20 April 2007

Batch Number Three

I have discovered the joy of taking undyed yarn and turning it into something colorful. I visited a local Eugene store called Dyelots and purchased some more sock yarn - 8 oz. of Kona Superwash, a very softly spun sock yarn - and some real, professional, not-food-safe, toxic poisonous dyes. I got three tiny pots of Jacquard acid dyes in Pumpkin, Chestnut and Russet.

Step one of my dyeing process is to understand what the dye wants to do when left alone. No mixing, no jazz, just dip dyeing. I made some tiny test skeins, 6 grams each, and gradually pulled them from the dye jar, adding more dye each time to get a gradient effect. This gives me an idea of the range of colors for each dye. I'm in love with the Chestnut dye; it seems to be attracted to the spaces between the plies of the yarn, giving the yarn contour and depth. I'm also in love with the Pumpkin dye; when used sparingly, it yields a tantalizing golden yellow. Russet dye, don't feel left out; I love your darker side.

Once I was confident that I wasn't going to hate the results, I dyed a full 100 gram skein. Now all that remains is the final test, which requires a set of knitting needles and some time. I am tempted to make another set of gloves, using the large skein for the body of the glove, and using the matching mini test skeins for the fingers, each a different color!

I've set aside some undyed yarn to await my return from Canada, a promise to myself that I will continue these experiments in color...

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