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Dyepot Adventure

November 14, 2005

I did play in the dyepot on Friday. I also discovered that when you have pots of fiber simmering on the stove all day long, your house gets really warm. It was good for my sinuses. The result, from a finished-product point of view is in my opinion mixed.

I started with this. About 18 ounces of white rambouillet fleece that had already been scoured.

I have two pots now, this was my setup.

The one on the right is a speckleware roaster I ran across at the thrift shop for $4. It was so long that it had to have two flames under it. Oddly, it didn’t hold an appreciably larger amount of fiber than the old soup pot, maybe because it’s shallow.

My plan was to dye about half the fleece burgundy, and divide the remaining half between violet, sky blue, and woodrose (these are Cushing acid dye color names).

In a panic about how long it was going to take to do this if I had to let every color cool in the pot before rinsing, I appealed to my fiber list, and Lisa suggested dumping out the fiber to cool in something else. Fortunately I had a large strainer that came with the soup pot, that filled the bill. It also enabled me to carry the damp fleece to the washing machine (after it had dripped itself out), and rinse and spin it out there, so it would dry faster.

I discovered that with the violet, the blue was left in the bath after the fleece had taken up as much color as it could. The water was quite blue when I finally gave up and poured it out. I suppose that means I used too much dye powder for the amount of fleece I had.

Even before I started trying to test this stuff out, I decided I’d made a little too much burgundy, and also that this shade of burgundy was too brown. If I were doing it again I’d try for something more purply, more of a cranberry shade. Oh well.

I couldn’t resist taking a shot at combing some up.

Yes I terribly overloaded my comb. But I put on the burgundy first and had to balance it as well as I could!

I made only 2 passes with the 5 pitch combs, because this fiber was very clean and because I didn’t want to overblend the colors.

Not too much waste.

This is unfortunately not a very good picture, I will try to get one in natural light later in the week. Looking at the result, I think I’m going to have to find some more white rambouillet in my stash and dye more of the 3 contrast colors. It isn’t exactly mud but there isn’t as much of the contrasts as I would like to see. I did another lump later on that was a bit better with balance.

The top came out very dense and soft. I was intending that by combing after dyeing, I would end up with something that would draft well, and I think that will be the case. An interesting experiment!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Christine permalink
    November 14, 2005 9:44 am

    With violet dye, which may be a combination of turquoise and reds, try raising the pH to 7 to complete exhaustion of the turquoise blue component. That color seems to want a more neutral pH than the other acid dyes.
    Good luck!

  2. November 14, 2005 10:14 am

    its beautiful! can’t wait to see it spun up.

  3. November 14, 2005 10:18 am

    Well now, this is a nice experiment for a blended color type of girl. All that I can say is…wow, what a lot of work AND the color of the yarn should be right up your alley. I take my hats off to you combed fiber types and knowing how much I like to spin top and how big a couple of my fine fleeces are, I may send them to YOUR house…(evil grin). You KNOW that I am never going to stand around combing up little poodle doo’s of fiber…not on my best day if I were 30 years younger. Well, maybe if I WERE 30 years younger…that seems like the kind of thing that I would have done…you know, filet crochet curtains and all of that. Shudder…way more time than money. I’m glad that you had fun with your little cauldron’s.

  4. November 14, 2005 10:27 am

    very pretty! i like the violet color the best. do you have a project in mind?

  5. Sam permalink
    November 14, 2005 11:28 am

    Caroline, it came out beautifully! Personally, I like that burgundy, and think this is going to be gorgeous spun up. Are you going to spindle a bit, just to see? 🙂

  6. Melanie permalink
    November 14, 2005 3:41 pm

    I really like that bit of violet that’s peeking out. Maybe spun up the burgundy will be a little more diluted and the blue might pop a bit. It’s very pretty, and time well spent.

  7. November 14, 2005 6:59 pm

    I think it looks great Pru!! I love the combo!

  8. junepot permalink
    November 14, 2005 7:37 pm

    The colors all look wonderful to me, Caroline! Tell me what size your stock pot is, I have been contemplating buying one and don’t have a clue what size to purchase. . .

  9. November 14, 2005 8:00 pm

    I’m in line with the plum-lovers. Before dyeing up more of the accents, see how you like this spun up – I always think my yarn is going to turn out differently than it does.
    Looks like it was a fun day!

  10. November 15, 2005 5:07 pm

    Looks lovely – can’t wait to see it spun up – I think the contrasts will peek through beautifully.

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