Sunday, June 06, 2004

Dyeing to Know

I am not an anal person (take a look at my house, my classroom, etc) but I spend way too much time repeating things that I've done before, or trying to replicate something I liked, but can't remember how I did it. My task for the summer is to get down on paper (actually, into the computer) my tried-and-true formulas. For instance, somewhere in this house is a steno book with diagrams for the making bias binding out of a rectangle. Now I can find 8 - 10 similar instructions on the internet but none are the same, or should we say, none are the same as I remember. (just yesterday I found the red notebook I've been looking for for more than a year - it's green and I've just pushed it out of my way all that time!) Speaking of looking for things, this is not what I expected to find in my bag of romney that's been through the carder once! Reminds me of the time I shook out my newly finished Wallaby, put it on, stuck my hands in the pocket and pulled out a Jack Daniel's Cactus Kicker bottle cap. Now that Josh is home the pool table is being used for its intended purposes (not my intentions - I thought it was perfect for drying fleece) so I can expect a few more surprises.

Back to the point. Since I've been doing mostly acid dyes that last few months, I'm starting with those. In researching formulas I've read books/articles by Linda Knudson, Deb Menz, Sara Lamb, and Blumenthal and everyone has something different. For comparison, let's just say were talking 28% acid. One source says 8% WOF, another 10%. In addition, some references say to base acid on DOS also. I'm starting to think that you might need more acid if you are doing a slow simmer method, such as the turkey roaster or crock pot. Any thoughts on this?

Although many of the turkey roaster dyers have been using Cushings, I'm working on coming up with dye formulas from a core set of Sabraset dyes. This is 65% magenta, 10% scarlet, 25% bright blue. I used href="" target=blank>Kate's dry fleece method with this one, but I had trouble stuffing only 400 grams of corrie into the roaster. I know Kate and Carolyn routinely dye 2 lbs. I used vinegar at 56% WOF (224ml)and the water was so clear you could drink it. For the next batch (rinsing now) I wetted it first and using that method I could see that I could get 800 grams in. I also used less vinegar and found that I had some unexhausted dye left. I found a source for 98% acetic acid and my husband was going to pick it up on his next trip to Fairless Hills. Luckily someone reminded this chemistry-challenged person that I would probably kill myself. Last night I ordered 5 lbs of citic acid from some beer making distributor. I should be able to handle that!

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