Colorful endeavors

Ragged pondered what everyone has been up to.  Well, last week I received the last of my undyed sock club yarns, a merino/tencel blend.

Wool2Dye4 Merino Tencel

Wool2Dye4 Merino Tencel

Closeup of W2D4 Merino Tencel

Closeup of W2D4 Merino Tencel

This is a yummy blend.  Here’s the whole gang.

Clockwise from top left: Merino Bamboo Twostep, BFL Ultra, Socks2Dye4 Merino, and Merino/Tencel

Clockwise from top left: Merino Bamboo Twostep, BFL Ultra, Socks2Dye4 Merino, and Merino/Tencel

So, what do you think this might have inspired me to do?

Ive been playing Vampire Wars too much

I've been playing Vampire Wars too much

Oooh, I like this

Oooh, I like this

Yup, I’ve definitely been dyeing.

Dye cakes

Dye cakes

In addition to this, I had some yarns that just weren’t quite the right color, and they got a new life as well.  I also used the old crockpot for the first time in a dyeing capacity.

My overall plan, since each type of yarn had enough for two pair of socks, was to dye a pair’s worth a semi-solid, and the other a coordinating variegated.  So, if all went well, I should have four semi-solids and four variegateds.  (Tune in tomorrow to see how that went.)

The thing about dyeing is it teaches you patience.  Once I steamed my yarns for an hour, I shut off the head, and let them gradually cool down overnight.  As important as getting the yarn up to the temp needed for the dye to fix, the cooldown process is equally important.  It’s a bit like x-mas morning when I’ve dyed yarns, because I cannot wait to see the results.

They are drying as I type, but I’ll give you a couple of previews.  First of all, you don’t want a lot of dye washing out when you rinse, because that either means you used too much dye, or it didn’t fix to the yarn.  Everyone knows red is the most prone to ‘bleeding’.

No-bleed reds

No-bleed reds

Not my reds, baby.  This is the first dip into the rinse water, having been swished around.  There’s just no washout.  I used to have problems with this, so I upped my citric acid a whole bunch, and voila.  I also put the citric acid in the dye itself, as opposed to putting it in the soak water for the yarn.  It practically strikes the moment it hits the yarn.

And here’s the group shot.

Drip-dry beauties

Drip-dry beauties

One thing I always forget is how labor-intensive dyeing is.  At the risk of bringing the Wrath of  Mothers down upon me, could I say I think it’s a bit like the childbirth process (yes, I know it’s nothing in comparison, but I did nearly rip my fingernail off, and that hurt quite a bit) in that once you see the beauty you have created, all the effort it took pales in comparison.   I think that can be said for any creative process.

Photos tomorrow of the dried, possibly reskeined yarn.  I think I’m very pleased with all of them, with one possible exception.  And no, you can’t identify it in the picture above.  Which means I’m very pleased with the yellow and orange.  Surprise!

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One Response to “Colorful endeavors”

  1. raggedaroundtheedges Says:

    Very pretty. Very nice! Such a nice range of colors.

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