I’m trying to vary the weights of the yarn I’m trying out, because it’s hard to identify some of them once they are wet; with the exception that this yarn is bigger than that one. So I will usually not have two of the same weight in the same dye pot, unless they are drastically different in appearance.
I bought a generic salad spinner, to help fling out excess water, thus enabling the skeins to dry faster; but it doesn’t work right. That’s what I get for buying a cheap knock-off. I’ll have to buy the real thing at some point.
Also- I think I’ve sorted out my skein/tie problem.
1. Clown Hair (Hubby named this one)
Yarn: 100% superwash merino wool
Weight: DK, 100 grams, 310 yards
Thoughts: This was my first attempt at hand painting. It’s flawed, yes; but I learned several extremely valuable lessons. First- it renewed my utter contempt for plastic wrap. And I just bought a huge box of it, so I’m mostly stuck with it. I have a way around it, though- use the Glad Press N Seal (much more manageable) for the bottom, and the plastic wrap for the top. This way- I won’t dye my kitchen counter again. Second- for these purposes I need to use fresh dye. And what I mean by that, is that I made up all of the colors, and then left for like 4 hours. I microwaved them back hot, but the dye of the darker colors started to separate a little. So the blue, purple and green have a higher ratio of lightly dyed strands, because it was mostly water. So I’ll test and see if I need to do a higher concentration of dye for those colors.
Ah- I just read up on this. It seems that these colors like to separate (or ‘break’ in dyer terminology), which is why I have bits that are lighter than the rest. Lesson learned.
Oh, and sponge brushes do almost nothing. You can use them for area touchups, but for overall painting? No.
I had absolutely no problems with the yarn. I should have checked the wind first- some of the strands double back on themselves, which go through only three colors, instead of the entire six, so there are several sections which have a green/blue/purple/blue/green progression, before they finally go and pick up the yellow/orange/red again.
Hubby hates it. He doesn’t like six colors at once. He says next time- no more than three. And while I agree with that for some things- I love rainbows (goes back to my Lisa Frank unicorn days). And if I can perfect it- I think I may keep this colorway.
As for this particular skein- I like it. It has a tie-dye effect to it. Definitely a keeper.
2. Sea Foam
Yarn: 63% Superwash merino wool / 20% silk / 15% nylon, 2% Silver Poly
Weight: Fingering Weight, 100 grams, 420 yards
Thoughts: I mostly wanted to see how a true green dyes up. This yarn is sparkly, but it’s a subtle sparkle. Just a hint. Oh and the thing about the silver poly is that whatever color the yarn is dyed- that’s sort of the color the sparkles take on. So if you have multi-colored yarn? Watch out! That’s multi-colored sparkles! Probably a keeper.
3. Orange Powdered Drink
Yarn: 50% Merino Wool / 25% Cotton / 15% Linen / 10% Silk
Weight: Sport, 100 grams, 320 yards
Thoughts: The linen makes it feel a bit hard, when it dries. Also it crinkles, so that makes it hard to find the ends- they fold in on themselves. I haven’t knit with it yet… I’m a little scared to. But HOPEFULLY the silk and wool will soften it up, and won’t kill my hands.
4: Orange Powdered Drink #2
Yarn: 50% wool, 50% acrylic
Weight: bulky, 114 grams, 87 yards
Thoughts: I actually dyed #3 and #4 together. And I just love the differences. This one is lighter, while the other is darker. I know the lightness of this one is due to the acrylic, but as it’s blended together with the wool, it just kind of creates a heathered effect, instead of some sort of light/dark twist. It’s made like roving, so we’ll see how it knits up, before I decide whether or not to get more of this one.
The yarn actually came with instructions to use RIT on it. I don’t like RIT. I think it’s extra harsh, and if you’re not careful- it will eat through fiber. And while we’re on the subject- I also don’t use Kool Aid or food coloring. Not that I have a problem with either, but in researching dyes- I heard a few too many horror stories about fading for both. So I’ll stick to drinking the former, and using the latter in my baking.