Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quick test dye.

**Please remember, I dye with food coloring that is, obviously, food safe. So I can use my water glasses, my regular cooking utensils, and my microwave for dyeing. If you use regular acid dyes, DO NOT USE ANY UTENSILS FOR BOTH DYE AND FOOD.**

Usually I'm willing to chuck wool or yarn into the dye pot and see what happens. So I don't do much, if any, test-dyes on a regular basis. But this time, I've got my handspun, already-dyed-once yarn that I'm knitting the hex jacket with, and it's too damn bright.

What I wanted to know was, if I could overdye it with a good bit of blue, but still retain the striping effect that makes the hexagons so interesting. After all, why do crazy, multi-directional knitting if you can't tell, later? So, I knit up a little swatch with the tail end of my ball of homespun and put it in some water to soak. I left it there overnight, then chucked in some vinegar and blue dye:

If I wanted to replicate this exactly, I would measure the water, the weight of the (dry) wool, the vinegar, and the dye. But I didn't really care about that, I just wanted to know if I could overdye it with blue and not lose the stripeyness. So I chucked it in the microwave for a minute and a half, until the water was steaming, but not bubbling.

Then I let it sit for about half an hour. There was still blue dye in the water, so I put it back in the microwave for another minute and a half. I did the back and forth thing until the dye was all soaked up, then fished out the swatch and let it dry.


Still stripey, but not blinding!!

Normally I don't use the microwave to dye, because I'm convinced it's bad for the fiber. (Has to do with microwaves, and how they screw with molecules as part of how they work.) But for this, I don't really care if it falls apart in two days, it was all about the color. You could do this on the stove top, too, in a small sauce pan, but it's hotter than a summer in hell, here, and I didn't want to turn on the stove.


Amy Lane said...

Nice.. veddy nice...

Louiz said...

Very interesting...

Donna Lee said...

We use a specially purchased crock pot (on sale, less than 10 dollars!) for dying. It keeps things warm without making me warm. The blue overdyed great. Nicely striped but not blinding.