Sunday, February 24, 2013

More Dyeing: Papageno Sock Yarn

After dyeing my first sock yarn, I had a conversation with my dear friend FibrePiratess about yarn dyeing. I was talking about how easy it is to mix colours like blue and green that go well together, as it won't matter if the colours bleed into each other, and how I wouldn't (at the moment) dare to mix complementary colours together as I was afraid of ending up with a disgusting and undefined mud colour. At this point I felt the immense urge to try a sock yarn of green and orange, and it took only a few days until I gave in.

I did kind of cheat, however. I added yellow as a barrier between the green and the orange, as I knew it would go well with both and prevent the dreaded mud colour ;-) Yet there was still the matter of preventing the orange parts from mingling with the green parts before the colours were set. I thought of this before I started, but modified the measures while I went along. But let me start from the beginning.

When dyeing with easter egg colours, I usually just mix each colour in a normal drinking glass. I put in the little tablets (or paper strips, as there are several different kinds of easter egg colours), add a bit of vinegar and hot water and stir, sometimes breaking the tablets with a spoon when I am impatient. I let the yarn soak in water mixed with vinegar and squeeze it before I apply the dyes.

In this case, I did the orange part first. I wrapped some plastic wrap around it to protect it from the green parts and added the yellow colour. This was how I had planned it. I was afraid it wouldn't be enough, though, and did the first thing that came to mind: I stuffed the orange part of the yarn into an empty drinking glass, then transferred the whole skein and the glass onto a baking tray, fanned out the yarn a little, and poured the green colour on the yet undyed parts. I tried to let it bleed into the yellow parts as I wanted to prevent bits from staying undyed, but I didn't manage perfectly. I then transferred the skein into a bowl (the baking tray wouldn't fit in the microwave, of course), putting the glass with the orange part on top (and adding a little water to it so the yarn wouldn't get too dry).

I heat-set the dyes for 3 x 5 minutes, always letting the yarn rest after 5 minutes (and for 5 minutes) before turning the microwave back on.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take better pictures. The orange part was quite shy, you only see the yellow and the intersection between orange and yellow here. The real orange is a lot brighter. I love it :-) I thought of parrots at first, until, suddenly, a character from my favourite opera (The Magic Flute) popped into my mind and I thought this was so Papageno!

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