Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

At last I am getting to the dyeing for my next crackle project! It’s been a long time since I blogged about it, so go here and then here if you need a bit of a reminder of what the project is about.

Laura recently posted a piece called Skeins that is relevant to my ongoing struggles with 60/2 silk. Her post encourages me to continue in my current methods of skein handling but a great deal more vigorously.

When I got the 50-gram skein of 60/2 silk out to soak overnight, I first snapped the skein all around, as Laura explained and as I usually do when I am getting ready to unwind a skein. I was not getting ready to unwind this skein; I was getting ready to dye it. I did the snapping this time because I thought that doing so would help the yarn come through the dyeing process a little bit better.

I went at it, however, much more vigorously than usual. After I had snapped the skein around, I slapped it hard against my leg several times in different places, and then did the snapping business again. I did this several times and I saw the skein gradually getting wider, getting flatter. I had never seen it spread out like this before. I’m thinking I may be on to something.

I soaked the besieged skein overnight in very hot water with a bit of synthrapol. Go here to find out lots about synthrpol. When I removed it in the morning, I squeezed out the water. Then I did the snapping and the slapping once again. Again, punished within an inch of its life, the skein spread itself out very nicely widthwise.

I plan to repeat the process after the yarn is dyed and rinsed but still damp, and then again after the yarn has dried. If I get to it, I will do it once or twice during the drying process. And then, when I am ready to put it on the skein winder which I use for unwinding, I will first attack it once more with great ferocity! Perhaps doing all of this will help the yarn come off more smoothly.

Related Post: Dyeing Books: Some Favorites

Preparing Skeins for Dyeing” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on March 18, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


deborahbee said...

I tend to store some of your posts as reference points which I know could come in useful one day particularly as I am not ready yet for some of your tasks! I have recently found myself over run with dirty fleeces (another story!) and I need to spin dye and then make use I am studying everything you have posted about spinning dying and weaving with wool yarn. Thank you so much for your commitment to passing on the skills

Peg in South Carolina said...

Debroahbee, thank you for your comment. I am not, by the way, so much passing on skills as I am presenting my own learning of these skills along with all the accompanying "oops" moments! Still, I hope you find the material helpful in your own learning.