Monday, March 16, 2009

Experiments in Teal Dyeing

Paton's merino wool dyed in Teal, also called teal blue, is equal parts blue and green. The color gets its name from the fact that it surrounds the eyes of the common teal, a member of the duck family. The complementary color of teal is coral pink.

The Skein above was achieved by immersing, (dipping) a section of about 4 to 6 inches of the yarn for a limited time, or rather a timed section of time. 4 minutes to begin with, pulling that section and soaking a new section of yarn for 8 minutes, while the previous section rests on the outside of the pot. You continue increasing the time , let's say 20 minutes, then 40 and then less than 2 minutes, for the clearer part of the teal. This is one of the easiest ways of creating a measurable colorway than may be reproduced. When dealing with reproducible ways of making color measurements are the key, same amount of water from the same source and quality (chlorine free , filtered, distilled, bottled, et cetera), vinegar (white or red or yellow) and the dye itself in milliliters or better yet weighted. I like to weight them rather than measure the liquid. In my opinion is more accurate, but maybe not.

I used a "GLAD Brand"plastic bag as they are sturdy to place the yarn as it was being processed, in the way there was a bowl where the excess liquid was dripping. When I was done dyeing it was time to wrap the yarn like a burrito in the plastic wrap, then put it in a plastic container in the microwave and nuke it for 2 minutes, letting it rest for two minutes, then repeating 2 or 3 more times. Once your yarn is done cooking, let it cool down,or rinse it quickly in cool water. You may also prepare a cool bath with water and half a cup of vinegar and put it in locking the color. I leave my yarn in that kind of rinse for about 5 to 10 minutes then test it to see if it is still bleeding color. If so another vinegar soak for a longer time is needed, then 10 to 15 minutes more. When you are doing Kool Aid, the water where it was soaking comes out usually clear, it's amazing.

The end product is the last skein. This is a Paton's Merino Classic Wool. I went to bed in Pleasantville in a black and white world and Woke Up in a World full of Color! Pleasantville is an Academy Award-nominated 1998 film written, produced, and directed by Gary Ross. Released by New Line Cinema in Canada on September 17, and stars Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, Marley Shelton, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, and Jeff Daniels. Don Knotts, Paul Walker, Jane Kaczmarek and J. T. Walsh are also featured. I have found something that I really enjoy and that I find myself navigating toward all the time. Most of the yarn that I have bought comes from hand dyed skeins. I can now produce such skeins and in the colors that I like and want. Wool is a lot easier to dye and a lot of fun, it can be non-toxic with food grade coloring, you can never go wrong with utilizing glass and stainless steel containers as they are extremely resistant to absorbing anything. This is it for today thanks for stopping by and maybe soon a video instruction on how to dye some yarn, it will be fun!

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