Friday, December 9, 2011

You'll only know if you try!

It is easy to dye a skein of wool or two.

But when you wish to dye a decent amount of wool to use on 1 project, like a jersey, it is so difficult to get the whole lot dyed evenly if you do it in different batches. Even if you just want to dye it 1 hue, you'll find it is merely impossible to achieve consistency all over the amount of wool in the pot. If you use different hues in one project you are often left with uneven distributing of colours, darker here lighter there.

That is my experience anyway. I may not do things as they should be done and I am definitely not the expert on these matters.

I must say I oftentimes just feel like being creative with colours, grab some wool or yarn and throw some colours in, turn on the heat below the pot and while it is simmering do some boring stuff like vacuuming or so.

Mostly it is not scientific or measured or calculated at all. And it doesn't cost me much time either.

(As it came out of the pot)

The bonus is that it gives some factor of colour and surprise to your day and it makes the chores okay if you are waiting for your dye pot to finish its thing while doing them too.

Anyway I am wanting to make myself a sleeveless vest of some sort so I need a decent amount of wool.

I only had white wool, that needed dyeing, but I did not want a plain effect.
I only have a smallish stock pot.
How do I dye 500g of wool evenly in the same hues with these limitations?
It is said that wool need room in the pot etc etc.

(The bottom of the pile)

Here is what I did;

My wool was in a sliver (carded) all coiled up like layers of pancakes, rather then in a ball.

I placed a layer of wool (soaked first in water with some vinegar added) in the bottom of the empty pot.

Then sprinkled some russet red (Jaquard) powder on.
Next another layer, with bright yellow dye powder and then a layer with skye blue dye powder.
These layers I repeated till the pot was just about full ending with blue.
 I sprinkled the dye randomly, over the layers, it did by far not cover all the white, rather fell in little clumps here and there. (sorry I should have taken photos).

Next I added water with some vinegar in, pouring it along the side carefully, rather than plonk it in on the top.
I pushed down the wool very gently, so it was just covered.

I put the pot on the gas and left it there at least an hour and a half or so (Vacuuming, tidying up...) gently heating up and simmering away. No stirring.

When done I tipped it all out to drain and all through this post you've seen the result.

 (The side on view)

 (And the inside, with stack folded open)

I found it surprising that the top and the sides of the "stack of wool" appear more pastel, but the core of the stack has quite vibrant, warm colouring. It is amazing how the colours have managed to run and mix through all those layers. With rinsing no dye ran, all had taken.

It is a lovely result, better then I had hoped for.

The top photos don't realy do the colours are some with little clouds of the dried fibre in a basket.


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