The Bad Dye Saga

Posted: May 11, 2011 in Ramblings
Please excuse me while I try to fix the formatting on this post.
Well, I couldn’t stand those skeins that I posted about yesterday.  This morning I tried overdyeing them one last time, using a saturated pot of black.  One skein turned out great – a very deep grey with harmonious rainbow undertones, sort of like what I imagine Death’s garden (on Discworld) would look like.  The other skein looked like what you saw yesterday, but covered over with a weak grey…sickly and gross.   I don’t get it, since they were in the same dye bath, but…probably the first (better) skein soaked up most of the black, leaving the second skein floating in the weak remainder.

So I decided to really take a leap of faith and try Rit Color Remover on the second skein.  This is a chemical available at drugstores and grocery stores for a couple of bucks per packet.  Here is my saga, in pictures.

This is the skein that came out fine this morning. Death's Garden.


This is the bad skein, before Rit treatment.


Bad skein in the crock pot with the Rit treatment (beginning).


Bad skein after the Rit treatment was done. Exciting! Not a color I'd ordinarily use, but I'll take it.


Bad skein in its rinse water.


Drying on the rack.

Not bad at all, you think?  That’s what I thought too…until I realized that all the rinsing had caused the yarn to start felting.  At this point I have two options.  One is, when it dries, try winding it off into a ball, carefully pulling apart or even cutting any felted strands.  I’ve done this before with less-felted skeins and it’s a pain, but can be done.  The problem is that the yarn has mostly lost its elasticity and cushiness at this point, and probably wouldn’t be much fun to knit with.  The second option is to tie it off and throw it into a laundry cycle, ending up with a thing I call a “felted neckring.”  Sort of a scarf – sort of a giant felted necklace.  (Yes, I’ve done this before…by accident!)  It could work, but again, this isn’t a color I’d use.  Would any of you like a squash-colored felted neckring?  It’s merino, silk and cashmere.  Here is a picture of the one I did previously.

With flash. Shows detail, but color is inaccurate.


Without flash. Color is accurate. I like this one.

 This neckring fits easily over my head and is just about the same size as a wound scarf would be around my neck.  Seriously…if you want one, I’ll make one.  Of course, the benefit of felting it into a neckring is that the laundry process would take care of any lingering chemical that might still be in there.

 So it’s back to the old drawing board AGAIN!  I told Chris that I’m taking a break from dyeing for a few weeks, possibly even months…

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