Dyed and Dried!

Well, my acid-dyed experiments are dry and vinegar-smell-free (much to the relief of my hubby)! I wanted to wait till they were good and dry before sharing the results, because after the steam bath, some of them looked a little questionable! But, I am pleased to say that they’re lookin’ pretty good now!

The first one I tried to dye to match my favorite mug.

But, ceramic glazing is a process that can layer colors, like acrylic painting, and dyeing layers the colors much like watercolors. Acrylic painting I can do just fine, but I’ve never been too good with watercolors. So, I did my best. I started with the Turquoise dye, mixed roughly to the correct recipe, and then completely unscientifically watered it down to make the lighter shades. It worked pretty well, I thought! I painted that on in random lengthwise stripes, then filled in the white areas with three shades of golden brown.

It looks to me more like blue bacon or some mold-treated lumber. The only thing that I didn’t really anticipate was just how gold the gold would be – and that it would really turn the margins of blue into green. It was a nice green, but not quite what I wanted! But, that’s what you get for guessing. Overall, I really like the result. I think it’ll make some pretty neat socks!

The next one I dyed I tried to blend the colors into each other. I started at one end, and added water and more dye colors to change the color as I went along. The green is a mix of all the leftover brown and turquoise from the last blank!

Other than the black stripes bleeding (that happened when I rolled it up), the fading actually looks really good, I think.

Next up was my ‘secret project’ for my hubby. I wanted to take advantage of this rather unique way to dye yarn and add meaning at the same time. Instead of painting a word or phrase on there, though, I chose to be a bit more literal:

And just in case you didn’t catch the reference:

I mixed… boy, about five colors together to get the olive green on top. The black dots were just sponged on with the side of a paint sponge. I wish I’d had a round sponge brush instead, but the triangles are ok too.

This one bled a little too when I steamed it, but it’s still pretty cool. I gave it to my husband and asked what he wanted me to make from it, and he hasn’t decided yet. He’d better soon, though! I’m really itching to knit this. I think I’ll get a lot of stares at the coffee shop with this one.

So I’d mentioned before that instead of dumping the leftover dye down the drain, i would use it to dye some ugly yarn:

The two hanks of yarn at the bottom of that photo are some questionable purchases. The top one is lilac colored lace yarn. I don’t really knit with lace yarn that much, and I don’t like lilac. I don’t know what I was thinking. It was in my ‘donate or dye’ pile for a while, so I figured hey, why not! I used all the leftover pinks and purples, mixed them together in a really nice plum color, and I think it came out really well!

Now that I would actually use. So, I definitely consider that a success!

The second hank was some angora blend in a hideous apricot-flesh tone color. Ick! The price and the softness sold me on it, but man is it ugly. I’ve had it for so long at this point that I figured anything is better than how it looks in that picture. So, I just dumped all of the leftover dyes from everything else all over it. Pink, green, grey, black, blue – everything! It looked like a total loss while it was wet – the color was not soaking in. I figured I’d have to toss it.

I mean, my cat has made prettier things than that! Ugh! But, I dutifully steamed it and hung it to dry. And wouldn’t you know..

It came out awesome! It’s a 1400 yard matted mess still, so I’m going to carefully wind it into a ball or two to store it. It’s likely to become a blanket, because a thick angora sweater just isn’t appealing to me. But I’m much more likely to actually use it now that it’s not an eyesore! I have a lot of rescue yarn in my stash that I kept to overdye, and I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with the process. There is hope for it yet!

Because I used up all the dye and put down a tarp, cleanup was easy. I rinsed all my tools, cleaned the sink and that was about it.

I think next time I’ll try kettle or dip dyeing – that should be fun!