I've recently come to the conclusion that I like the yarn I make myself much better then I like the yarn I buy. And I like being able to come up with my own colorways a lot. This is all well and good when I'm dyeing yarn for socks. Or a hat. Or mittens. Or anything small and one skein-able. But sweater lots? Sweater lots are another story entirely.
I have dyelot paranoia. So when I decided that this holiday's dye project would be the ~1700 yds of fingering weight wool/tencel from Green Mountain Spinnery, I had a bit of a dilemma. How to get all the skeins the same dyelot?
The last time I did this, I had the benefit of a very hot Houston summer to help out with the dye setting. Not being sure whether or not a London summer would have the same effect, I set out to do what I get paid to do: experiment.
First the soaking:
I soaked the seven skeins in plain water (aka no citric acid). Because I didn't want the dye to strike too fast and give a mottled/variegated look, I decided to soak the yarn alone and add the CA with the dye.
We (I) mixed up the dye stock, and waited anxiously for it to cool off a bit before adding it to the bin.
It all got mixed up, along with 1 tsp citric acid, and left alone. After four days, the dyebath was still pretty dark, so I added another tsp of acid.
On day 7, I got sick of waiting and hauled the yarn out.
There was a bit of purple left in the bin, but I liked the yarn color, so I took it out.
Then there was the heat setting of the dye. Everything went in to a garbage bag and into the microwave. Three minutes on high, three minutes rest, three times seemed to do the trick. Several rinses, a spin in the washing machine and voila!
1700 yards of periwinkle colored yarn, destined for Sprossling. Someday...