Dyeing crochet thread: a plan

My general plan for dying samples of each yarn is to explore the variations of two different “prep” methods and graduated variation in dye bath time. (I’m curious about going in dry — i may make some swatches to test that, too.) My hope is that not only will i have a good guide to getting the effects i wish, but also a collection of graduated yarns with which i can make an interesting object. The size of the samples will vary: one size that is long enough for making motifs up, another that is just swatch size. Most skeins/samples will be in groups of six, to measure the effect of dye times over ten minute intervals for a maximum of one hour.

Once “note” for this test is that i am using pre blended colors: i understand from my reading that the components of the colors can have different uptakes with time. If there is a fast reacting color (say red) and a slow reacting color (say blue), the first item in may pull a larger ratio of the faster reacting dye out of the dyebath than later elements. It’s possible i’ll see color shifts as well as gradations.

I’ve been working on this post in draft mode, but now that i’ve ordered the dye, i’ll post & keep updating as i prepare the skeins & swatches.

  1. Done: Check how much the motifs already worked up in white thread weigh; round up in ounces. (six weigh around 0.2 oz) Plan to dye in motif-friendly N oz skeins. N = 0.2 oz
  2. Done: Find out how many yards per oz.: motif friendly M yard skeins. M = 26 yds
  3. Select different color (acrylic) yarns for tying off skeins and flagging swatches.
    1. A (urea): grey
    2. B (2nd color, urea):
  4. Once skeins & swatches are prepared, use a permanent marker & tape, number the skeins/swatches to indicate duration of dyebath. The expectation is that the gradient will be obvious enough to tell the difference in the ten minute cycles, tape tags are “just in case.” Lable only 2-5.

Group 1: full set

These yarns get the full experimental set of two sets of six skeins to dye in two different colors with a urea presoak, long enough to make up things, and a two sets of six swatches to dye with a water or urea presoak, plus one undyed swatch.

  • new white #10 thread: Royale Classic Crochet, Size 10, 100% Mercerized (2730 yds) Skeins done: 0. Swatches done: 0
  • ecru #10 (#20?) thread: 0.2 oz = 2x16x29 inches = 928″ = 25.7 yds Skeins done: 7. Swatches done: 6+4 Not likely enough for 12 skeins.
  • Sugar’n Cream, cotton worsted 4 ply, white, 120 yds — actually, this only had enough for one set of skeins. I made six skeins roughly 16 yards each. Skeins done. Swatches done.

Group 2: minimal set

These yarns are just made up in one set of swatches, soaked in urea.

  • old white #10 thread, to see manufacturer difference. Swatching in triangle motifs. Swatches done: 2.5.
  • black #10 thread, to observe over-dye. Swatches done: 0.

Group 3: single color swatch set

I’ll purchase three skeins each of these for 60, 40, and 20 min dye baths, as well as the one skein for the full range of 2×6 swatches.

  • DMC #5 perle cotton, 27.3 yds. Swatches done: 0.
  • DMC 25 cotton embroidery floss, 8.7 yds. Swatches done: 0.

Dye order placed 2009-06-25

Fiber Reactive Dye 2 Oz. - 30A NEW EMERALD GREEN PR30A-2 30A	1	4.50	4.50
Fiber Reactive Dye 2 Oz. - 34 RUST BROWN PR34-2 34	1	3.95	3.95
Fiber Reactive Dye 2 Oz. - 56 AZURE BLUE PR56-2 56	1	6.95	6.95
Fiber Reactive Dye 2 Oz. - 64 ORCHID PR64-2 64	1	3.95	3.95
Fiber Reactive Dye 2 Oz. - 10 FIRE RED PR10-2 10	1	4.50	4.50
Soda Ash Fixer 1lb. FIX1	1	1.69	1.69
Urea 1lb UREA1	1	2.10	2.10
Cotton Hankerchiefs - 12 pack CHSET	1	9.95	9.95
Ladies Silk Handkerchiefs - 12 pack SH	1	5.95	5.95

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