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#1 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 16 oz of Henry's Attic Gaia, and I'd like to make this cardi. Can anyone help me figure out (easy to get) colors to achieve that shade? I have Wilton's icing colors and Kool Aid, and I think that the Gentian Violet I have worked really well on my play silks.

I was thinking about sending it out to be dyed, but I am super frugal, have lots of colors, and Cristeen thought I might be able to figure it out. I've dyed lots of play silks and a little yarn. So far, I haven't gotten nice even coverage. I really don't want to ruin this much heavenly yarn.

ETA: I want a rich, vivid indigo.
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#2 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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Try the instructions from Three Irish Girls.

How big is your dyepot, by the way?

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#3 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Try the instructions from Three Irish Girls.

How big is your dyepot, by the way?
Umm, the $9 instructions that specify acid dyes? I was hoping to get good results without having to purchase either instructions or acid dyes. I'm really trying to be frugal! It was so hard to pass up a TIG coop, then someone suggested that I send them my yarn to dye. Now you're suggesting their instructions. I can only resist so long...

I have a really big stockpot I could use. In my previous thread, Cristeen thought I might need more water. I have used pretty small amounts in my past attempts.
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#4 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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indigo is really hard for me to obtain- of course I am new to this. But here is the kicker. You have to find a dye that has only blue in it- not a bit of red. The wool absorbs the red dye first then the blue- so I end up with blotches of purple in my blue- which while I think it is pretty- you probably won't. My wilton colors don't specify what dyes are in them and I think koolaid would specify- I don't think they make one with just blue. Maybe you could try the tutorial and dye from knitpicks? The dye is only like $4 and I think the instructions are free.

Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014

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#5 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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indigo is really hard for me to obtain- of course I am new to this. But here is the kicker. You have to find a dye that has only blue in it- not a bit of red. The wool absorbs the red dye first then the blue- so I end up with blotches of purple in my blue- which while I think it is pretty- you probably won't. My wilton colors don't specify what dyes are in them and I think koolaid would specify- I don't think they make one with just blue. Maybe you could try the tutorial and dye from knitpicks? The dye is only like $4 and I think the instructions are free.
That's good to know. Now that you mention it, I know I read recently that some of the blues have red in them, and the end result is not what you'd expect.

Knit picks is really reasonable. A lot more so than having professionally dyed any way. Thanks.
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#6 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I'm going to try acid dyes. Should I just use the Sapphire Blue, or try mixing? I am not great with colors, so I have no idea how to mix them.
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#7 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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There is a coop on Cushing's over on DSD
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#8 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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I think I'm going to try acid dyes. Should I just use the Sapphire Blue, or try mixing? I am not great with colors, so I have no idea how to mix them.
Sapphire blue is a blue-blue, not indigo. If you want indigo try starting with sapphire and adding a purple (violet, purple, whatever you have) until you have something close to what you want. Make sure you test a small piece of yarn before dyeing so you know it's the color you want. Oh, and I always mix my acid dyes as liquids, not powders, so I'd start with 3 containers, one with sapphire, one with violet, and the middle one for playing with.

If you try mixing koolaid or cake dyes be careful, most of those aren't straight colors so they mix weird.. for example a color you think is blue might also have yellow in it, so adding it to red won't necessarily make a nice purple.

Kerry, loving wife to Pete, mama to DD (14) DS1 (9) DS2 (3) & Expecting someone new Jan 2013

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#9 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sapphire blue is a blue-blue, not indigo. If you want indigo try starting with sapphire and adding a purple (violet, purple, whatever you have) until you have something close to what you want. Make sure you test a small piece of yarn before dyeing so you know it's the color you want. Oh, and I always mix my acid dyes as liquids, not powders, so I'd start with 3 containers, one with sapphire, one with violet, and the middle one for playing with.

If you try mixing koolaid or cake dyes be careful, most of those aren't straight colors so they mix weird.. for example a color you think is blue might also have yellow in it, so adding it to red won't necessarily make a nice purple.
I don't have any acid dyes now (just kool aid and wilton's.) What colors do you think I should get? Is it pretty easy to guess what color your wool will be by looking at the liquid? I know you wrote to try pieces of wool, but how do I get in the ballpark? Doesn't it just look really dark? Thank you.

One more question. Will dyeing affect the gauge? It seems to plump up the wool a little but I've never checked gauge before and after.

The yarn I'm using is called bulky, and the listed gauge works for the pattern, but I suspect it's going to knit up smaller.
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#10 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 07:10 AM
 
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If you're looking for indigo, I might be tempted to dye it with, well, indigo and use the earthues dyes which come with their own instructions. I personally find that I often get more even coverage when I use procion dyes on wool, though I don't get that lustrous shine that you get with acid dyes.

When I'm dyeing I wash the yarn and then I soak it overnight (or more often throughout the day) with a slug of baby shampoo. Synthrapol would work if you have some, but if not, don't worry. You need the yarn to be clean of any dressings or spinning or carding oils that have been used in the preparation, otherwise you will get patchy yarns. Prepare your dye bath according to your instructions and lower it in. Heat gently for 45 minutes or longer, turn the heat off and go out and do something else for a while. Maybe go to sleep? Then the next morning gently wash it.

If you're using koolaid (and aside from the fact that it's very expensive, I see no reason not to) then I'd suggest a mix of three parts ice blue raspberry lemonade and one part grape- maybe two parts. If you're using the jacquard, I'd suggest getting the sapphire blue, some hot fuchsia and some black. I suspect you'll probably find that you want 1/2 tsp or less of the fuchsia and the black, though they're both useful colours for blending. I'd also strongly, strongly suggest mixing up stock solutions of the dye for you to blend from.
The other alternative would be to overdye with sapphire, weak fuchsia/black and then sapphire again. YMMV, but that's one way of increasing your likelihood of a good solid colour.

The other thing you need to know is that there is almost no dyeing accident that can't be fixed with a gentle overdye in a weak fuchsia/magenta dyebath or with grape koolaid.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#11 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Helen,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out such detailed instructions! I am definitely going to give this a try.

I do want an intense color, so I think I'll use either acid dyes or kool aid. Since I already have the kool aid, I am tempted to give it a try. I also happen to have 3 packets of ice blue. Kool Aid here is about 4 to 5 for $1, so it's really not expensive. Or do I need about 50 packets?

I was wondering about the grape. My experience (limited) with grape is that it gives a muddy, dull purple. I assume from the breakdown of some of the component dyes? But you wrote that it'll work well. Perhaps because I'll be using it along with other colors?

I also have a bunch of Easter egg dyes that I got for $0.10 per pack last year. : There are blues, pinks, and purples.

But...since I do love this yarn, I don't mind buying the acid dyes if my chances of getting a good color are much better. I have lots of scrap wool. Maybe I need to just get out my pots and start experimenting. I'm glad to hear it's hard to make it unsalvageable!

(Btw, I enjoyed peeking at your lovely family and reading your blog. I can empathize with depression stealing your time and energy. Here's to spring and inspiration for new projects.)
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#12 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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There is a great web site that someone did tons of experimenting with drink dyes and posted all the results. I don´t remember seeing anything close to indigo. Iĺl try to see if I can find the a link for you. If I remember corrrectly there is a Rav group for Koo-aid dyeing and the link is stickied there.
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#13 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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This is the group: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/what-...-to-dye/topics

I would ask about getting indigo with Kool-aid there. I was unable to find the post with the link to the website I remembered- sorry.
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#14 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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I am completely confident that you can do it. From what you've said you have some experience dyeing, but have not been satisfied with the turn outs. That tells me that something needs to be tweaked in your method, but you already know the basics.

It may be that you want to go pick up a $2 skein of wool and practice on that rather than risking your good yarn. That's perfectly understandable. That's how I started - with Patton's wool that I found on sale. Now I sell my dyed yarn at the LYS. And I only work with food grade dyes - I haven't touched acid dyes in years.

To get a true indigo, you're going to need a LOT of blue and just a touch of red. TBH, I find it easiest to keep things simple. Working with icing colors, I'll dissolve a chunk in a small jar of water, then use an eye dropper to transfer some of it to the dye pot. Then if the dye bath exhausts before it's done (maybe it's splotchy or maybe it's too light), I have the dye color already mixed up and I just add more dye to the bath. With things like yellow (which is a tough color to dye with food coloring), I've had to do this maybe 4 or 5 times to get the color I wanted. If you check out my blog, compare the yellow in the first picture (which doesn't look like yellow, it looks like off-white) with the yellow in the last picture and you can see what I mean (first picture was my first dye job ever). It doesn't hurt anything though, so long as you avoid shocking or over-agitating your wool. Each successive dye bath will get it a bit darker.

Now, if you get the tone of blue you want, and it's not indigo enough, then an overdye with just a touch of red will lead you towards indigo. And again, if it's not enough the first time, do it again. I much prefer overdying lightly, because you can't undo it if you take it too far, but if it's not far enough, it's easy enough to keep trying.

HTH

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#15 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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Good luck with your dying experiement! Just wanted to chime in and say that the Gaia organic merino in bulky is scrumptuous! For me, I knit it up at 4.5 spi and it's wonderfully, squooshy soft. I'm sure you'll love wearing your FO. Sadly for me, I've only knit for my babe on the way with it!

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#16 of 17 Old 03-14-2009, 06:15 AM
 
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I'm calling KA expensive because over here, it's 50p a sachet. Seriously, though, IMO it's worth using the acid dyes. Other than that Cristeen and I are singing from the same song sheet in terms of a lot of blue and a bit of red.
And yes, grape will muddy the colours but if your yarn is fugly (not just not what you planned) that's a good thing. Honest.
One other thing - you may have to let go of your expectations. Wool behaves unpredictably sometimes, and it can be very difficult to get your yarn to take the colour as you want. You can create something beautiful and wonderful and desirable and flattering AND get a solid colour, yes- or the shade you want- but getting it right first time is something that doesn't happen for even the most experienced dyers. That's OK- that's the most wonderful thing about hand-dyed fibres, for me. They have character, and getting there is a lesson in mindfulness.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#17 of 17 Old 03-14-2009, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thank you all so much! I feel like I'm kind of a thread-killer, so it's a thrill to get so many helpful responses.

Kabes, I checked Ravelry and found a guy who made a gorgeous indigo color with blue food coloring and citric acid. He mentioned in his post that he'd found that citric acid is more effective than vinegar (acetic acid) in making blue color-fast. So I might look for that at the grocery store. He said it's used for canning.

I have Wilton's blue and pink, and Kool Aid in blue. I think I'll just start with what I have and see what happens. I have lots of scrap wool to experiment. Thanks again for the encouragement.
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