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Thoughts on dyeing

This is going to be short, and alas unillustrated since darkness arrived long before I got around to photographing anything…

I need a tenth-gram scale. And I need a source of hot water closer than the bathtub. And I need a heat source other than the kitchen stove. Picture me running around all afternoon carrying pots of water from one end of the house to the other, and outside and inside. Add in plenty of canine and feline assistance. Oh yes, I also need a reel with a yarn meter. And more sleep. And to not have to work tomorrow. But I digress…

On dyeing itself… I must be using too much dye, although I’m running in the 2-4% range that many sources recommend. I’m getting excellent color on my wool and silk, but not getting an exhaust, and rinsing is a nightmare. It’s taking forever, and a zillion pails of hot water from the bathtub. I’m using about 3% citric acid by weight, which should be plenty, and simmering for a good long time. Any thoughts from someone who actually knows what they’re doing?

The cherry red 1% stock solution gels when left out. The sun yellow has persistent floaty bits, even when boiled. The black and blue seem okay. Despite their quirks, I’m getting good and even color from the red and yellow. I did mostly primaries but a bit of mixing. The mixed batch is simmering now, and I’ll report back later on how it actually came out.

And one last tip… if you drain and rinse your tiny batch of yellow silk (the only thing that you actually had a project in mind for), and leave it sitting in the bathtub (ancient tub, don’t care if it get stained) next to the bucket that the red wool is rinsing in, and if that bucket happens to leak just a bit… well, mottled orange is just not what I had in mind. Salvage operations will be planned after it dries.

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