Friday, 23 April 2010

Hot pour dyeing and Earth day

After the success of the immersion dyeing a few weeks back I thought I would have a go at another new technique. This time it was hot pour dyeing, described in the twisted sisters sock workbook. It involves putting the presoaked yarn into a vinegar and water mix, heating it then pouring dye into the pot. In theory the dye will sit in the areas you pour it and not spread out too much, different colours can be poured on other areas.

I was after a multi blue yarn so mixed up a few shades of blue. The first run just ended up with a blue yarn, the dye didn't stay put and the whole thing ended up an even colour, quite nice but not what I was hoping for.

The next day I decided to have another go since it was still in the pot, this time I put some full strength and diluted black dye, still aiming to get darker blue patches. This was not overly successful either. A few of the black spots took, the grey just swirled around and didn't make much difference. The result was a blue yarn with a few (like four) black blobs. It looks a bit like I spilt something on it. Never mind, I do like the blue and it will be tucked insode my shoes when it is made into socks so no one will see.

Having discussed the problems at last nights knit night it sounds like I should have had more yarn/less water in the pot. Better temperature control and possible more vinegar might also have helped.

Since yesterday was World Earth day I decided to name it ocean- blue with oil spills.

It also got me thinking about the amount of water used in dyeing, which seems to be quite a lot. I came up with these thoughts for cutting it down a bit:
  • Reuse the leftover water that the dry yarn is soaked in as the steaming water or dyebath.
  • Use collected rainwater, can't do this at the minute as the water butt in the garden doesn't even collect enough to keep the plants happy, but maybe one for the future.
  • Letting the dyepot go totally cold really does help reduce residual dye, this then reduces the amount of rinsing needed, more patience required here.
  • Not get too worried if there is a bit of residual dye when I wash the yarn in warm water and wool wash, as long as it is not excessive it will be fine as I am the only one using it and will send it through the washing machine once it is knitted up (possibly with a magic colour catcher sheet).

Next week I am going to join in with the knitting and crochet blog week proposed on If I type here that I am taking part I can't be lazy and wimp out.

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