Time and Time Again

Note to self: Dyeing takes at least twice as long as you originally planned, so be prepared!

Yes, I’ve had another long day in the kitchen. All I wanted to dye was the Rebecca yarn.

The Finished Yarn!

The Finished Yarn!

The dye bottle was supposed to dye two pounds of fiber. I have a pound and a half of yarn. The instruction sheet for Jacquard dyes recommends a half bottle of dye per pound of fabric. I decided to play things safe and put in a half bottle of dye for the pound and a half of fiber. Well, the yarn turned the color I wanted before the solution even got heated up!

So, I stuck two hastily grabbed lengths of roving in the still active and thick dye. They simmered for awhile, and the solution didn’t show any signs of running out. I don’t even like the teal color that much! I like it on the yarn, but the roving . . . sigh. I was stuck with a large pot full of active dye and a reluctance to run it all down the drain. (Last time I did that I nearly dyed the “stainless steel” sink turquoise.)

And I was holding up the frosting for a cake.

In despair, I left the two rovings soaking in the dye, stuck the lid on the pot and ignored them for a day. I had heard that you could add more vinegar to the dye bath, leave it, and it would soak up more of the color. There was always the outside chance that the problem would fix itself before I came back! It didn’t. So I popped two more chunks of roving into the mix.

Lots of Teal Rovings

Lots of Teal Rovings

They dyed a nice deep teal. By that time, I was fed up with the whole thing, and the dye water was starting to look translucent, so I chucked the whole thing down the drain with a lot of extra water. Now I have four lengths of teal colored roving. Two of some odd, cheap wool, another of Romney mix roving, and the fourth of second-quality Wensleydale.

On the bright side of things, I dyed the Norwegian yarn with Kool-Aid, and it worked. The tutorial said to nuke the mason jars in the microwave, and I planned on that, only to discover that the microwave was an inch too short to fit the jars in. Explain that one! Anyway, we partially filled a pot with water and set the jars in it. Sort of a double boiler idea. The pictures? Well. I forgot the camera. Sorry.

But I did get Daisy out of the wash pot! Being left alone seems to help it get cleaner with less labor involved. The only downside is that, on looking over the wool, it looks like half of the batch is stuff that I won’t be able to use. It’s semi-felted on the underside, and so matted and dirty and full of vegetable matter on the top . . . let’s just say, I value my time more than an extra bit of wool. There is a nice section of usable stuff, though. Not enough for the wrap idea, but I think I could make some nice little, lacy scarves for dressing up a jacket.

Drying Fleece

Drying Fleece

2 Responses to Time and Time Again
  1. outandin
    January 21, 2009 | 11:56 am

    Well, it looks like someone’s going to get a lot of lovely teal garments or accessories! At least now you know how strong the dye is!

    And sorry about the felted fleece.

  2. Whitney
    January 21, 2009 | 4:00 pm

    I like the teal color! You could say it’s very “rich”, rather than “too dark”. :) It’s still beautiful.

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