First attempt at dyeing!

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ContinentalCat
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First attempt at dyeing!

Postby ContinentalCat » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

And not sure if it is a success...

I have no idea about the origins of the yarn. It's from two hideous 1980's oversized cardies I found in the flea market and frogged. The 'burn test' showed me it had to be wool, or at least largely wool, but althought I followed all the instructions for dyeing wool with food colouring, the yarn didn't take the dye as well as I hoped. I was aiming for bright red, and what I got was something else entirely.

The yarn didn't soak up all of the dye, and when rising the water never really got clear, so I will have to wash this very carefully!

2880

Can we call it 'tweedy dusty pink'? Sounds better than 'failure'!

But it knits up quite nice

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so I'm going to use it to knit a second Vivian. Not doing all the moss stitch this time, just purling those bits.

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Re: First attempt at dyeing!

Postby Blackdog » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:42 am

It is a lovely colour though even if it wasn't what you were aiming at. I do find that food dye is far more hit & miss than acid dyes. I aimed once for blue using Koolaid & ended up with a very pretty turquoise! But then as Deb from The Mulberry Dyer who did a natural dyeing workshop at our Guild a couple of weeks ago said, even commercial dyers don't always get the dye batches the same each time.

I've bought myself a cheap steamer to dye with acid dyes & found that I do get a far better colour using them, but I still find that it doesn't always use up all the dye & I end up rinsing & rinsing to get out the remaining colour.
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Re: First attempt at dyeing!

Postby ContinentalCat » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:15 pm

A cheap steamer is a good idea, better than my oven!

I quite lik the colour now, it will probably look better on me than bright red, and it's going to be a cardie for in and around the house anyway. But I liked experimenting with dye, so it won't be my last attempt!

if the birds weren't so greedy, I could try and use my elderberries or my Phytolacca esculenta - no idea what that is in English, we say 'Oosterse karmozijnbes' ('eastern crimson berry).

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Re: First attempt at dyeing!

Postby Flowerfairy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:22 pm

ContinentalCat wrote:my Phytolacca esculenta - no idea what that is in English, we say 'Oosterse karmozijnbes' ('eastern crimson berry).

'Pokeweed' according to my garden dictionary. One variety is called the red dye plant so it's definitely worth trying!

It's a lovely colour, CC, I'd say it was most certainly a success! Look forward to seeing the finished result :smile:
I blog at http://www.winwickmum.co.uk and have created the Sockalong, a series of tutorials to teach beginners how to knit socks

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Re: First attempt at dyeing!

Postby Blackdog » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:32 pm

Word of warning, don't use berries as they are a stain not a dye & will fade to anything from a murky grey to the colour of the original. I read about someone who spent hours knitting a fair isle cardigan that she had dyed the wool with berries for, only for it to all fade to a pale grey colour.

And be careful if your plant is pokeweed as it's poisonous, so don't use cooking pots to 'cook' your yarn in. In fact you should never use the same utensils for dyeing as for cooking. Even if it's 'natural dye' as so many of them are poisonous.
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Re: First attempt at dyeing!

Postby ContinentalCat » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:13 pm

Yes, I think it's pokeweed indeed, and it's poisonous! I have some old pots and pans in the shed that I could use for experimenting, but I don't think I'll ever have enough berries to to even 10 grams of wool - the birds eat them all.

I'll stick to food dyes as long as I'm an absolute beginner; even acid dyes require certain safety procedures, if I've read it all correctly, and I'm not confident enough to try that yet.


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