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)
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! 😀
Well, when I blogged this morning, I didn’t know I’d follow-up with a new blog in the afternoon!
What I did different with this last Skien was that instead of winding in one direction and then the next, I simply continued with one direction. I just kept turning the tube!
Let me explain. I held the bottle in my left hand, and was winding the yarn from the left top to the right bottom. I tried to ensure that most of the thread lay against each other without overlapping.
So when I pulled out the ball of yarn, the gap at the center stayed put without collapsing! Now the ball looks even neater that the previous ones. The ball is taller, and thinner than the previous ones, but hey! I’m not complaining! 🙂
A few days back I stumbled upon a page (literally, from stumbleupon.com) which was a tutorial on how to use a nosty, or nostepinde. This handwinding tool is used to wind wool from skeins into fancy balls, without the used of bulky yarnwinding machines. The concept was very nice. But where one earth would I find a nosty here in Bangalore? I left the idea at the back of my mind, just in case I came across a nosty in a shop here, and wanted to buy.
A couple of days back i came across another article where an enterprising young lady (not sure who though) used her lotion bottle as a nosty. Very nice idea, I thought! and promptly pulled out my own lotion bottle and got winding. The result of that exercise would probably give competition to a bird’s nest. 🙁
Last night, however, I was struck by the idea of using my deo bottle. The idea was that I probably got the type of container wrong. While it may have worked for the other lady, the fear that I may squeeze the bottle too hard while winding, and thereby spray lotion all over myself and the yarn prompted me to hold the yarn a little too loose. With the metal container I was now planning, I would get a better control on the yarn, and be able to wind it firmly.
The idea turned out to be inspired! I now have lovely looking yarn balls, with a lot less effort!!!
The process is this:
Take a deo bottle, preferably one with a lid to hold the yarn.
Wind the end of the yarn to the top, and place lid over it to hold the yarn. This allows you to have a center-pull ball of yarn.
Wind the yarn neatly around the bottle up to the width required. I normally keep it to 2 inches.
Now start winding the yarn at an angle, from the right top of the base threads to the bottom left of the base threads. After a few times, change direction to right bottom to left top.
Be sure to wind firmly, but not tightly. Tight will only ensure your yarns stretches, and that’s never good!
Once done, remove the lid, and unwind the inside end from the top. Gently slide off the bottle.
And viola, you have a lovely ball of yarn! This method takes a bit of practise, but not that much.. you’d get the hang of it after the first ball itself!