I thought it was probably time I learned a little more about dyeing fibre. Previously I have relied on fairly random guesswork!
So I took some Blue faced leicester/superbright nylon and soaked it in cold water ready to dye. I used acid dyes for this experiment - they are easy to use & dye both the wool & the nylon easily. I chose 5 olours - citron yellow, disco pink, purple, ultra blue and malachite. I've always dyed in the microwave before, but I bought a big baking tray that is just for dying so I could try dying in the oven too. I've always used cold water dying, never hot so I wanted to try that.
First, I put some soaked top onto cling film & dotted little bits of the dyes randomly. I used a syringe from the chemist to put small amounts of dye into little spots. I wrapped the film around the top, put it in a try and heated it in the microwave. While that was cooking, I got the next lot of top, prepped it as before but this time used a whole syringe worth of dye for each blob & left more white space between colours.
L-R:smaller spots, larger blobs!
After drying, the colours had spread on the underside of the fibre and there was much less white.
The small dots had blended and gave a kind of watercolour effect. The bigger dots had stayed much brighter. Both pretty - but so different!
I spun the tops (about 50g of each colour total) aiming for a 2ply sock weight yarn. And look what happened! The small dots came out a pretty pastel colour, with the cooler blue-green colours dominating. I think the yellow/malachite/blue blended into a overall blue-green effect. It's subtle & pretty.The larger spots became a brighter yarn which have a warmer effect. The colours haven't blended as much, or been as diluted. It's girly & fun & I can't wait to see how it looks knit up. I'm amazed at how different the yarn colours are from the same base, samedyes, same method - just a difference in the size of colour spots.
I'm hoping to have enough of each yarn to make ankle socks so I can see how they look as a fabric. I might need to make them with different coloured toes though! There is more by weight of the bluey yarn, but both yarns are very similar - 113m/50g and 115m/50g.
I'll show you the hot water dyed fibre and yarn when I've finished spinning it. I'm taking the opportunity to do a technique for the Happy porpoise spin-a-long too :)