The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Victory is Mine! May 4, 2010

Filed under: Knitting Projects — Cailyn @ 1:49 pm
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You can dye Tencel with acid dyes.


I am a happy person.


I got my sample of Valley Yarn’s Colrain (50% merino/50% Tencel) last week.  I swatched it first to see how I liked knitting with it.  It was love at first knit; so much love that I made an 8” swatch.  That right there is an early warning sign of a dangerous yarn affair.  Then I washed and blocked the swatch.  When the blocking produced excellent results, I hung it up to see about the dreaded stretch.  After 36 hours clipped to a hanger, subjected to the horrors of gravity, the swatch had grown… (dramatic drumroll please)… 0.00”.  This, of course, doesn’t mean that it won’t stretch into a circus tent when worn, but chances are good that it won’t grow to full big-top size.  Maybe just one of the smaller circus tents, if at all.




The swatching having been such a success, I wound some of the remaining skein for dying.  I soaked the yarn in a vinegar/water mix overnight.  Don’t ask me how much vinegar- I have a bad habit of not measuring when dyeing or cooking.  I used the good acid dye, Jacquard Teal, instead of food coloring.  Food coloring works great, but if I’m going to make a whole sweater then a few dollars for a quality dye doesn’t seem that silly.  I added a little more vinegar to the dye bath while I was bringing it to a boil.  I’m not sure if that helped, since I’m sure the fibers were as “open” as they were going to get from the overnight soak, but I don’t think extra vinegar actually hurts anything, so what the heck.


Again, I never measure, so I have no idea how much dye I put in.  I dunked the whole mini-skein in, waited a few minutes, then pulled some out, wrapping it around a wooden spoon to keep it out of the dye.  Every so often, I’d pull some more out.  When the dye was exhausted (the water was clear), I rinsed the yarn, happy to see that there was no real bleeding.  The color wasn’t quite what I wanted, so I repeated the process.  This time, I left each section of yarn in longer.  The last bit was in for almost half an hour before I decided I liked it.  Rinsing again had no bleeding and then it was off to the dryer.




Beautiful, no?  This is after it was re-skeined to a smaller, prettier skein for photos.


Wait until you see this:




My heart be still.  The order for three 250-gram hanks is already being processed by WEBS.


And as an added bonus, it doesn’t even pill that badly!  I beat up the swatch above for a few days.  And while there is some pilling, it’s less than my CPH, so that’s good enough for me!  Now I just have to find time to actually knit the February Lady Sweater.




Also, why is it hailing outside?  Is it May or isn’t it?!



2 Responses to “Victory is Mine!”

  1. mandy Says:

    I’ve never seen such a beautiful swatch! Such work for a sample.

  2. heather Says:

    Oooh, so nice. I was just browsing Colrain at Webs and wondering how a 50/50 blend would take acid dye, since I can’t decide which colour to buy I’ll just get natural and dye it myself. Checkout time!!

    Glad I could help! I still haven’t gotten around to actually making the February Lady yet, but the yarn turned out great. Enjoy dyeing your Colrain!

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