Did anybody know that ultrawash wool and regular wool take up dye differently? Or maybe nylon content causes it? (But I'm thinking the 'superwashing' process that renders them unfeltable probably opens them up chemically and is the cause of Massive Dye Suckup. Like an extreme version of what you do to the fiber when you add vinegar for dyeing.)Don't believe me? Look at this:
On the left, 100% merino wool. On the right, the new sock yarn, 25% nylon and 75% superwash wool. The dye was the same. I mean, not just the same chemical, I mean the same exact concentration, both from the same dispenser, all mixed at the same time. I was going to call the yarn on the right Martian Sunset, but I'm tempted to call it "FUCK." because that's what I said when I first poured the dye on and saw it go thermonuclear.
Creating pastels should be really interesting. Ha. On the other hand, the dye hits so fast it may not have time to 'break', making my life easier. Even if you guys won't have the same quality Purple Trainwreck.
Seriously, though, I'm much happier with this second batch of sock yarn and am glad to put my name on it, unlike the last stuff (100% Peruvian mystery sheep, and kind of stringy and splitty). It's just rendered all my dye experimentation of the last two months completely useless. More freaky color combos on the horizon.
I tried some Purple Trainwreck today with the superwash stuff. It really IS a trainwreck. Eesh.
Bells asked about the light box I'm using, and I'm sort of ashamed to post a picture of it, but here it is.
I left it set up for the shot I took above, so you can really see how rickety it is. (That's one of The Baby's ABC books, wedged between the couch cushions, holding it at the proper angle.) It's a cardboard box with three sides cut out and white tissue paper taped over the holes (to diffuse light), and a piece of white posterboard curved around to make a back and floor without a crease, so that there's no real horizon line.
Lighting on the cheap is discussed in great deatil over at Strobist, which is where I got the plans for this little gem. Cheap, and it works. If the cat trashes it, I'll build another. For yarn photos, a good shot depends 90% on lighting. At least. Maybe 95%. I finally feel like I'm getting the hang of it.
Anyway. I dyed six skeins of yarn today and have yet to finish the shovel-out on the office.
Maybe I'll go knit something.