Saturday, February 04, 2006

Not enough salt in my d---

Inspired by the hat that Victoria Smedley had knitted, I decided to overdye some of my handspun.
It was one of my early decent handspun yarns, from the '80s.

I had taken some whitish fleece, and hand carded it with silk.
The silk was throwster's waste that I had dyed in all sorts of colours.
As I carded, I used several colours, so that the yarn came out cream with coloured streaks in it.

Sometimes the colours were a little more pronounced.
Close-up there were delightful little splashes like jewels.

I had sufficient to knit a sweater for myself.
So I knitted a slim fitting sweater with a circular yoke, using a slipped stitch to add a little texture.
I did like it, and it was more than warm enough.

However, the effect of the colours from a distance was just pale nondescript pastel.
It did nothing for me!

I frogged it years ago, and have used some in conjunction with other handspun to great effect.
Yesterday I looked it out, and tried to overdye it.

Now, those of you who know me, know that I do many things instinctively: knitting, gardening, cooking, and dyeing too.

Here is where I came a cropper.
Not being too bothered to check properly, I wetted the yarn thoroughly, then added some dye, salt and vinegar.
I popped it into the (dyeing only) microwave, and was disappointed.
It came out rather pale, and too much dye was washing out.

Of course by the time this was over, it was nearly 21.00, and I was busy preparing our water rations for the night.

Then I sat down, and was reading Debbie Tomkies "Hand-dyed yarn craft projects", that I had found in the Long Eaton public library on Thursday.

Here came my moment of revelation.
I haven't been using enough salt, or vinegar, with the dye.

A renewed attempt is in process now.
This is one area where low salt levels don't seem to work.


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