DYEING FOR ANSWERS

Some questions fell out of yesterday’s post:

Which dye kit did you buy?

 
This one.  It’s by Jacquard (aka Rupert, Gibbon and Spider).  It retails for around $19.00 and is widely available on the Web and in crafts stores.  There are probably more cost effective ways to get the materials it contained, but I was paying for convenience and (being an idiot working with kids) idiot-proofed directions.  Remember, I bought the thing primarily to dye shirts as a birthday party activity for 8-year olds.  Dyeing my yarn was a lagniappe.



What kind of dyes did you use?

The kit comes stocked with pre-measured Procion MX dyes in squeeze bottles.  They’re cold water dyes, and quite vivid.  I know very little about dyes and dyeing, but it appears from a cursory web search that these are ideal for cotton.

Why did you use cotton and not wool?

See above.  Also, I have to admit that the sacrificial aspect of experimentation played a key part.  The cotton yarn I used was very inexpensive and has been stash-aging long enough to qualifty as being "almost free." 

At present, my stash includes two sweater sized lots of undyed wool.  One is a very special thing – hand-spun Churro wool, a gift from a friend in New Mexico.  It’s waiting for the **perfect** thing to do with it, and is not to be wasted on an experiment that might go wrong.  The other is a more modest yarn, but is a small producer local product, blooming with lanolin.  I was unsure of  whether or not the dyes would be as suitable for a protein fiber as they are for cellulose fiber, and I didn’t know how the presence of lanolin would affect the process.  The kit was designed for cotton garments, so cotton yarn was my chosen target.

Did you measure out your skein diameter for optimal flashing?

No.  I thought about doing that, but doing so would require that I knit up some swatches and do gauge calculations, then do some test-knitting to determine the final flash diameter.  (Yes, I’m still progressing with my flash camo tee).  Instead I decided to wing it.  I extended my swift to its maximum diameter and just used that.  My skein is about 1.5 yards in circumference.  Give or take.

Have you rinsed the yarn yet?

No.  Not yet.  The kit specifies letting the dyes sit for a while, preferably overnight, to make sure they are firmly fixed.  The picture I showed yesterday is of dye-damp unrinsed yarn.

What the heck is soda ash?

I didn’t know, so I looked it up.  Google is my friend.

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