Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Dyeing Technique?(snail dyeing)

I've been struggling recently with dyeing some new superwash from Italy . I ordered a LOT because i love the yarn, it is super-soft and squishy, and is "plump", no other way to describe it. It has a wonderful bounce to it.
However,the dye strikes so fast that i barely have it in the dyebath before it soak up so much color and leave the water clear. Ok, so i exaggerated a little but there it is. So i have ended up with dark colors and "white spots". Now, thanks to the readers and contributors at the "Love to Dye" group on Ravelry who have been helping me with this issue, they have suggested: not soaking the yarn ahead/dyeing using cold water/adding salt to slow it down. I have taken their suggestions, except for salt..which i still want to try.
I decided to experiment with DRY yarn, COLD water, and a very weak dye solution.
My first skein which i started last night turned out very subtle ...(*see green skein pictured below)
I did not take notes, this was just a test. It took a LONG time. Now i am trying to see if this is workable for production, trying 3 skeins simultaneously and taking notes.(I am notoriously deficient in teh note -taking department!) I want to end up with a soft rose that looks similar to the green in feeling. I've started with a weak solution of Dharma Tradings' acid dye color "plum dandy" which is a beautiful color without mixing with anything.
Then i have set the skein on top of about 3/4 " of the solution.

Now: stage 2: since the first "soak" came out darker than I expected, I have mixed the next "soak" to be lighter and a little warmer so i can start building up shades. This is taking a lot of patience but i think it will pay off.

*The green "test skein" came out with a little bit too much red in the browns, i may over-dye it with some more pale shades. I am very happy though in general, it is "white-spot" free and has a really nice quality to the color.
stage 2:See below i have over-dyed the green with a few layers of navy/brown. I really like the way the colors are layered and the outcome looks really rich. It also has a "watercolor painting" effect that i like a lot.

I think it was a success...stay tuned.


Valerie said...

Very interesting, I have no dyeing expereince...I am curious to know how you get the varigated look when dyeing? BTW the colrs are beautiful



hi valerie,
it is by s l o w l y adding layer after layer of dye instead of one or 2 colors all at once.

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