Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dyeing Day #2

It looks like summer weather is promising to take hold and stay around awhile. This is good dyeing weather for early birds like me. Yesterday morning I got the itch to “dye”.

I love working in my patio in the morning. The birds are chirping. The long shadows shade my patio, yet it provides plenty of sun to see the vibrant colors of the dyes. The hot sun is on the other side of the house so the patio is cool like a refreshing drink of lemonade.

This morning I dyed more merino wool roving. The last dyeing project with Procion MX dyes did not come out as deep in color as the cotton and superwash wool. I’m thinking my mistake may have been presoaking to wet the fiber overnight in cold water rather than warm water. Warm water opens up the cuticle of the wool allowing for better penetration.

This time I decided to dye with Createx liquid dyes. I have worked with these dyes before and know they give wonderful color but require a heat set. This time I soaked just before dyeing in warm water, mixed the stock dyes and dilutent with warm water to hand paint the roving. I loved how it turned out.

I tried to use up the remainder solution rainbow dyeing skeins of Romney handspun yarn. I wrapped the roving and skeins in plastic wrap and heat set them in the microwave, which was faster than simmering it for an hour. All too soon, my time ran out and I put my supplies away and hung out the dyed yarn to dry.

Later that day, I was wondering what to do with the left over solution, which had lots of color left. I decided to experiment. I reactivated the fixative by adding more citric acid and vinegar to the dye solution and added some water. The colors I had to work with were fuchsia, yellow, blue, brown and something that was labeled orange but turned out to be a Bordeaux color left over.

In the afternoon we get an afternoon breeze in our patio so it was not good conditions to dye there. I tried painting some more roving but made a big mess, with the breeze blow everything around. I gathered up all my supplies and continued in the kitchen. I again heat set in the microwave the roving to set it, rinsed gently and set aside to dry.

By this time I was ready to finish but did not have the heart to throw out all the remaining dye. I started a pot of water, poured the remaining Bordeaux, blue, and brown into it and threw in some skeins of handspun Jacob and rougher wools that I could make into rugs. At first I thought it was going to end up a muddy grey color, but after rinsing resulted in a Dark teal to midnight blue color. I started another pot and mixed the fuchsia, yellow and a little brown and ended up with watermelon dyed skeins.
By the end of the day I was very happy with the results. “It was a good day to “dye”. ;)


kate said...

Hi Diana! I'm going to try dyeing fiber this week for the first time -- can you tell me how long you had it in the microwave? And did you have water in the dish, or was there enough in the fiber?

Thanks! I'll try to blog my progress. :-)

Diana said...

Hi Kate, Thanks for the comments. For an answer to your questions, see your blog.

kate said...

Thank you! Whee!