Monday, September 16, 2013

Further Dyeing Experiments

I know, I often grumble about the range of colors available in the local yarn shops. They stock about 80% Turkish yarn of decent quality and at very reasonable prices. But the colors - a few primary and a few derivative plain colors, such boredom. No variegated colors, no subtle tone changes. I know, look at the prices, but still ...
So I'm experimenting by combining different yarns or by dyeing my yarns. One of my most successful dyeing jobs was with Step drinks (the local equivalent of Cool-Aid) - the color variegation  came just impeccable and the mitts I made with the pure merino are so soft and comfy, that I inevitably compare all my handwear to them and so far nothing has come close to their perfection - beginner's luck, no doubt :)

I had about 60 g of Cashmira 100% wool in pink-purple, left from a tunic I made for Gaby three years ago and had the idea to make it into another pair of fingerless gloves. But not in this little girl's color (I forgot to take a picture of the yarn while dry, so it's wet and darker on the picture below):

 For this dye job I chose these three varieties of Step drink.

 While the yarn was soaking in a 1:4 solution of vinegar and water, I prepared the drinks in hot water.

Then I poured the drinks and cooked the yarn in the MW for 5 sessions of 2 min each with 2-3 min intervals between sessions.

When the yarn cooled, I washed it with Perwolle and softener and left it to dry. It dyed beautifully and with almost no bleeding, but the color was still in the pink-purplish range and I didn't like it after all.

 So I took out the yellow and red acid dyes for wool I had bought for another project and pot dyed the yarn again in these autumn-ish orange-brown colors. The color on the picture looks plain, but in real life it's a subtle combination of orange nuances - from yellowish to brown. I didn't take any pictures of the second process, but the new thing I tested was the method of distribution the dye. Instead of dipping the yarn in the hot dye, I placed the yarn in the pot and poured the orange dye on it - concentrated at some places and just a brush at others. Then I made second dose of pure yellow dye and poured it on some parts of the yarn. The idea was that although all the yarn ended in a single pot of dye solution, the yarn absorbs the main quantity of the dye before the water and the vinegar and the salt for the cooking process are added.

And here's my new work in progress - to the right is the swatch in the original yarn and to the left - my new fingerless mitt. I'm improvising a personal design (this is actually the third sample I finally chose).


  1. Nice! I'm impressed that yo got such saturated color!

  2. Great results! One looks like a mix of cayenne and paprika.