Last week I decided I needed to try immersion dyeing on the stove. Electric roaster dyeing is great but time consuming. Plus, it's on the floor right now and my back is not so happy, what with the squating and hunching over. Hehe, not really, my back only minds for a little while.
I took a good long look at our pots and pans and picked the stainless steel Calphalon pasta/steamer set that I bought for pretty cheap on Amazon.com a few years ago, and which we've used maybe a half dozen times. Hubby agreed to sacrifice it to the dyeing gods. Yay!
The process was pretty new to me, so I split the 8 oz batch into two 4 oz batches. Still enough to make something with, and twice the dyeing opportunity.
Based on the previous experiments I figured equal mL vinegar to weight fiber, so in all I used about 250mL or a cup. I'm still trying to figure out what is a good amount; maybe I just need to get some pH papers. I also let each color exhaust before adding the next.
Batch one I figured I'd go primaries and see how it differed from my first primaries batch in the electric roaster.
I calculated a 4% dye concentration, which came to 454 mL, or just under 8 x 60 mL syringes. I remembered reading on fibernation that she liked adding lots of yellow because of how it changed the reds and blues, so I decided to start with 4 syringe-fuls of yellow:
and then thought, damn, that's a lot of yellow. Scott said it looked like a dog had peed on snow. I agreed. It was pretty downhill from there.
I added some blue, but it looked mostly green:
and a seasick green at that. Look, the one spot on top that was still white!
At that point, it was "abandon all hope" so I added dots of red:
and as the dye seemed to fade/lighten (like at the bottom), I kept adding more red to those same spots. What was I doing? Who knows. I poked underneath every now and then to see if the dye had exhausted, and eventually it looked like this:
A mess. I was pretty disheartened, but chalked it up to experience.
Less is more. Less is more.
Enter batch 2. (And I moved to the left stove element, which was directly under the light. A-ha moment there.)
I started with blues this time, first a syringe-ful of Brilliant Blue:
and then a syringe-ful of Sky Blue:
and then marveled at how they looked the same! And so faint. So I doubled down:
Less is more. Less is more. I added 5 mL of red on either side:
Only 5 mL made such an impact! I ended with just a bit more blues:
I let the rovings cool in buckets and then washed and rinsed. And something unexpected appeared.
Here they are dry:
Look at all those rust reds! Where did they come from? All that red I kept adding sank to the bottom of the pot. Where it mixed with yellow it became orange-y, and where it mixed with the blue-yellow (aka green) it became rusty. I suddenly loved it. What a surprise!
And the blue-reds? "I liked it better when it was Blue Moon Berry and Strawberries on merino." Hahaha. Um, are we over that yet? Can we be over it, please? Been there, done that? Hahaha. With so much less dye, though, the blues and reds struck pretty much where it was skooshed (what else would you call the syringe action?) and didn't take much time to exhaust. In fact, both sets were complete in less than the time for one set in the roaster. But, the pot is not huge (tall but not so wide), so I don't know what kind of results I could get with more fiber, too many layers I couldn't see. It's a trade-off. But it was fun!