To Dye For: Experiment #1

To Dye For: Experiment #1To Dye For: Experiment #1To Dye For: Experiment #1To Dye For: Experiment #1To Dye For: Experiment #1

Began making up dye on Friday and dyed off and on on Saturday.

After the cut, reports on the yarn & thread experiment and the glue resist experiment.

Making Concentrate

I made the concentrate for the Emerald, Orchid, & Azure following the notes from Color by Accident, using the 4 tbsp of urea, and 4 tbsp of both the blue and green. The Langers juice concentrate bottle is a perfect size for the cup-plus of concentrate. Given the ratio “1 gal hot water to 9 tbsp ash” i used 4.5 tbsp of ash in the 2 liter jug.

Next time:

  • Need a tablespoon *spoon* measure. The small cup was very convenient, but a tbsp sized scoop would be less likely to stir up the dye powder.
  • A whole cup of concentrate is more than i likely need. These measurements can easily be cut in half.
  • Don’t use the funnel with powder, especially if the funnel tip is going to be in the urea solution.

General Practice

I did not pay that much attention between the time of the dye and the time of the ash solution. I did not take the ten minutes recommended in Color by Accident.

The orchid and emerald were kept in the dye for about an hour. The full azure dye-bath was at least forty minutes plus the time to watch the movie Jaws.

Yarns & threads

The cotton yarn is Sugar’n Cream, cotton worsted 4 ply, white, 120 yds. I made six skeins roughly 16 yards each.
The thread is J&PCoats #10 Royale Classic Crochet Thread, Mercerized cotton from the “over 1.5 miles” super ball. Two skeins of roughly 50 yards (0.4 oz) and six skeins of roughly 26 yards (.2 oz each for roughly six motifs.)

To Dye For: Experiment #1


The first yarns were not exactly well thought out as i was still giddy with actually doing the dying. I think the timings below for the green and orchid are right, but there could be some variation. I was so stunned with how dark the mercerized cotton thread was, i sued a reduced strength dye from concentrate (2 tbsp to 1/2 c water and 1/2 c ash solution). I’d also noted the inconsistent dye of some of the earlier yarns, so i was much more careful with the blue and i agitated those more than with the earlier orchid and emerald.

  • A: cotton yarn, emerald, essentially T=0
  • B: cotton yarn, T=10 min . The emerald yarns and threads were in with the tank top and may not have gotten the agitation needed. Note the irregularity in the color.
  • C: cotton yarn, orchid, essentially T=0.
  • D: cotton yarn, orchid, T=10. Orchid yarns were in their own dyebath.
  • E: cotton yarn, azure, T=0. The azure *yarns* were in the same dybath as the tank top, with much agitation. They were left in the dye much longer than the orchid and emerald, as well.
  • F: cotton yarn, azure, T=10. (Had timer present for azure dyebath.)
  • G: mercerized cotton thread, emerald, T=0. The tight acrylic tyes and the tight twist of the skein, plus low agitation kept this yarn from a consistent dye.
  • To Dye For: Experiment #1

  • H: mercerized cotton thread, orchid, T=0.
  • I: mercerized cotton thread, orchid, T=10.
  • J: mercerized cotton thread, orchid, T=20.
  • K: mercerized cotton thread, orchid, T=30.
  • L: mercerized cotton thread, orchid, T=40.
  • M: mercerized cotton thread, orchid, T=50.

A, B, E, F (click link to see before) ecru crochet thread; C , D (link to before) white. D also has black accent.

I think the pairs ecru green & purple motifs were staggered by ten minutes, and we can say they started at essentially T=0. The blue was in the full strength dyebath at T=0. I’m not sure when the white-to-orchid motif went in. Visually, it seems it must have been after T=0.

Next time:

  • Continue to weaken the dyebath – 1 tbsp to 1/2 c water, or 1 tbsp to 1 c water – and also try shortening the duration to less than the full hour.
  • Don’t tie skeins tightly.

Meadow Resistance

To Dye For: Experiment #1To Dye For: Experiment #1"Meadow Tank Top" experiment in using "Elmer’s Washable Clear School Glue" as a resist. Emerald and Azure over thrift store white tank top. Attempt to use hairspray as a resist seemed to have failed. Glue was good though!

Next time:

  • Let glue dry a whole day or more.

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One Response to “To Dye For: Experiment #1”

  1. Ruth Temple says:

    Gorgeous results!
    Please promise, if you’re using the powdered dyes, that you are using breath-mask protection and the kitties are out of the room between jar-open and jar-shut, and while dye is still in powder state: those tiny, tiny particles are hard on alveoli! Once liquid, Procion is a darling and low-tox from usage to disposal.

    Isn’t dyeing magical and amazing: I so resonate with your phrase “giddy with actually doing” even after these years of messing about with it!

    Love the crochet samples.