Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 33

The count is up to 33 here and down to 9 days until the X-ray and hopefully being able to walk on my right foot again. Single digits!!!

Did some dyeing again this morning. Instead of using pots on the stove, it was instant (almost) gratification in the microwave. Critical to using the microwave is having the yarn completely wet so it doesn’t scorch or, worse yet, catch on fire. Microwaving the yarn is a wonderful way to heat set the dye in a very short period of time. I’m usually looking for these kind of variegated results as opposed to either space dyeing or kettle dyeing. Having all of these options expands dyeing to an almost limitless degree.

I started with the fawn 100% alpaca yarn in the middle and dyed 5 skeins total and all at the same time. These 2 dyed skeins shown in the photographs demonstrate how variable the results can be with hand dyeing. The colors can also vary in lightness/darkness in the same skein depending upon how the skein was laying in the container.

To even out differences in the colors, I will either knit from 2 skeins at the same time, alternating skeins or work from both the inside and outside of a center-pull ball. Again, I didn’t come up with these tricks but have found them very useful when I care about how the colors look in the final piece.

I dyed this yarn with a specific project in mind so you’ll be seeing it again!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 29

green overdyed rose grey yarn
blue overdyed rose grey yarn
purple overdyed rose grey yarn

Pulled out the dye pots for some rose grey yarn that I had promised to dye. Originally I was going to do at least 2 colors per skein but the final decision was to try for a single, more solid color. This made it a bit easier because all of it could be done on the stove.

Knowledge from sorting fiber for myself and others comes in handy for dyeing this yarn. Rose grey is actually a mix of colors, whether on a single animal or in a production batch at a mill. If you de-construct a rose grey yarn, you will see this mix of colors–white, greys, browns and blacks. The best yarns for overdyeing are those with at least some lighter fibers in the mix to really let the color shine through. Overdyeing a deeper yarn gives a darker color. I like having some variety in my hand dyed yarns so am happier with the results using a lighter rose grey.

Any color chosen will be muted on a rose grey yarn so I usually choose a bright dye to get as rich a color as possible. Today it was sapphire blue, bright kelly green and electric violet. The richness of the yarn is exactly the result I was aiming for. What do you think?