1) Soaked the alpaca for 2.5-3hrs in vinegar to mordant
2) after letting it semi-dry, put it into cochineal dyebath:
3) after around 3 hrs, i moved into a steel vessel and put it top heat on gas (no micro here)
4) I let it cool in the vessel itself. and once cooled, washed it with running water and hung to dry:
5) So when it dried it looked like this:
6) and finally got it ready to store, to be used for some future project
What I learnt:
* It’s great fun!!!
* It is work.. do not take shortcuts, the results will also be a shortcut.
* if you use expired/really old dye, dont expect the original color to show up. be prepared for surprises
* Learn to live with the surprise 😉 (I’m NOT a pink person)
Every year, there are groups on Ravelry that organize swaps. You can participate in swaps for dishcloths, mittens, shawls, and even for your birthday! Well, I went ahead and participated in one for my birthday this year. I wanted something special, and definitely different from what I did in years’ past. So I signed up for the Birthday Swap early this year.
When the time came around, i couldn’t be more thrilled. Now came the best part after all: shopping! 😀
I needed to shop for yarn, which was the easy part actually. The rest of the package had to be a minimum cost of $30. The aim was to make the swapee (is there such a word??) feel pampered and loved, even if from far. So I totally went to town with my shopping list. Chocolate, craft kits, and personal care item. It also included a hand-made item from me: my silk-wool shawl Intriguing.
However, I couldn’t manage to make get the package together before Lynne’s (my swap partner) Birthday. I had to send it out before the month was over, and that’s what I eventually did! However, Lynne was a darling and sent mine so that it got to me before my birthday.
Then came D-day: my birthday, and more importantly: package opening day! And boy, was I pampered! Here are the pics of what I received:
What I sent included:
I guess the pics taken by Lynne are definitely more detailed than mine! But then I wanted to showcase the sheer amount of stuff she sent across! This was a fun experience, and I will certainly look forward to nest year. 😀
A few days back a dear Ravelry friend piqued my interest in a post when writing about dyeing acrylic yarn. The reason why I was interested is that till date, I’ve been told that you cant dye acrylic: the color doesn’t hold. So how was this going to work?!
Acrylic mainly needs acid dye in commercial quantities to be viable, and to hold the color the way it does. However, HodgePodge Crochet mentions the use of acrylic colors. Seemed interesting and do-able. So the moment I was alone at home, I got to work!
The first hitch came at acrylic paint. The blog doesn’t really say wall paint, but if you read carefully, you’ll understand that that’s what she meant. Now the problem here is that I get a massive headache with the smell of paint. The only paint I was willing to work with was the children’s acrylic paint bottles. The difference: the paint is more diluted and therefore has not significant amount of smell. One more: I don’t need to burn by hands with turpentine if it does manage to get on me; soap works just fine!!!
I did figure I probably need a lot more color than the “squirt” the blogger mentions, but I decided to go ahead anyway.
The reason I was comfortable to go ahead was a stash of “natural” color yarn lying in my stash, and I had no clue how to get rid of it. Ta-Da! Solution found! So out came the hanks (which I hadn’t bothered to wind, Thank God!)
Step 1: Wash the yarn in hot water. Since its summer, the Solar Heater in my bathroom works just fine. So the moment I turned on the tap, nice hot hot water came rushing out. The yarn got soaked in this.
Step 2: I had a spare steel vessel I had used last time for dyeing. In this I added Leaf Green, Lemon Yellow and a dash of Burnt Sienna, all being in 15 ml bottles. I was dyeing 3 hanks (approx 150 gms) of acrylic.
The pic here isn’t great. I was conducting the process in my bathroom, which had no access to natural light ( a fact I realized only after dunking the yarn). So please don’t mind the neon shade of green! 😀
Step 3: I put on a pair of gloves and got to work ensuring the color reached every bit. Then I let it sit in the color for about 15 minutes, and then hung it over the tap to drip into the vessel. This was finally hung in the balcony to dry out for the rest of the day.
Step 4: I washed the acrylic to check for color fastness. Unfortunately it was not color fast. I remembered to put in salt to hold the color. And surprisingly it did hold. The yarn went back into the balcony for drying out.
The final effect is an ombre-like gradient in green. But without the flow of color. It simply became patchy where the darker color settled at the base…
I wanted to try once more to check for the amount of color required. So I dyed a single skein in Magenta. The experiment wasn’t really a resounding success. Apparently you need the amount of color concentration for it to hold onto the yarn. 🙁 The pink almost seems faded…
By this time the original skeins had dried out, and so I wound one up to see how it worked for a project. I made a doily and a knit swatch to display the colors.
Finally I would say that, if you can manage, go ahead with wall paint. Else acrylic colors aren’t bad at all! 😀
When one of my Ravelry groups suggested a sock-along, I jumped at the opportunity. I already had made 3 pairs and I was sure its just a matter of sitting for a few hours n getting it done! Delusional, anyone?
Which essentially was stupid. I already had 3 sweaters (out of which 2 were for me… Small. Not), and a shawl. Not to mention I knew I would be busy with the in-laws here and stuff on the personal front. And did I choose a free pattern?! No, I went ahead and signed up for something that said “complete within 2 months or pay up”. So, ya, sock me!!
Anyway, today happens to be the deadline for the socks, and I’ve just managed to finish it.
The yarn is an entire different matter to crib about. It looked good on skein, and that’s the only reason I can come up with for buying it!! The color changes are normally small i.e 12″ in most Indian acrylic yarns. However, this took short to a whole new level: approximately 6″. The design is mostly invisible. 🙁
Anyway, here’s my pic!
PS: I don’t think I’ve ever written a “rant” blog ever before! sigh