Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Broken Violet

One of my favourite youtube channels for yarn dyeing is ChemKnits Tutorials  - I've learned so much from Rebecca Brown! Rebecca's signature yarn is Wilton's broken violet - evidently the compound Wilton's food dyes brake during the dyeing process, as some of the dyes, like the reds, bind quicker to the yarn than the yellows and the blues. The violet dye brakes very spectacularly from deep violet to bright light turquoise blue.

We don't have Wilton's food dyes here and from my experience chemical acid dyes don't brake, but I wanted to try the experiment with some egg dyes. Last Easter I bought a couple of packets of egg dyes, however only one of them contained violet, the others had only the three primary colors and green. Anyway, I brought a pot of water with the citric acid to boil and added to it the violet capsule and one red and one blue dye tablets. I wound a 50 g ball of superwash wool sock yarn into a skein, twisted it and presoaked it. The plan was to let the twisted skein absorb first the reds and then untwist it while still in the water and let the undyed part of the yarn take the blue. Well, our dyes are obviously different from Wilton's, so it didn't quite work like that and the dye looks more as a gradient rather than broken.

However, I liked the result and as I wanted to keep it as it was, I didn't let the yarn exhaust all of the the dye and took the skein out of the pot. While the skein was dripping I noticed that the drip water was blue. So I decided that the braking was possible, I just had more reds in the pot than blues.

I quickly grabbed a second ball of sock yarn and this time I wound it into consecutive double  thread 10 g skeins, a total of six connected skeins. As I thought I had mostly blue in the water, I added another red dye tablet and began gradually adding the miniskeins:

The braking of the dye didn't work as I imagined, the dye was even redder and what I obtained was a gradient again. I like it, however, and it is my current sock project. And again, I didn't exhaust the dye and again the dripping water was bluish.

I wound a third ball of sock yarn and, without adding any more dye tablets into the water and even without presoaking it (which wasn't probably such a good idea) I began gradually dipping it into the water. This time I did get to the blue:

The red in the pot was very little and it bound to the first half of the skein, while the rest of the skein turned blue. This time I let the skein exhaust the dye. However, this is my least favourite skein of the three, I don't particularly like the shade of blue on it and I am considering glazing it with black with some resist knots for richer coloring.

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