Saturday, March 21, 2009

More Dyeing - Food Colour Attempt Two

This past week I made another attempt at food colour dyeing. This time I was more prepared wtih plenty of food colour on hand as well as my plastic mustard and ketchup picnic bottles to squirt on the colour (a tip I received from someone... sorry, I can't remember who, but thank you whoever you are!). Edited to add: Oh, I just looked it up. It was Meagan who gave me the plastic bottle tip. Thank Meagan - they worked PERFECTLY!

I have been using Queen food colours from the supermarket. This time I used an entire bottle of rose pink, an entire bottle of conchineal (sp?), an entire bottle of blue, and about half a bottle of green. All that for just 200 grams of wool!

I was aiming for mostly red to pink (and varieties in between). When I was squirting the dye on, the red and the pink looked nearly exactly the same and I was afraid I'd end up with more or less just one colour all over. That's fine, but that's not why I was doing home dyeing. I then decided to try and add a little bit of "turquoise" to the mix.
I REALLY saturated the wool because I wanted nice strong bright colours and I didn't want any of the natural colour of the wool showing. I followed the same directions as my first attempt - soaking in vinegar, putting it in cling wrap, squirting on the colours, then microwaving. After giving it a post microwave rinse in tepid water in the laundry sink, I noticed A TON of colour was coming out. And since, from my previous experience, I didn't want a residual vinegar smell, I decided to let it soak in some wool wash for awhile.

Later that night I was on my way out to dinner when I realised - oops! I'd left the wool soaking in the sink and had forgotten to take it out! Not much I could do about it at that stage, so it had to wait until I got home a few hours later. Because a lot of the colour that was coming out in the sink was of the blue/green variety, I believe it affected the rest of the colours.

Although I still have a bit of red and pink colours, more of that has turned to purple. Ultimately though, I am really happy with the colours and I love how they look. I started making a hat with the wool and it was working up beautifully. Unfortunately the pattern was awful and although this was supposed to be a large sized adult hat, it ended up being a good size for one of my niece's doll. I ended up having to frog it and will have to just wing a hat pattern as I go. Can't wait to finish it. Oh, I think that means I have to start it first!

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