Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dyeing Saga continues

So I patiently waited my two days, which was really only one free evening of crafting time. I did some sewing and started knitting on my wedding shawl.

(Oh, did I not mention I'd decided to do a shawl too? My mom convinced me that it could be quite cold on May 15th, as it was in 2009 and I'd want to be able to go outside and still look pretty. So I started working on this in cream. In my defense, I conceived of this idea before I realized that there were going to be dyeing complications.)

Wednesday when I got home from work there was no change in the wrongness of the fabric color. Here it is with one of the swatches and a tiny ball of yarn dyed in the correct color. You can see at the top left of the picture that I'd dyed tons of extra yarn as well.

My plan was this - take some of the extra yarn and dye it in the yellow Rit dye. Take the sleeve which had gone through the dye remover (I never took a pic of that, but it came out baby blue) and dye it in the same green dye combo which had produced the swatches above. Of course it also produced the dress, so that was a bit risky. I also did some more reading and figured that at some point I'd upped the amount of dye I was using more than necessary, so I decreased that as well.

I mixed up the big vat of Rit dye, using a cup of salt as they'd recommended when dyeing linen. (I'd also bought more salt.) And I did a little sample size of the green dye. (not pictured)

Well after about 15 minutes I thought that the sample in the yellow looked great. I waited 30 minutes as instructed. Still good. I rinsed. Still good. I washed in Synthrapol - still good!

At this point the green sleeve had been in soda ash for about 15 minutes but I could tell that it looked waaaay too dark. I decided to throw caution to the winds and dye the whole dress (except for the two sleeves, since one was down the drain and one was in the other dye bucket).

So I did. Part way through I was concerned that the yellow was being too highly diluted - there was now a LOT more fabric in the bucket and it was still leaking green dye, despite being washed and rinsed several times. I diluted some dye in hot water and poured it in.

After half an hour I pulled it out. It looked great. I rinsed, washed in Synthrapol and then spent what felt like the next 3 hours washing out all the Synthrapol. I think that was my initial mistake. I didn't get out all the Synthrapol and it prevented the dye from taking properly in the first vat.

So I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and soaked over night.

When I left for work on Thursday I left this behind me.

That's our guest room bed underneath - it's a queen sized bed. So that gives you an idea of the scope of this thing.

There are still some problems. There's a big hole in the train right above the switch from the Size 13 to the Size 10 needles. If it had been in the Size 13 part I'd have just cut the whole thing out as now that it's been fully wetted down the whole thing is about 4-6" too long. (So much for hearing that dye was going to shrink it!) But anyway, the hole is above the lifeline. After all that we've been through though, this doesn't even phase me. The size of the hole compared to the overall size of the dress is so tiny. It's kind of hard to imagine b/c it is a big whole. But I think I could gather it shut with dental floss and it would barely be noticeable in that sea of knitting. (I won't be doing that obviously).

Thursday morning Justin and I stood cramped in the guest room with Justin blocking the door so the cat couldn't enter. Nyssa feels that the guest room is her room and was quite displeased with me for kicking her out. We looked at the dress and I sighed deeply. Justin gave me a hug. Then he screamed. I looked at him.

"The cat scratched me trying to get in, " he said, "let's get the hell out of here before she does something drastic."

So we shut the door and went to work.

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