Thursday, August 7, 2008

Soy Fiasco!

I feel like I’m in a race to reduce my fiber stash. If I wanted to be in a race, I probably should have joined the Tour de Fleece last month. I am trying to spin as much as I can before the start of the Olympics tomorrow at 8:00 pm PST. When the Olympics start I will be working on my knitted Sampler Vest, trying to be dedicated to the craft of knitting until I finish. I really need to finish it. It has been sitting in my closet for years unfinished.

The dyed merino I spun up yesterday came out beautifully. I can’t wait to make some socks out of it.

I ran across a small 2 oz. bag of Dyed Soy Silk I had purchased about a year ago. I cannot remember which festival. I thought, well, here’s my chance to spin this up. Sooo… how to I spin it? It’s too small an amount to do much of anything. I decided to spin it fine for a small knitted purse or something like that.
Spinning with Soy is much easier than real silk as it doesn’t snag on every little skin imperfection or jagged nail of your fingers. It seemed strong enough although I did break the thread once. I ended up with a 97 yd skein that was about 18 wraps per inch, which is about lace weight yarn. Since I was unfamiliar with this fiber, I decided to set the twist in luke warm water and OMG!!! It started to BLEED!!!! This was no minor bleeding. A lot of color came out, almost as much as if I were dying it, and this was the first rinse. I emptied the sink and this time I used cold water. Still bled. The next rinse I decided to put some vinegar into the water hoping to fix the dye better on the fiber. This seemed to work a little….there was less dye bleeding.
The last rinse was somewhat less bleeding but there was still some turquoise in the water. I will need to remember not to make any clothing or combine it with a white color in my knitting. So what happened?……I do know that not all wool dyes are effective on cellulose or plant fibers. Perhaps the Dyer didn’t know this? I didn’t take the time to ask what kind of dye this fiber was dyed with.

Lessons learned: (1) Ask vendor what kind of dye was used to dye the skein, if home made. (2) Beware of soy silk in very vibrant colors. (3) I’m glad I didn’t invest in a pound of this stuff. 4) I wonder if all soy yarn behaves like this....if so, how dreadful! I won't be buying soy much any more.


Anonymous said...

The green/gold/brown merino is gorgeous. Those colors are perfect together.

I hope your flowers are doing well. I had to take mine out of the ground and put them in pots under the porch to keep them healthy with the dark green leaves. Otherwise the leaves got bleached out and the flowers always wilted. Delicate 'lil things.

--John M.

Diana said...

Thanks for the nice comment, John. Hmmmm, is this the John M. from "73" RHS? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my daisies will survive without transplanting them. My idea was to celebrate color in this flower bed. Any sugesstions on a hardier plant that can take sun and shade?