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August 23, 2006


CLOSE! but no cigar, m’lady…


Now that the dyein’ is over, the cryin’ begins? WHO would squeal when they get almost the exact result they were going for?


[It reminds me of the time I nagged and nagged a boyfriend to shave his beard. He presented his soft new face to me and suddenly I realized he had no chin! Whodat man?]

Now that I see it, all dry and mighty, I realize I would’ve liked it a quarter tone darker. Yeah, splitting fractions here, but when you are doing this it is a Measure Fest and fractions are indeed your friend…

Beth S. writes: “It seems like it would be hard to mix dry powders together without raising a toxic cloud in your kitchen. But you must have figured something out!”

Beth’s right! This stuff (including Kool-Aid) is not user friendly – there’s the possibility of lots of fine particles flying around. So you need to practice good habits when measuring the dry stuff. I bought a box of face masks and use ’em. I measure slowly and carefully.

This was a very interesting session. I used Sabraset Dye (from ProChem) and did exactly what their instructions recommend.

After the yarn was fully submerged in the dye solution with the heat brought up to a simmer, I stirred it every few minutes and noticed something that had not happened other times I dyed with these acid dyes.

One color was uptaking faster than the other!

The water was purple. The yarn was turquoise.

I panicked!

What to do? Pull it? Add more Magenta (gaack)? Go online and SOS?

Google to the rescue! I searched [phrase: *dye won’t exhaust*] and found out that sometimes it takes more than the recommended (about an hour to an hour-and-a-half) time to exhaust the dye solution. [Exhaust: all dye is absorbed by the fiber and the water is CLEAR! I love that part!]

I left the batch, at the lowest gas flame I could manage on the UberPot, stirring every few minutes, for a little over 2.5 hours.

Then suddenly, It Happened.

The yarn was Bijou Blue at 50%.

All the Magenta flew into the yarn.

Whine & Cheese: What I would do differently next time? AHA! Looking at the yarn I used for the figure 8 ties [a light taupey grey] I would maybe start with a different base color. This would give a duller, more sophisticated cast to the whole shebang…


The Scale: I got mine on eBay (from my sister’s recommendation) – search on *Escali Digital* and shop til you drop…

The Enabler Button: Marji writes – “I just love the BFE icon! Is it available to use?” WOOT! Thanks so much! Please take it and use it to spread the love!

22 responses to “August 23, 2006”

  1. spinneret says:

    Turquoise vs magenta. Yep. Sounds about right. The yellows uptake fastest of anything, and there’s yellow in that turqoise you’re using. Magenta will require the higher temperature or you get a brown. Glad you got the result you were going for. Some blues get very dull at higher temperatures. Also depends on the fiber involved. Even on nylons though, I have to heat the magenta baths to nearly boiling to bring out the brightness.

    Mixing powders – Monona Rossol’s “Health & Safety Guide for Film, TV and Theater” shows how to build a protective box for mixing powders. It looks like a preemie incubator with the gloves but it works for mixing powders, a really good idea if you’re working in your kitchen.

  2. Corinne says:

    Hey–that’s just my color! We could do a trade, if you don’t love it.

  3. Karen says:

    It’s a great blue! Are you going to overdye it to try to get the exact shade you were looking for?

  4. Tracey says:

    Hmmm, I like that blue, ok Bonne Marie, auction it off to one of your adoring fans and then you can start from scratch

  5. Leah says:

    Hmmm! I can see in my minds eye what you are probably going for, but I have to day the faded denim color is fabulous too!

  6. Beth S. says:

    I know just what you mean about the quarter-tone. It’s so hard to match that perfect Platonic image of the ideal blue (or red, or orange, or purple…) that you see in your mind’s eye. But what you came up with is gorgeous anyway.

  7. Wanda says:

    Even though it’s wasn’t exactly the color you were looking for, it really was quite lovely.

  8. Danielle says:

    I love hearing about dyeing escapades. It makes me appreciate my hand-dyed yarns all that much more, knowing the time and effort that must go into getting things *just right*.

  9. Karen B. says:

    I think it’s quite lovely, but would ask the same question as the other Karen: would you try the over-dye to reach your mind’s eye-deal?

  10. amisha says:

    your dyeing posts are fascinating! i’ve long wanted to try it but been too chicken, and it’s really interesting to hear about the combination of art– envisioning the color, the tone, the intensity– and the hardcore science that goes into a lovely shade. thanks for sharing your trial-and-errors with us!

  11. Scout says:

    Oh I love it!!! You did a great job!

  12. meg says:

    That’s gorgeous, really lovely. Are you going to try again, buy more yarn in the base colour you mentioned? Or maybe you’re exhausted, too, after all that dyeing. :o)

  13. Laura says:

    Oh that’s a great color!! I am still using the unsophistocated yet nontoxic Wilton dyes on my yarn and have the same experience with several colors – the pigments in the dye are absorbed by the yarn at different rates. There’s so much trial and error and very little organized information available about those kind of things. Thankfully I’m still happy with the results of ongoing trial and error. :)

    Spinneret’s powder mixing box sounds like a great concept for keeping that stuff under control!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Well, even if it didn’t turn out exactly how you wanted it to, it’s still a gorgeous color!

  15. Dana says:

    Loved the enabler button too, but could someone tell me how to put it on my blog. I’ve tried different things but I think I need the the right “code” or whatever it’s called for the template. (Can you tell I’m new at this?) Thanks in advance.

  16. Bonne Marie says:

    No prob! What you want to do is put the image on your server. First, right-click on the picture, then save to your hard drive. Then upload it to your server just like the other pictures on a blog – code will be something like this – http://www.myblog/my blogimages/BigFatEnabler.gif…

    Here’s a help file:

  17. Chris says:

    Good to know that about the dye – I think I give up too quickly and start dumping more dye in.

    Heh – yesterday’s post was bib-o-maniac. :)

  18. Chris says:

    Oh, so there was a sock monkey mobile blog entry showing up briefly in bloglines for you… Funny, because there’s a link in my post today to sock monkey MADNESS – it’s right before “I’ll wait.” You MUST see it. The Minnesota State Fair at its wackiest.

  19. Amy Lu says:

    I love the yarn, you are a dying goddess!

    I almost hate to say anything, but your friend (your yarn model) needs to eat something. I mean, maybe she looks good in person, but on film she looks like a stick.

  20. Becky says:

    You are the DYE MASTAH! I bow to your powers.

    I’m totally cracking up on the “hello! no chin” anecdote. I wish I could’ve been there to see your reaction. Did you ask him to grow the beard back? Hee!

  21. Delica says:

    This was such a great post. I too am a fan of your dying adventures. I learn so much. The colors on the computer screen look sooo close. Will you keep it? It is the IN color this fall. . .

  22. claudia says:

    AND different colors will uptake at different rates depending upon the type of dye used. Crazy!

    I’ve been keeping my dye pots at temp for almost an hour seeking the holy grail of exhaustion.

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