Friday, April 20, 2012

Another Snowdye Day

Before all the snow melts away, I wanted to try snow dyeing one more time. (Actually, no danger in all of it melting away overnight, but it would be harder to find clean snow.) This time the base yarn was grey rather than, um, snowy white.
KnitPicks Sugar Bunny in Platinum, a beigy-light-grey. Not a particularly exciting color on its own, but a good non-white background for other colors. What I had in mind was adding black and other shades of grey according to the intensity of the dye coming through the snow.  So into the tub go the vinegar-water soaked skeins, laid on racks and ready to go:
Now on goes the snow and sprinkles of the black dye powder:
I also wanted to see what happens when you use a liquid dye solution with the snow, so I mixed some of the same dye up in a squeeze bottle and squirted it across in stripe fashion:

Then on goes the lid, bring tub into the garage, let melt and marinate overnight while the magic works. Upon the morrow, what to my wondering eyes should appear:
RUST! Yikes! Not that the yarn rusted, or that the racks rusted, but the dye came apart into its constituent elements, a major one of which, apparently, is a rusty gingery color.  You don't have to be a vastly experienced dyer to know that there really is no such thing as black dye. Black is achieved with a blend of intense dark colors. If you go back and big up one of the pictures that shows the dye powder on the snow, you'll see wee spots of yellow and blue and purple. That, I thought, would be kind of cool if it came through the snow--little spots of color amid the grey and black. But this is really waaay too much not-black and not-grey. So I grabbed my trusty black squirter and splashed some more of that straight onto the wet yarn:
The hope was to break up the long stretches of rust with more black and grey. Then into the plastic wrap for a half hour steam bath, a rinse, hang to dry overnight, and let's see what we finally got:
 Wow. (automatically bigged up to show color detail) Not at all what I thought of when I set out to do this, but that's the fun and amazing part of DIY (Dyeing It Yourself), and most especially of snow dyeing. Lots of blue tones I didn't expect, and the rust was a total surprise, ratcheted down a little, as hoped, by the black squirts. Y'know that this reminds me of? A tortoiseshell cat's coat. Even more so when it's knitted up. Can't wait to cast on! Here, kitty kitty....