Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dyeing for Baby Pod

Welcome to an exciting dyeing project!  The project I'm going to share in this post (and over the next few posts) is really special because this is the first time that I have dyed roving and spun yarn for a specific project.  I have no idea how it will turn out, or whether I will end up with enough yarn, but I am excited to share the journey with  you.  (What is the special project?  Why a baby pod to use at a newborn photoshoot for my baby due this October.)  

I started with some KntiPicks Full Circle Roving in the color Pigeon.  I have handpainted fiber twice in the past, and both times I used slightly different techniques.  The first time I handpainted roving, I added 3 T of white vinegar to the pot of water where I presoaked the yarn.  The second time I hand painted fiber, I mixed 1.5 tsp of white vinegar in each cup of dye.  From my previous experiences, I think I had an easier time spreading out the color when I added the acid source along with the dye, so that is what I'm going to do today.

I added less than 3 cups of total dye volume to the roving.  I used a combination of blue, black and purple food colorings (both Wilton's and McCormick's) and even played around with diluting one of my darker colors.

I cooked the roving  for 6 min (3 min intervals) until hot and then let it sit for hours to cool down completely.

The fiber was washed in luke warm water with mild dish soap.  There was very little runoff of color.  I'm not super concerned about washing thoroughly because the fiber will be washed a second time after spinning, this time in much hotter water.

I hung the fiber up to dry.  I am in LOVE with the deep blue and purple colors.  If I had wanted to avoid more purples, I should have 1) not used violet food coloring, and 2) instead of using black to deepen the color (which contains red food coloring) used McCormick's blue food coloring to deepen the brighter blues. However, I am happy with the way the colors came out and since my contrasting color handspun for this project has flecks of red in it I wanted this to be reflected in the overall project.  Who says purple can't be for boys?

The colors are always much darker while wet, which is something I really need to remember for the future.  I am still very happy with the colorway, and cannot wait to see how it will look spun. (If you watched the video at the beginning of this post then you will see a sneak preview of the result from the next post!)