Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dye Day What Fun

We survived! Tick-Tick, my eldest granddaughter of 13 yrs (who insessantly drives me insane with the constant tick-tick of the keyboard as she chats constantly on messenger with her friends) , is slightly green and blue in several spots, and I even have a tinge of off colour on my hands too, but we had a blast!

I found all the natural handspun I had hanging around the house including the first practicing at beaded yarn and a skein of somewhat dark grey Icelandic Wool yarn I had spun.
Tick-Tick had her skein of 'First Handspun' to dye as well. I also decided to throw in some natural off white rovings as I had 4 kg of it before I starting spinning, aka playing with it and my wheel.
We went to Michael's Craft Store on Thursday night and Tick-Tick picked out 5 colours of Wilton Food Colour to use in our dying. We had Sky Blue, Juniper Green, Teal, Orange, and Buttercup Yellow. I am so glad the the local grocer's was sold out of McCormick's Neon Food Colouring! (Neon yarn is not my cup of tea)

We re-skeined the yarn that needed reskeining, put it all in a vinegar bath. I cleaned up the kitchen a bit and got the dye ready in it's squeezee bottles.

Then we went at it. We hand painted the off white skeins, including the beaded one, and two batches of wool rovings, wrapped them in Saran Wrap and steamed them on the stove to set the colour. 

I put one batch of wool rovings in the crock pot and when it was all hot and steamy I added three colours of dye to the crock pot and let it cook for a couple of hours.

The dark grey skein was an experiment to see if it would over-dye. I tried handpainting it and though you could see there was other colour added to it, it still looked grey. We left it till last and decided to try a dye bath for it with a microwave chaser. We chose teal as the dye colour. I make a strong teal bath, put in the grey yarn to soak, then nuked it for two minutes at a time until it had exhausted noticably some of the dye. At that point the dye water was much lighter teal than when we started. I took it out of the microwave to cool and as it cooled, it took up even more dye. After much cooling when it was good and warm instead of still hot I noticed the water was almost clear with very little dye colour left in the water! I was amazed! My grey yarn was now a deep greenish teal and I am extremely pleased with the colour. Truly amazing I say! I am so glad I tried this, and as I have more of the grey Icelandic wool to spin I can guarantee that I will be making more of this colour.
More to come after it dries but the bottom line is, we had a ball with it all, lots got dyed, none got felted and we are very happy with the results of our labours. Next time, it will be McCormick' NEON! (please help me!!!)

1 comment:

Karen said...

The 'neon' colours are just a bit more intense than regular colours, so the colour recipes are a bit different. As far as I recall, they don't come out in those 80s neon colours you might be thinking of.

However, it sounds like you had a really good time with the Wilton colours. Will you be bringing the teal for Show and Tell sometime?