Friday, January 19, 2018

Dyeing Thrills

Last night I experimented with my new Americolor Super Black, and I got a very different result from the McCormick black. This time, I added more vinegar to the dye bath when just the blue remained, which helped it adhere to the wool. Watching the progression of color uptake was fascinating, and I could see pulling the yarn out at any of the interim the stages. This dye broke a lot, and there are strands within the same sections that have more red, and some that have more blue. It is a very richly colored skein, and lovely.

I studied color theory as a design student about a million years ago, and haven't had much opportunity to make colors since then, only choose them. It's not individual colors I love so much as combinations. So, dip-dyeing colors is an unexpected thrill.

I did dye a small sample black, since I needed to see how and if that was possible. It did well, though I will be running through a lot of dye to make 400-500 yards of solid black. There is a hint of red overtone to this black.

I had to test dyes and I had to dye up and swatch my new O-Wool yarn. It turns out that washing it in the washing machine will open it up so that it will be more like a worsted-weight yarn. It measures out like a sport-weight right now. It has more sheen than other O-Wool worsteds, and it’s lovely.

I veered off course a bit by knitting up more than just a swatch. I’m knitting up another Fizzy Water Cowl, using a stitch count that pools the colors in a beautiful way. I had been playing with a two sided piece with the remaining yarn from the pair of socks I made, and the colors were stacking perfectly. (I simply doubled the number I used on my socks, which striped beautifully.) So, I did some calculations and attempted to do the same with the new colorway. Because of the stitch multiples in the fizzy water stitch pattern, I didn’t get it exact, but I did achieve this beautiful fade. Going down a needle size might have made this work, but I didn't test it out. I’m using one end of the skein for the main color, and the opposite end for the contrasting color.

I definitely want to keep playing with this dyeing technique, and keep playing with planned pooling ideas and stitch patterns that bring out the best in hand-dyed yarns.

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