Some success!

Posted: April 28, 2011 in Ramblings

Well, bleah.  I’ve moved on.  Last Saturday I ordered some Rambouillet (sheep breed) wool from an Etsy seller, which arrived today.  I ordered three kinds – one, a solid wool batt; one, a 50/50 silk/wool batt; one, a half-pound of wool roving.  It was all undyed.  I had this idea for spinning it, which was to dye each one a separate color and then spin them to work together.  The roving, however, is a big bump, much too much for me to efficiently paint in my laundry room, so I’ll probably spin that first and then dye it.  I did dye the batts, though, with a ‘why the heck not’ kind of technique.

People on my Rav boards have been talking about gradient dyeing.  I decided to try my own version of this, as follows:

  1. Fill the dye pot with citric acid and water.
  2. Mix up the dye and add it to the water.
  3. Place the rolled-up “all wool” batt into the pot and allow it to sink in and absorb as much as possible.  Wait about 10 minutes.
  4. Place the rolled-up silk/wool batt into the pot on top of that, and allow it to sink in and absorb as much as possible of what is left in the pot.  The idea here being that the wool batt would have soaked up ‘most’ of the dye, giving the silk one a lighter, gradient tint.
  5. Nuke ’em and proceed as usual.

Did it.  The batts are drying on the front porch.  The two things that didn’t turn out as I’d expected is that first of all I didn’t blend the dye perfectly, so there are some yellow splodges on the wool batt.  Secondly, the silk/wool one probably should have sat in the dye bath a while longer (to soak up dye) before I microwaved them.  The center of the silk/wool batt is still completely white.   But since these are going to be spun anyway, it will make an interesting combo.

One thing that surprised me quite a bit is that using 75% Jacquard’s “Brilliant Blue” and 25% “Sun Yellow” resulted in this deep teal color.  I was expecting something more turquoise.  Jacquard claims the Brilliant Blue is their primary blue, but I’m thinking their Turquoise would have been a better choice.  (But I don’t have any of that on hand.)

Here it is, drying on the front porch.  Guess which is which.

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