarn was still slightly wet, hence the apparent sheen. Also, the yarn looks more blue in the picture than what it really is, and some of the darker tones are not visible. The yarn I used was
Knitpicks Dye Your Own, fingering weight 100 % merino. I must say I am most pleased with the results, they were much better than I expected!

Now I think I'll use my leftover blue to redye the two skeins of Shimmer I have, a lace weight alpaca/silk mix from Knitpicks as well. It looks nice in the picture and on the skein, but the differences between the variegated dark and light areas are too big for a lace pattern. I've tried to start a couple of different patterns with it, and it just doesn't look nice at all. But the yarn is heavenly soft, so I'm thinking a little dye job might fix it. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Päivi said...

Hei Lotta!

Hienot sivut ja mahtavia käsitöitä!