Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Dye-O-Rama experiments

Here we go -- the long, detailed post of our adventures in dying. Female child was my able assistant for all four experiments and Male child helped out for the first two.

I started out with the thought that a hugely long skein was not necessary for self-striping yarn. What if I wound the skein back on to my knitty-noddy and tied off mini skeins every 10 wraps or so (2 yards per wrap). We would then start at either end of the master skein and color 2 skeinettes at a time in small baggies with the appropriate colors. We were going for a ROY G. BIV effect. You can see that we got through the first set of ROY G. before giving up. It was at this point that the skeinettes fell off of the chopstick that had been keeping them in sequenence and I decided that trying to sort out the vingear soaked skeinettes was not worth the trouble. We then just artistically splooshed the remaining dyes on to the spagetti mass that was the rest of the yarn. The mass got put in to a large ziplock bag and the whole mess was put in the steamer for 30 minutes. You can see the result. The middle mass is actually a lovely mixture of reds and blues and purples and will make a lovely pair of sockettes for me or the Female Child. I will probably use the outer, rainbow colored pieces for baby socks (I can just feel my sister and sister-in-law cringing). The concept of tying worked wonderfully though it did take time. The problem we encountered was keeping the skeinettes in proper sequence. I suspect that this would work if I had squirt bottles and laid everything out on a large cookie sheet instead of dipping in baggies. Maybe I will try it again some time.
Dye experiment number 2

Female child suggested dying it in thirds so that we would get bleeding between the sections and wind up with a 5 color skein. The yarn was reskeined by wrapping it around two chairs held apart by our dining room table. The resulting skein is roughly 4 yards in diameter maybe 5.

The skein was presoaked in vinegar/water (1 part to 6 parts) and zig-zagged across a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. The colors were applied hot. You can see where the zigs met the zags and the color spilled to the wrong part of the skein. This was deemed an incomplete success and will probably become socks for Female child or me.

Third time is the charm. We used Female Child's idea again but this time I got smart and drapped the skein in to 3 dishes for the dye application. The green spots were due to a failure to wash or change gloves at one point.

Both try 2 and try 3 were steamed as per try 1.

And now, presenting my swap yarn. After all of our experiments we reread our mail and realized that my swap partner was not a primary-color type of gal. Since she indicated that she liked rich colors and that greens were good ...
This skein was wrapped around 4 chairs so it is longer then the others. The ends were dipped in hot dye distributed in two pyrex dishes. We smushed and smooshed to try to distribute the dye evenly but we obviously failed. I like the gradations however, so this one is considered a total success and will go in the mail this weekend.

All skeins were colored with food dyes with the New York Baking Supply label. I suspect they are a variation on Wiltons. Said dyes were "borrowed" from Mike's cake decorating box. He is now out of red, blue and brown.


Zonda said...

Hey Not a bad job there! Nice colors! The best thing is we get to keep the...um..not so good ones! :)

Crazy About Sox said...

wow i really like those colors... great job...

INMA30 said...

Good to know about the "private label" colorings at NY Cake. I always went with the Wiltons. I will go in there this weekend and see if there are any better colors in their own brand. I live right around the corner. Glad to see another NY'er in D'O'Rama.