Sunday, 15 March 2015

Guild Dye Day

painted warps for scarves
About once a year, our guild hosts a dye day at a negligible cost of $5 per 100g.  This isn't a math oriented, carefully calculated, reproducible effects dye day.  Rather, it's an experimental dye day using acid dyes for wool, silk or nylon.   Depending on who can come that day, there may be many long warps for multiple projects and weft yarns to match or coordinate.  Sometimes people wind crazy long skeins of sock yarn to do self striping yarn, bring fibre for spinning and this year we even had a gal bring multiple skeins to do a gradient coloured knitting project. 

We have an array of the basic colours and with syringes, squirt out a bit of this colour and a bit of that, getting some interesting and one of a kind results.  Invariably, the finished projects are absolutely breathtaking or at least beautiful.

 Just a few days before hand, I realised that I could actually attend the dye day.  ( I drove myself too!  Yay!)   While I have plenty of white fibre and a bit of white roving, I had no real projects in mind for it or it needs re-washing (Thanks Kevin!)   I did find this skein of Blue Faced Leicester superwash and nylon blend that I had spun up ages ago.   It weighs about 85 g, so I dug through some stash and found a huge bag of white icicle, which is a sparkly nylon additive.    I weighed out 15 g of the icicle and separated it into 3 g lots to make up the rest of the 100g.

The skein was just wound normally on my 61in niddy noddy.   I started painting it with the blue, which was a strong concentration of the turquoise blue colour.  For the green, I used a bit of the leftover blue, with a small percentage of yellow and watered it all down a fair bit.   The pink was a dilute mixture of straight fuchsia.   I'm not sure what I'll make with this skein, but I think the colours are really pretty.

Nylon takes acid dyes readily.  The nylon Icicle fibre is strong, sparkles and not a really soft fibre.  It tends to be used in small quantities to add sparkle to more modern or arty type yarns.  It is too rough for my liking to add to strengthen sock yarns.  I use fake Cashmere nylon for that purpose as it is soft as well as strong.   But the Icicle dyes beautifully.  I did a lighter concentration of the same blue left from the yarn skein.  The pink was some very diluted leftover fuchsia.   I added the last few drops of blue to the mix afterwards to get the purply pink.  I mixed a bit of yellow into the now empty blue container, for the pale green.  The orange was made from adding yellow to an empty red container that I found in the discard area.   Everything went into my dye steamer when I got home.  In all, I think I captured spring colours rather nicely.  None of the colours are easily reproduced as no measurements were taken, but even if I never find a use for it, it was a fun experiment and a great morning out!


Sharon said...

Foothil Fiber Guild used to have a dye day like that each spring and I got to attend two of them. However, it's a two-hour drive one way and I haven't gone the last couple of years. Your pictures are tempting :)

Leigh said...

That sounds like so much fun. I didn't realize nylon dyed so well. It is strong and good for sock yarn, which I someday plan to try!