Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So much to share...

I'm not going to go into details, there's too much since I last posted. I still haven't finished that pair of socks, but I'm into other things...
Spring ALWAYS has me wanting to dye! So this year, I've bought a set of Greener Shades of Dye, heavy metal free, and by all accounts safer to use. I'm horribly lazy about using gloves. I know, I will!
 This is enough to dye 3 lbs I think it was, its the starter kit from Knit Picks.

I just wanted to play, experiment with the colors. I've got some Panda blend bought from Mim a few years ago, that has been waiting for me to decide what to do with it. It dyes so beautifully! Painted Panda blend is about the only thing I will buy off of Etsy, it is my weakness...
I was invited to join the Greener Shades group on Ravelry to get some ideas on how to paint with their dye; mixing, paining, setting techniques. I saw there a link to a way to keep colors from pooling under the top. Long story short, if anyone suggests that you use corn starch to thicken your dye, make sure that whatever you're dying can be thrown into the washer when you're done. And for any who might say "I could have told you that!", well, you didn't so shush! :)
I didn't take a picture of the results of this first experiment. I took 4 ounces of Panda, laid out on plastic wrap, with long yellow strips with alternating black and purple bands between them. It was horrible! Ugly! Fuggly is a better word really! I wasn't going to throw it away, so after looking at some color wheels, I tossed it in a red dye pot.
Yes, it worked! I dried it, went to spin it, and brick wall! No way was that stuff drafting! See above comment on corn starch....

I still was not prepared to toss this mess! I think if I hadn't had a drum carder, I would have wrapped it up, put it in a zip lock and waited till something, some way, would have come up to make it spinnable!
As it was, I do have a drum carder, and I know how to use it!
Pretty?

After the red, and in the same water believe it or not! (this stuff exhausts fast!) I put some green dye in, a glug or two of vinegar, and almost immediately (its been a long time since I dyed anything...) tossed in a loosely tied 4 ounce bundle of Panda. I didn't stir the pot first. And this is what I got!

A very pretty (IMHO) variegated green, spins up very nicely! Because I didn't stir the pot, the dye was just kind of floating around in the water, and as soon as the top hit the water, it sucked that dye right up! I will be repeating this mistake :D

PS: I have 5 lambs, and 8 chickens! Pictures coming 'soon'! I promise!

6 comments:

Jody said...

You are inspiring me to use my new ProChem dyes Becky :-)
I would love to see your lambs!

Vickie said...

I can't wait for your critter pics. :)
I think I shall give these kinds of dyes a try this spring/summer Becky. I've only dyed with Country Classics so it will be fun to try other techniques. I am planning on trying my hand at cake dyes in a day or two. Have you used them?
Your Panda is pretty pretty!

Michelle said...

Yes, very pretty colors, and lovely spinning!li

Laura said...

Nice save!! And since panda is "superwash" merino and bamboo, the dye will strike hard and fast on the superwash - not much running or blending. That's about the only thing that's challenging about that stuff...

Can't wait to hear about your chickens...

rubyslipperz said...

Wonderful fibers and yarn..It's soo nice to find a blog that talks about spinning! =)

I have a quilting blog and a 2nd one that is about fiber-eee stuff.

hugZ,
annie
anniesrubyslipperz.com

Sharon said...

Oh boy, my heart goes out to you on the thankfully saved dye on Panda. It's so beautiful. I'd have been bagging it too, but you pulled the rabbit out of the hat. Next post will be how you used it to weave, right :)

I'm going over to Mim's tomorrow and was thinking this afternoon that it would be perfect if you were there. Been too long gone...