Friday, November 20, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

NOTE TO MYSELF:  write out dyeing instructions so that there is not a grain of ambiguity in them.

This morning I made preparations to dye three skeins of 60/2 silk for weft.  They are to be three variations of yellow-green dulled with red-violet.  I did not have enough mixed yellow-green leftover from the warp dyeing.  And I did not have enough stock solution of the SAB Sun Yellow to mix the yellow green.  So I made another liter of the Sun Yellow.

The new liter looked a lot lighter and brighter than the earlier Sun Yellow.  Ageing of the stock solution?

I went ahead and mixed the blue and yellow for the yellow-green.  Then I looked more carefully at my notes for the warp dyeing.

I saw some directions for using 2% stock solutions.  And I remember that I had wanted to make 2% stock solution because of the large amount of Sun Yellow I was going to need. I wrote out my instructions are for using 1% solutions.  But in parentheses I included the amount I would need for 2% solutions.

I find it difficult to believe that I used 2% stock solutions with directions for mixing from 1% stock solutions.  That would have yielded an 8% depth of shade instead of the 4% I  had planned on.  Dyeing at 8% DOS would be ridiculous because there is no way the yarn would absorb that much dye. That would have meant that there would have been tons of dye solution left in the dyepot after the dyeing was done.   There wasn’t.

Yet the deeper color of the SAB Sun Yellow haunts me.

I am sure the blue stock solution was 1% because I had not needed to make up any new.  And I usually always make up my stock solutions at 1%.

I could throw out the yellow-green I just mixed, make up a new batch of yellow and a new batch of blue (I don’t have enough of the blue left to make another liter of yellow-green).  Or I could just go with what I have.

I think I will go with what I have.  It is not imperative that the colors be identical to my original intent.  They frequently are not anyway because I don’t always get right the jump from small batch dyeing to large batch dyeing. And, if some of the yellow that has gone into this yellow-green is 2% instead of 1%, the effect will be a bit of greater brightness in the color. Weighing this together with the extreme weakness of yellow, I can live with that.  I might even like it better.

So I am continuing on.


The yarn is now “cooking” in the dye pots.  And frankly, the colors look just fine.  The yarns wet always look darker and richer than when dry.  But I think that these colors will be quite wonderful.

Related Post: 
Dyeing Calculations Run Amuck
I Really Ought Not to be a Dyer

"I Ought Not to be a Dyer Revisited” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 20, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.


Delighted Hands said...

Good for you to keep at it! So glad you got to the dyeing after all.

Susan B. said...

So you ought to be a dyer! Funny how it all works out.

Peg in South Carolina said...

I, too, am glad, Delighted Hands. Yes, Susan B, things do seem to work out, at least if I am persistent enough!