My package from Paradise Fibers arrived this week and I am so excited! 3 pounds of Ashland Bay Portuguese Wool and 12 tops of Ashland Bay Blue Faced Leicester with a ton of other goodies to play yarn goddess - acid dyes, a niddy noddy, squeezy bottles for dyes, yay! I started playing mad scientist as soon as I got home from work.
After noodling around on the internet for techniques, I cobbled together enough information to start creating (at least I hope I got enough information!)
I dyed about a pound (I think...) using Ashford acid dyes in teal and green, and sort of guessed about the amount of citric acid to use. I probably used too much. I put about 3/4 of a teaspoon of dye powder and 1/2 a teaspoon of citric acid into each squeezy bottle. I soaked the fiber in synthrapol for about half an hour, then squeezed most of the water out and laid it into a snake shape on top of plastic wrap. Then I squeezed the dye out in a blue-green-blue-green-blue repeat and smooshed it in really well. I ran out of blue partway through and refilled the squeezy bottle. I am going to make up some larger containers of dye stock as soon as I can find the right storage containers. After all the colour was applied I squeezed a bit of citric acid/water solution on top for good measure. I really dislike it when the colour bleeds off of a yarn, so I wanted it well-fixed.
Then I rolled up the fiber into plastic jelly rolls and stuck them into my new dye-pot - an enamel canning steamer pot with a steamer insert that keeps the fiber rolls from touching the bottom of the pot.
I did dye some Corriedale with food colouring in the oven a couple of weeks ago, and that was really fun. I used an assortment of my casserole dishes for that (which I figured was okay because that was just food-grade dye, so I can still use my casserole dishes for food), but now I want some dedicated kitchenware for the acid dyes I bought from Paradise Fibers..
I steamed my blue fiber for about a half an hour, then cooled it a bit and unwrapped the jelly rolls into a hot Synthrapol bath, and then rinsed it in warm water after letting it sit and cool a bit for another half an hour.
The result is some beautifully deep turquoise and green fiber that I hand-painted and steam-set, and I can't wait to spin it!
There was a TON of unexhausted dye left in the bottom of my dye-pot, so I am overdyeing an unfortunate shade of yarn that has been sitting in my stash for far too long. I hope it works out, I have about 15 minutes left on the clock and I'm a little worried about felting.
So that's my tale of Thursday night dyeing adventures!