Saturday, June 19, 2010


I've got to the whatever! stage in my cotton dyeing. This is the stage where the dyes are ageing, so I'm not sure how they're going to behave. At the same time, I'm getting overtired and more willing to just see what happens than usual. You could say that I too am ageing and not sure how I'm going to behave! Nothing too wild just now, but this skein has been fascinating me for a couple of days: To give you the orientation: we have a skein of cotton in a white icecream bucket. The skein is draped over a plastic chopstick which is resting on the edges of the bucket. Both ends of the skein are dangling in a pool of dye. The skein was soaked in some soda ash solution which had just a hint of the fuscia colour in it--just because that was the only soda ash I had mixed up at the time. The dye bath is a combination of the fuscia and warm blue and the resulting purple colour was not unexpected. From memory, I set this up one morning and then headed out to do something else. When I came home I found the blue was creeping up out of the dye bath into the upper part of the skein. It was less than a centimetre or so of the blue at that stage, but I decided to just let it go. Well, the blue just kept slowly creeping up, until the two edges met. Now I have the blue-purple combo you can see in the pic. I haven't rinsed it yet, so I have no idea how much of the colour will wash out and how much will stay. And I have no idea why the blue dye chose to go travelling and leave the fuscia colour behind.

Theoretically procion dyes lose their reactivity after 5 hours or so of being combined with soda ash solution, but I've found that they often maintain a bit of life well beyond that point. In this case there's no real risk of failure. Any degree of blue, pink or pale purple will be a nice contrast to the more intense colour of the rest of this skein. Even white would be ok. And I can always re-dye part of the skein if I don't like the result. I've got a lovely day of outings planned, so I'm not going to rinse it now. I'll just leave it for another day and wait for the surprise.


Dee said...

ooow this looks lovely and it will be fun to see how it comes out. like you said - can't go wrong with this one. :)

Knitspingirl said...

The blue must have been in a travelling mood!
Can't wait to see how this one turns out.

Knitspingirl said...

Another thought (giggle):
Blue moves, pink sinks ...

(And my word verifacation for this comment was too good not to share - "woollag")