Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dyeing Questions and Answers

There were lots of questions left in the comments to Monday's post about the Patons yarn I dyed in the crock pot. Several people are anxiously waiting to see what the yarn looks like knit up. Sorry to disappoint, but this skein will be a birthday present for a certain Stitch 'N Bitch grrl so I won't be able to show a swatch or an FO. But I'll let the recipient know she needs to knit it up fast and post some photos on her blog.

Here's my guess on what it will look like, though. The top and inside of the ball were mostly white; there was much more dye on the outside and bottom of the ball. When it's knit up, I suspect the color of the fabric will get darker or lighter (depending on which end she begins with) as she knits. So it might not be the best dyeing technique to use for projects like mittens and socks that should at least resemble each other in color, but it would make an interesting hat. Also, I didn't do this, but you could experiment with smooshing the ball down into the dye to get a little more dye to distribute to the core of the ball.

Janet asked whether Rit dye could be used on wool. It's my understanding that Rit dyes work on both protein fibers and plant fibers (both types of dye are mixed together in the same packet). That's why so much dye remains unexhausted when you're finished; i.e., the protein dye is leftover when you dye cotton and vice versa.

Amy wanted to know if I used the powder or liquid form of Rit. I used the powder, but I assume the liquid would work just as well. I don't think the liquid comes in as many colors as the powder, though. I used about half the package to dye 100g of yarn. I soaked the skein in vinegar water but I didn't add any vinegar to the dye mixture itself. I'm not sure the vinegar was necessary, but I had originally planned to use some Wilton Cake dye on this skein and changed my mind at the last minute.

Susan and Jill asked about my crock pot. I picked mine up at the DI for $2.00 and don't use it for anything except dyeing. It only has two temperature settings: low and high.

I used the high setting.

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.