Submitted by RobbMLewis on Fri, 02/24/2017 - 08:22

Two Yules ago, The Woolery had their annual 12 days of fiber toys sale, and a Greener Shades starter kit was on sale.  I bought it and left it sit in a drawer for over a year.  With this year's tax returns, I decided it was time to start using it.  So, I found a source of undyed wool in Wool2Dye4.  First a word on this company.  They have beautiful yarns.  I got fingering weight, 75/25 superwash merino/nylon and worsted weight merino.  Now, yes, merino yarn is nice and soft in general, but the quality of the yarns for the two skeins I dyed was good.  If you need bulk white yarn, I suggest them.  I also was gifted 2 skeins of worsted weight corriedale from a local fiber mill.

As with everything I do, I researched what I needed to do for dyeing, and decided I should start simple, and work my way up to what I want to do.  So, I purchased enamel pots, tongs, measuring spoons, and rubber gloves for the dyeing... these are only for dyeing and should never be used with food prep.  While the dyes I'm using don't contain heavy metals, that doesn't mean they don't have some degree of toxicity.

First Attempt

My first attempt was going to be fingering weight green.  This was going to be for a friend that loved green, and was surely something that would be screwed up.  So the process as I understood it was:

  1. Soak your yarn in hot water, this also gets rid of residual oils
  2. Make your dye bath
  3. Add your yarn and heat to 170° F
  4. Let sit 10 min
  5. Add acid
  6. Heat to 210 ° F
  7. Let sit a couple min until dye bath mostly clear
  8. Cool
  9. Rinse
  10. Dry

Well, that almost all worked for me.  I screwed up in weighing the dye.  My calculations, using the info from the manufacturer's website, was that I wanted 1 gram of dye.  I tried to weigh that out, and nope, couldn't weigh it.  I had somewhere around a gram, but how close, no idea.  My calculations are also possibly way off.  So, I make my dye bath, and I add in  my soaked fingering yarn in water that was around 120° F.  It looked black.  Oh S**T!  Quick, I want to keep the yarn from becoming so dark you can't see the green unless you are in bright light.  I grab a skein of worsted and drop it in the pot and squeeze it so it quickly gets wet and soaks up dye.

The rest of the process went as planned, and I pulled the skeins out and dried them.  So I ended up with these.

Fingering Weight Worsted Weight

 

I'll never be able to make these colors again, but I love them, and they were a good lesson on how to dye.  Next up, being consistent with blue.

 

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