Adventures in Dyeing
After I got home from cheese-making, it was time for more fun with giant pots. It was finally time to dye my February Lady Sweater. I always meant to dye it, but I was just too lazy. The cream did nothing for me though, and I never wore it. So I picked up some Jacquard Acid Dye in Burnt Orange and got to work (with some much-needed email guidance from knitabulous). The cardigan – which had been previously washed and soaked overnight – went into the pot along with some citric acid, dye, and lots of water. It was very vivid and murky. I kept it on a gentle simmer for about 40 minutes, checking on it often. I was pleased to see the water clearing just like Ailsa said it would! I turned off the heat and left it overnight. In the morning I dumped out the water and gave the cardigan a rinse and another soak (with hair conditioner). That night I finally squeezed out the water and had a look at the final product. To be honest, I was a little surprised at how blotchy it was. The dye didn’t take up evenly, and the effect is almost like tye-dye. (I’ve since read on Twitter that this is a common problem, and that dying whole garments rarely works perfectly.) Anyway, I let it dry thinking I’d make a final assessment later. Today, I actually wore it to work. And you know what? I think I like it!
I’ve had some compliments on it at work, and everybody seems to think the dye effect is intentional. It’s definitely more wearable than the cream version was! I may still have a go at touching it up; I’ve got more dye that I can “paint on” the lighter areas. But for now, I’m pretty happy with my first go at dyeing. Thanks to Ailsa and everybody who gave advice on Twitter!