Monday, February 18, 2008



On Friday I dyed three skeins in a deep slightly blued red. I worked out the figures for dyeing at 3% depth of shade. Normally I tend to dye at 4% depth of shade, but I wanted this red to be not quite so deep.

I left the yarns in the dyepot to soak overnight, as I always do. This gives every last little dye molecule more of a chance to attach itself to the yarn.


In the morning, when I removed the skeins, the water was still quite red. This is very unusual. Ideally, if you've got your numbers and your dyeing procedures right, the water should be clear. There should also ber little if any washout.

I have never had absolutely clear water at the end. It has always been a little pale.


So I rinsed out the skeins. And I rinsed. And I rinsed. Finally the skeins stopped bleeding.

Never before have I had to do this much rinsing. This is what happens with Procion MX dyes. It should not happen with acid dyes.


I checked my figures. Something didn't seem right. I had used close to 900 ml of 1% dye solution. At the time, that number niggled at me. I didn't pay the niggle any serious thought. I should have.

When I looked again at my figures and got my calculator out to re-figure I saw what I had done. The figure I had written down was the amount to use to achieve the 3% DOS in the yarn I was going to dye. I had not written 3% DOS down after the number. When I actually started the dyeing procedures, I had assumed that the number was a 1% DOS number, so I tripled that number to get the requisite 3% DOS.


It is in the details that I inevitably go wrong. This has been true all my life. I have always been a kind of big picture, generalist kind of person. But the details are very very important. This is one area where I need to stretch myself.


This, too, is something I am not good at. I need, also, to learn to pay give importance to those little niggles, instead of running headlong down the hill and giving them no heed.

But I love the color I got....

Related Post: "I Really Ought Not to Be a Dyer"

1 comment:

Susan B. said...

So that's what they are! Niggles! I've been wondering what they are when they sort poke me.
The color looks great! I like the deepness.