Sunday, January 07, 2007

Not pink.

Well, the yarn is not pink any more. Fortunately I didn't try to dye it Friday afternoon -- I started early Saturday morning and was still fiddling with the dye amounts after lunch. Why? First, because I didn't have any dyestock mixed up, and second, because I really don't have much of a clue when it comes to browns.

I started with flaming fuschia. I added a lot of yellow and a little blue -- dyebath A got turquoise, dyebath B got blue. My goal was a sort of gingerbread brown, and I thought using two different blues would give me slightly different browns that would look good plied together.

After giving the yarn time to release the fuschia & for everything to even out, I had brownish-orange yarn. I kept adding more blue, more blue, a little at a time until I was about to go out of my mind. Then I dumped what would technically be called "a big slug" of 1% dyestock into each dye bath. I was worried about the yarn felting, even though I was stirring as little as possible, and I HAD to turn off the stove at 2:15, so I had to add the acid by about 1:15 or 1:30. And it's not like I'd have reproducible results even if I measured all the dye, what with starting with the fuschia and all. (Excuses, excuses.)

I turned off the pot at 2:15, then left the house for six hours. After that I rinsed, and rinsed, and rinsed, added synthrapol, rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, and rinsed. Then I left it to soak overnight. This morning I rinsed about three more times. It's still leaking a little dye, but I gave up. I'll wash it again after it's plied, anyways.

I had to rinse so many times because I had far too much dye in the pot. Remember that this yarn was bleeding already, from excess dye used by the fiber processor. Then I had to add enough dye to shift the color radically. What a waste. I suppose I could have stuck some white wool in there, too.

Here are the singles, drying. It's a breezy day here in Oklahoma, so I think I could be plying tonight. Can you see the difference between the two dyebaths? I thought you could.

The dyebath with blue came out pretty much the color I had in mind. The dyebath with turquoise is much, much darker.

Take a closer look:
Wildly different, plus very mottled*. This will be, umm, interesting yarn. I hope I like it. I suppose I could ply it, then put it back in the dyepot to let things even up a little more.

*What is with the amount of water called for in dyeing instructions? I find it almost impossible to dye evenly using 30% weight of fiber -- it barely covers the yarn/wool. I usually add a lot more water and a corresponding amount of salt & (eventually) acid. I skimped on the water this time (and the stirring, because I was worried about felting) and it really shows.

Has anyone used an ota-bushi to dye with? Basically it's a plate or lid that you put inside of a stock pot to keep the chicken carcass submerged. I think it would work well for dyeing, too.

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