Posted by Peg in South Carolina
I let the dye pot sit overnight with the yarn in it. That way all the possible dye that could attach to the yarn would. I need not have worried.
When I looked at the dye pot the next morning, the water was nowhere near clear. With these kinds of dyes, unlike with the MX dyes, the dye pot is supposed to exhaust, if not completely, almost completely. The result is very little rinsing needs to be done.
Not so here. I pulled the yarn out of the pot, squeezing out as much of the dye liquor as I could, and dropped it into the waiting rinse water. Within seconds the rinse water was so darkly stained I could not see the yarn in the water! I was in trouble.
I rinsed and i rinsed and I rinsed, making very little progress. I was getting tired. So I started letting it soak in hot, hot water for 30 minutes at a time. About five hours later I had made some progress………
WASHFAST ACID MAGENTA
I started contemplating the fact that part of the dye was a bit of washfast acid magenta. I had recalled that that was a dye that tended to bleed. I went to Paula Burch’s site called All About Hand Dyeing. I was right. So I did one more hot soak. I observed that the red had changed in hue. Indeed, it did look like the washfast acid magenta. Then I rinsed in cold water. Hardly any dye. Then I rinsed in cold water with a bit of vinegar which I was sure the yarn deserved after all its travails in rinse water.
Did I mention that I made a mess on the countertop? I did not put down my usual oil cloth, as I had anticipated an easy rinsing with little or no dye left in the water. All I put down were newspapers. The remaining dye was so intense it bled through the papers to the counter. I will have a lot of cleaning up to do. I will tell DH to think of them as blueberry stains………
I removed the yarn from the vinegar rinse water, squeezed all the water I could out and placed it inside a terry bath towel which I promptly stomped on with full body weight to get rid of more water. I took it to the bathroom. I slapped it against the tub a few times, then snapped it vigorously a few times. i repeated this process a couple of times and then hung it to dry. Wet, the yarn looks positively black, though I know it isn’t.
So the question of the day is:
WHERE DID I GO WRONG?
The answer in general is obvious. Way too much dye powder. Way way too much dye powder. But the specific answer as to how this happened is more nebulous. Somehow in my calculations I got very very confused.
So I went back to my trusty Ashford Book of Dyeing and re-read its instructions and then re-read my dyeing instructions for this piece. And here is what I discovered: I was using calculations based on 1 kilo (i.e., 1,000 grams) of fiber! 30 grams of dye will dye 1 kilo of fiber at 3% depth of shade. I was dyeing 100 grams of fiber. If my arithmetic is correct, I had used 10 times as much dye powder as I needed to use.
My face is so red. This was not even an arithmetic error. It was a failure to read the top of the chart in the book.