Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Dye jobs

POW!! I have been dyeing like made and i have some great pictures. 

I did a purple, blue white that turned out lovely.

A red made from a cool and warm red.

A teal green ( i am still on a mission to get the perfect teal) 

Two brick reds, one light and one dark.

wow thats lots. 

so far I am finding that dyeing is fairly forgiving and that i really enjoy playing with red, orange and green.  right now blue doesnt interest me much but I will get some silver gray and see what does.  I also feel like i should order some lilac. 

In the end I wont have a choice but to sell some of these yarns because I cant really make that many ties.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Jaquard & Yarns Of Italy brown final results.

I was so excited to get to the final results I woke up early just to check on it and here it is! I LOVE this color.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Yarns of Italy and Jacquard Dyes

This time I wanted to do a brown.  But I was unsure how it would be so I decided to make a small dyebath.  I tried my new yarn from Yarns of Italy 

This is there 100% Merino wool DK yum! super soft and definitely meets my high expectations.

 As always I have to soak it in a acid water solution.
While that soaks I make the bath and add the dye.  I added 1/8 teaspoon of Jacquard dyes because I like my dyes to be slightly under-saturated and uneven.
Oh that looks like... smoke, but its not just part of the process.  I think I can see some nicely uneven brown in there!

OHHHH!!! that looks good!!

Oh thats stunning! WOW!! I love it! I love it so much I might l just start selling this dyed and not work it into ties.  I dont know I feel like the market for dyed yarns is so packed.

Anyway this is the last image of it till it dries,  I love the lights and darks.  The yarn is in the bath room drying and once it is dry i will update you.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The final results with Jacquard Yellow Sun

Today I have more final results from another dye job.

This color is the result of two blues and a yellow.  the blues were done first and then I over dyed them with Jacquard Yellow Sun.  I didn't really turn out as I expected, I wanted more yellow and less green.  but it cant be out done.  I did learn that even though when I added Yellow Sun to the dye bath, it appeared like there was not much yellow in the bath and it was too pale.  So like a fool I added another 1/2 teaspoon of yellow!  BAD IDEA!! The end result had much more green than intended and it was a more vibrant than I hand intended.

Sure enough once I wound the ball up it was indeed much more green than blue or yellow.  Still it was an important lesson learned.  I decided to continue to work the tie as intended even if the colors where not what I thought they would be. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hand Dyed Silk Merino The end results!

So the point of all this is to offer my customers something they can get nowhere else!  So after all the dyeing I had to redesign the ties to show of the full variety of color!  To the right is the first silk merino skein I dyed, it shows to full range of yellows, pinks, salmon and red.  All of it very complementary without any color dominating or being out of place.

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Love of camel hair yarn!

Camel Hair Scarf from Kouture Crochet
Camel hair year is one of the most amazing fibers.

The price is slightly less than cashmere.

It is stronger than cashmere, wool or even alpaca.

Warmer than cashmere.

Camel hair has great longevity with some camel hair rugs being hundreds of years old.

Camel is lighter than wool.

Camel hair as soft as medium to high quality merino wool.

Usually sold undyed or in neutral shades.

Camel hair yarn has some thing few other fibers have it is thermostatic. This means that it retains heat in cold weather, and helps you keep cool in warm weather preventing you from over heating. This makes camel hair fiber ideal for coats, scarves, ties and sports coats.

The end result is a versitile, warm luxury fiber that stands out in a crowd.

50% Camel Hair/50% Alpaca
I use it for scarves and ties. My favorite camel product is the Camel/Alpaca Scarf. It has all the qualities of camel but with alpaca for softness.

At some point soon to dye a skein of camel!

Until next time!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dyeing with Jacquard Dyes

So after reading a lot and watching many videos on yarn dyeing I was ready to give it a try.

This is a great video.  but one thing I really didn't know is that powder dyes like Jacquard are very concentratraed. 

My first skien was suppost to be red and purple, but i used one and 1/4th teaspoons of dye which turned out to be way to much for 3.5 oz yarn skein and the result was a big black mess.

So with that lesson, I went and tried to dye another skein this time with only 1/2 teaspoon of dye which still turned out ot be a bit much.  I was aiming for a black and gold.

Oh that looks awful...  but there is still dye in the pot so i let it heat set and finish up.
That looks a bit better but still awful.

FINISHED.  Top the black and gold skein.  Bottom: blue and yellow.  

Ok so the black and gold is kind of ugly but I like it.  Both will be used for making ties.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Space Dyeing w Food Coloring Merino/Silk with yellow/orange/red food coloring.

Good evening,  one of the most fun things to do is to space dye yarn. 
(Space dyed) sections of the yarn are dyed in different colors resulting in a fabric with a multi-color effect
So again I turned to Rebecca from ChemKnits. I started with a goal, a golden orange yarn with flecks of red and yellow.  First thing is I followed the directions for the first dye style we saw earlier using my two base colors this makes the orange.

I knew I was not using enough to get exactly what I want.  thats ok.  Using two of the bowls shown i mixed two more dye baths, one that is most yellow and one that is mostly red. To keep track you have three different dye mixes going on. You have the light orange that is heating in the pot, one small bowl with most red, and one with mostly yellow.  Now we prep the yarn for regular dyeing.  Its not a lot of color in the pot so it doesnt take long for the yarn to absorb all the orange dye. Now for back to Rebecca from Chem Knits:

Using the space dying you will pour some mostly red and some mostly yellow in the way she showed here.  now my pot looks like this:

The flash hides the variables but you will see that the top of picture looks more yellow and the bottom looks more red! Good!
Now we finish up, and look at this:
I wound it up into a ball. 

This is going to make some AMAZING ties.  I cant wait!

I want to try this Jacquard dyes but i dont know if the affect will be the same.  Anyway enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jacquard Acid Dye Unboxing.

So far I have only talked about dyeing yarn with food coloring.  However, the limited palette has driven me to bite the bullet and get some commercial acid yarn dye.  There are two big brands Greener Shades and Jacquard.  Sales have been somewhat slow, so I could get both.  I ordered some Jacquard Acid Dye and got a box of goodies! So enjoy the unboxing. 

I ordered a lot of white yarn as well as having some camel hair yarn that I want to try the golds and the reds on! it should be awesome. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hand Dye Silk Green Liquid food dye

POW!! As promised we start with my successful green yarn dye job.

Different fibers are easier or harder to get to take the dye.  Silk is supposed to be the hardest, so for my 3rd dye job I purchased some 50%merino/ 50%silk. Yes you are supposed to wait but I learned some important things from my fail:
  • Dont be afraid to add a LOT of food coloring, its cheap and harmless
  • Liquid food dye works the same as unsweetened koolaid
  • Heat Sets the color so a low heat over at least 10-20minutes
  • Dont be afraid to mix more color and add it to the pot if the color is not bright enough.
So with all these things in mind was ready to start with the wool/silk blend.
This time I added more vinegar and much more color to the bath.  I wanted a more spring green color so i used the green dye with a few drops of yellow.  I mixed more color into the pot than i thought i would need.  Turns out i had just enough
In the end i got a good rich spring green with flecks of  dark green and yellow green: Exactly what I wanted!

YAY!!! I think this should make about 3 ties so look for those in the store in the next few weeks.

Purple and Green with Liquid Food Color

One of the challenges of dyeing with food color are purples and blacks.
In both cases the problem is Red #3.

As you can see here the red and blue separated, the blue was as absorbed quickly and evenly, however the resulting dye in the post was mostly red.  The result was a yarn that has lovely blue undertones and deep pink overtones. Now will the yarn itself is pretty, but its far from purple.  ugh.

That said, I had much more success in my green efforts! I was going for a light spring green with hints of soft yellow.  My first green was mostly a flop, but I learned some important lessons.

Here is my flop, next time I share my success and the lessons I learned.  I think they call it a cliffhanger :) !

FIrst Dye Job!

Dyeing yarn is not as hard nor as expensive we might think.

In fact you can do it easily for just $0.50. The cost of some UNSWEETENED Kool Aid. No sugar, no artificial sweeteners of any kind.  Yep thats all you need to purchase next time you go to the grocery store because you most likely have everything else you need.
So WHAT do you need to dye yarn with Kool Aid?
  • a working stove (heat)
  • yarn (fiber)
  • white vinegar (acid)
  • unsweetened Kool Aid with bright colors (color)
Rebecca from Chem Knits via this youtube via taught me to do my first dye job.
And this was my FIRST dye job.

And this was my FIRST dye job.
Top: Undyed

Bottom: Dyed

I created this lovely color by mixing two different colors together.  The result was so amazing and EASY that i was HOOKED on dyeing!

Commercial Dye vs Food Dye

I started this at the behest of friend who wanted me to share my journey into the complex and exciting world of yarn dyeing!
Ok so first thing I wanted to really learn was what are really the differences between the different kinds of dye.

So without further ado:
Commercial Acid dyes:
have more color saturation, for a deeper richer color
require less dye to get vibrant shades
some colors contain metals
have dyes that last longer for less fading over time?
require special pots and glassware

food dyes McCormick or Wilton :
food safe, no heavy metals or other unsafe chemicals
can be dyed with regular pots and pans
sometimes have softer, less intense colors that are more likely to fade over time

save for use with yarns and clothes
use white vinegar or citric acid as the acid.