Determination Dyeing

First – thanks for the lovely comments. It helps – even when it’s backhanded sympathy. 😉 I really am glad I’m not the only one who does dumb stuff like this!

So… I’m not sure where to start today… Perhaps with what I just finished doing? I figured stewing about the problem with my green yarn wasn’t going to make me feel any better, but winding it would give me answers and a direction to turn. Quite frankly, it appears that I made the mistake in a series of worst possible decisions. It’s not that I can’t work with what I have, but I’ve definitely made it as hard as possible on myself! I have one skein of undyed yarn left, and I thought I could use it in a two color pattern with its dyed mate. I spotted Daybreak and knew it would fly, then I found another pattern, Eagles Rest, that would be great with the single ball. So far, so good. So then I wind the balls. The darker ball is definitely the one I want for Eagles Rest, but wouldn’t it figure? It’s the wool/nylon ball, and that’s also what the undyed skein is. The lighter one I would like better for Daybreak, and I don’t have a twin ball undyed of that. I turned it into the other blank and already dyed it! This is definitely a Murphy’s Dye Job!

Anyway, I did wind my blank into the two respective skeins of yarn, and not surprisingly, they are definitely different – more so in person than in photos. The truly good thing about this is that I unquestionably succeeded in what I tried to do, even though the results were a little bit of a surprise. I love what I made! I WILL try this again! I wound the yarn into cakes so that the graduation shows. First the wool/nylon blend, which was laying at the top of the stack and came out quite a bit deeper in color:

And this is the merino/bamboo blend:

It surprised me because the bottom layer picked up quite a bit more dye than I’d expected, wicking it up from the bed of snow under the blanks. I knew I put snow on the bottom for a reason! It’s a much lighter, brighter green. I think the darker parts of the dyes tended to strike quickly, thus being trapped in the upper layers. I’ve wound both cakes with the darkest part of the fiber on the outside, so the place where they were actually joined would be the ends one would use if knitting center pull from the cake.

So, I do love my project; I’ve just lost the original dream.

Now, about yesterday’s teaser… 😉 I mentioned that the wet snow cake had melted down very quickly, and that turned into a major blessing for me. When I looked out the door, I could still see bits of snow out on top of our cars, and I had one more blank prepared – this one also done on my Innovation Knitting Machine, but with one skein of yarn four stranded. I created this by winding the skein into a center pull ball, then winding it a second time with the two ends held together. When I knitted the blank, I again pulled from both the middle and outside, thus working with four strands at once. It was pushing the maximum capacity of the machine, and it was hard work! Unlike the previous blank, which I was trying to dye with major changes along the length, this blank was designed to create the most evenly variegated project I could with snow dyeing.In a mad race against the bright spring sunshine, I managed to build something similar to another snow cake, but in all honesty, it was actually a slush cake! What a nasty, sloppy mess! And by the time I had it built, I’d used every remaining bit of snow/slush on our property! Waste not; want not… 😉

And no, I wasn’t THAT desperate! That’s the slush cake with the first color on it. I forgot to take a picture before I started adding dye, and I really wanted to memorialize my soggy pile.

This one I dyed with more varied assortment of colors than I normally employ, using my patented unscientific method and Jacquard Dyes – Russet, Chestnut, Pink, Burgundy, Salmon, and Aztec Gold. I had a pretty good preconceived notion of how this was going to come out.

All I can say to that notion is that I was rather dramatically surprised! The colors came out much more intense than I expected, not dimming nearly as much as I’ve come to expect, so I’m wondering what I did differently to cause this? More vinegar? More dye? I do love doing this via the lick and a prayer method! I’m not sure I’d like it as much if I always knew what I was going to get in the end.

At no point has my camera captured a truly accurate rendering of the color, but trust me on this – it’s really a cool skein of yarn. The pictures really hype the red, but in person, it’s stronger in the burgundy and brown realms.  In addition to the color being a surprise, I also hadn’t expected so much of the yarn to be undyed. There were several places which, despite the rather significant amount of dye that went on this snow cake, had no dye on them whatsoever. Also, this was a much denser blank , and the machine twisted the yarn as it knit, so there were some spots that the dye just didn’t soak through an entire stitch. I’m considering that a good serendipity, and I think it’s going to make this yarn knit up with a very interesting visual texture.

This method definitely worked very well to accomplish my desired end of even color distribution through the entire skein. The shortcomings would be that it was harder to crank out the blank, and it’s definitely NOT fun to reverse the four strands back into a single strand, especially without help. However, now that’s done, and I’m back to really loving this yarn again. 🙂

Oh… and despite the fact that I’ve now accounted for every flake of snow, there’s another installment coming on the snow dyeing. 🙂 Any wonder I was so dead tired last night?

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Wow! I am so wishing i had your eye for dye! and your dye supplies would help too…


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