Knitter's Review Forums
  The online community for readers of Knitter's Review.
  This week: A strong and discreet knot for knitting
   > Have you subscribed yet?
Knitter's Review Forums
KR Home | My Profile | Register | Active Topics | Private Messages | Search | FAQ | Want to make Betty happy?
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your username or password?

 All Forums
 Dyeing Discussion
 Color Theory
 dyeing top -- and superwash top
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Phaedra28
Gabber Extraordinaire

485 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2003 :  11:04:00 AM  Show Profile Send Phaedra28 a Private Message
This topic is inspired by berlinknits mentioning that she doesn't dye tops or rovings, but waits until the yarn is spun. Since I usually dye the top before spinning, I figured I'd put in a few words about what I've learned -- if anything -- in the hope that it's helpful to someone someday.

My first efforts resulted in felted fiber. It's still spinnable, but barely. The problem in those cases, though, was impatience. I wanted to be DONE NOW. The fiber actually felted in the rinse, rather than the dyebath, because I didn't wait for it to cool down enough before rinsing it. I guess that means my first lesson in dyeing top was patience -- not an easy one for me. The subsequent tops, though, turned out well. There is a trick to working with dyed tops, though: preparation. Most of the tops I've dyed since then have stuck together, even though they haven't felted. Before spinning them, I fluff them, snap them, and predraft them carefully to make sure all the fibers slide past one another. At first, I thought I was doing something wrong, but then I bought some hand-dyed tops and they were the same as my own. I also bought some solid, dyed merino, and it was worse: scratchy, rough, not pleasant, and very hard to draft. I think that puts it way down on my list of things to work with.

The superwash top has another problem, though. The fibers slip apart so easily, the tops always leave little bits of fibers all over whatever I've dyed them in. The superwash is also very difficult to wet thoroughly, so the dyes tend to sit on top of the fiber, rather than soaking in. When the dyed tops dry, they don't need nearly as much prep, since the superwash treatment keeps the top from compressing the way regular wool does. One caveat is not to cook them twice. Too much heat can melt the superwash treatment off the wool. I found that out when I had to overdye a top that hadn't absorbed enough dye the first time through.

Dyeing top or roving rather than yarn gives different effect, so experiment. BessH mentioned that spinning mutes the colors in a roving, so all those bright colors can turn into something softer, more subtle. Carding fibers together can create a heathery effect that I love, and all of the yarn I've spun from dyed top has turned out very different from the yarns I've dyed over the years. Experiment! Then report back here.

berlinknits
Chatty Knitter

230 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2003 :  12:50:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit berlinknits's Homepage Send berlinknits a Private Message
Thanks for the info! It's so helpful to hear of others' experiments and learning a little from them. I am planning on dyeing my yarn so that it is as uniform in color as possible. I'm wondering ,though, how possible this will be since I am going to have aprox. 3 lbs of yarn and I don't have a huge kettle to dye it all in? I'm not sure if I can do two dye baths and have both turn out close to the same? Has anyone tried this? If I am not able to, I guess I'll have to go back to the drawing board of designing the sweater.

Next, I definately want to get into the variegated, painted fiber look. Just not ready to jump in yet!

http://berlinknits.blogspot.com
Go to Top of Page

Phaedra28
Gabber Extraordinaire

485 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2003 :  2:43:15 PM  Show Profile Send Phaedra28 a Private Message
ROTFLMAO! You know, it would never have occurred to me that you might want non-variegated yarn! Gives you an idea of the sort of knitting I do, huh? Even when I do dye something all one color, it's usually not on plain white wool -- I've been dyeing bits of some Beast for my husband, which is shades of grey and black.

As for making your yarn match, I've got two different suggestions:

1. Mix your dye and apply it to the entire stash of yarn, then wrap the hanks individually for steaming. There amy be some slight variation, but it shouldn't be very noticeable in the finished garment.

2. Measure twice, cut once: when you dye your yarn, measure EVEYRTHING carefully, and use exactly the same amounts for every batch as you cook the yarns. If you're using the same dye, the same fiber, and the same amount of water and acid, it should be pretty consistent.

I do hope that helps. As I said, I really don't dye much in solid shades, so I'm really not an expert on that subject. Most everything I dye is as multi as I can get it -- and purple and orange really do go with lime green! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise...

Go to Top of Page

berlinknits
Chatty Knitter

230 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2003 :  9:20:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit berlinknits's Homepage Send berlinknits a Private Message
Normally, I don't think of myself as the one color type, either, but now come to think of it, when I imagine my wardrobe of clothes, they're all natural colors. I guess I'm taking the more practical route with this Targhee I'm spinning. I keep going back and forth about dyeing it this orange color I love but then trying to picture how often I would actually wear that color?! I have this picture in my mind of a bulky, soft, cardigan/jacket that I can pull on and wear over jean skirts, etc, but with a peasant kind of take on it. I keep going back to my normal browns, greens, etc. Call me boring!

Measuring two baths exactly the same sounds like the best method to me--I'll probably try that one. We'll see what turns out!

http://berlinknits.blogspot.com
Go to Top of Page

Phaedra28
Gabber Extraordinaire

485 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2003 :  9:38:40 PM  Show Profile Send Phaedra28 a Private Message
You said the orange was on the yellow-y side? Why not make a three or four color progression for the pattern work: muted green, olive-y yellow green, yellow-y orange, natural? Something along those lines, at least. Or muted green with bright accents of orange? That sounds pretty hot to me -- but then I like almost any shade of green, including the brightest lime...

As far as the one color/multicolor goes, I was laughing at myself, for my lack of imagination, rather than at you. Maybe it's because I'm too lazy to like color knitting, but I've knit mostly with variegated yarns since I started way back in my teens. Made my mother nuts, since I never considered the design aspects when I bought the yarn, so a lot of it turned out being less than successful. And a lot of that yarn is still in my stash...



Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Knitter's Review Forums © 2001-2014 Knitter's Review Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 1.42 seconds. Snitz Forums 2000
line This week's bandwidth
kindly brought to you by


and by knitters like you.
How can I sponsor?


line subscribe to Knitter's Reviwe