Saturday, July 28, 2007

Green is the New Brown

Uh huh. Did you know that? Combining colours is not my fav thing to do, but I thought I could read at least.

It seems that if I find a pattern I like, I don't have the yarn. When I finally get new yarn, I can't find/remember/don't fit the patterns I wanted. One tank I have wanted to make for awhile is the 'W' tank from (look it up in the archives heading, choose 'tanks' from the drop down menu). It's really clever, sideways, short-rows, garter st vs stockinette st. Not something that would be easily altered, at least not without knitting it the way it should be first. The yarn is 16st/4" and the one listed is 100% wool, handpainted, exclusive type yarn. Now, I know the nomads wear wool, but I don't think I want a chunky gauge tank top in 100% wool. Cotton would be okay (because of the stretch of garter st), but chunky weight cotton? It'd weigh a ton. A blend would be nice. But I can't find anything I like/afford/can buy here.

But I was dropping into Wal-Mart the other night, and can't not stop by the yarn row. I found ONE bag of three 100g balls of a yarn by some unknown Canadian company.

It's slightly textured, cream strand and a beige strand with a binder strand. A little boring, especially since the sideways nature of the W tank would be lost. It's cotton/viscose with about 15% acrylic. Perfect for dyeing with RIT type dyes!

So I drag the kids to the mall, to see if Zellers happened to have this yarn too (they had just re-arranged the store, not got rid of the yarn!). No, so off to the other end to the dollar store where they sell fabric dye. Tintex. That's a name brand, right? They had "Brown" which, although a little boring, was the best option. I bought another colour too that I thought might add some splashes of colour.

First thing, set up the giant skeins. A thing to do during Megan's nap time. Unfortunately she is sick and not sleeping much (day or night).

Obviously, I was not about to start dyeing until ALL the kids were in bed (and it took forever and some Motrin to get Megan asleep). I open the box, read the instructions. It says for colours like brown to use two boxes (doesn't say that on the OUTSIDE of the box). One box normally for 1lb (454g) of fiber, my yarn was 300g but I was only dyeing portions of it, so I figured I was safe. I tear open the packet and pour GREEN crystals into the pot. It's okay; brown is a mixture of many colours, maybe it's like blonde hair dye that goes on purple. Just to be certain, I hang a strand of white, 100% cotton over the edge. After awhile, it could pass for brown, but it shows green where it seeped up the yarn strand. The paper towel I rest it on turns green. I put the bits of yarn in. (Kind of looks like two long ponytails hanging over the edge, doesn't it?)

They turn green. I leave it, come back and stir now and then. Where it seeps up the wet yarn, it shows almost blue. After awhile I decide it's rinse time. Looked pretty green to me. But it's still wet, so what do I know. The box says 'Brown'.

I arrange the yarn again for a second dip in different spots. I leave it in extra long. It's getting late. Finally take it out, rinse out green water, and leave it draped over the divider in the sink and go to bed.

The dark green areas are from the first dip.Here, you can see a slight variation in colour/sheen between the cotton and viscose portions (I'm assuming the acrylic is the binder thread, but the yarn feels a little acrylicky). Hopefully a few more rinses and that'll show better.

I'm going to knit it up anyway. The garter stitch nature of the pattern will change how you feel about any yarn. However, I don't think even garter stitch will be able to make green turn brown. If I don't like it after knitted, I can re-dye the whole thing in the other colour I bought. What colour could that be?



Mom said...

While cleaning out the old laundry room in the basement I found several packs of Rit dye.And one is cocoa brown [I bet it is not green!]You can have them if you want.

Laura McIntyre said...

Thats more about knitting that i have ever read before, its intersting though look forward to reading more. SOrry the brown turned green though