Monday, 10 August 2015

Vintage Shopping and Dyeing Bamboo Yarn with Fibre Reactive Dye

Hi Lovelies! If it has been a bit quiet on the blogging front it has certainly not been here at MOR. I have been working really, really all hours of the day and night a lot in the last couple of weeks, albeit a little half-heartedly as I am just not feeling the love at the moment.  To try to get me out of my grump I took some time off.  We had to drop the car in to get looked at in Whitley Bay just in time to go to the auction at Featonby's. I didn't buy anything but it was fun to go.





We did go into just about every charity shop, Sprogzilla was none too happy, but we came away with some lovely finds. We found some vintage crochet doillies and embroidered tray cloths (to add to my huge collection), some knitting needles, a very funky knitted suit pattern and a tattered and manky Singer sewing pamphlet that looks like it is from the 1930's/40's.


Beautiful Illustrations


After the car was done we drove down to Marsden and had tea and cake in the Marsden Grotto before going for a paddle in the sea. It was surprisingly warm for being overcast but the water was freezing.

Sprogzilla enjoying the beautiful scenery

Friday, I decided to do some dyeing to pass the time before tackling the jungle that is our garden. To me it really feels like Autumn is on the way so I am hankering after knitting some wooly scarfs. I love the look of all those fancy hand-painted yarns but they are pretty expensive and I am not that great a knitter so for now they would be wasted on me. Taking the cheapskates route out, in the stash there was some Sirdar Baby Bamboo DK that I bought ages ago for £1 a ball. Nice yarn but for me too bland 'n' boring colour. It was however 80% Bamboo/20% Wool so all-natural and perfect for using up some of the Procion MX dyes I have tucked away. Sprogzilla asked if she could help and ended up dyeing a new white t-shirt and some cut-off denim jeans that we had bought for the purpose a few months ago and had pre-bleached to get them a very pale colour.


I made up some saline solution in a big Lidl pickle jar  (classy but the perfect size, plus pickles!) with 250g salt and added about 50g of Soda Ash. I used this solution to dissolve the dye powder in an old wine glass so about 6-10g of dye in about 100mls. This is a lot of dye as we wanted saturated colours. I used Chinese Red, Cerise/Magenta, Yellow and for the wool added in a little black as these were the only colours left. I buy my dyes/reagents from Corkwood Knitting and Craft Supplies in the UK but they are pretty easy to come by all over.


To dye the wool I pierced a hole in an old plastic bottle and pushed through an end. I used a knife so that the end is held when the bottle goes back into place. I then wrapped the yarn round the bottle quite randomly so that the colour would be distributed with no pattern to it. I pre-rinsed the yarn in warm water with a little Synthrapol to get rid of any size or dirt and soaked it for 5 minutes in 5% Soda Ash to "prime". One ball of yarn was enough to cover a 1.5L plastic bottle. This is the perfect size as you get a nice thin layer of yarn. It is also easy to hold without getting all covered in dye and it can stand and drain by itself. Plus it can go straight into the recycling bin after you have used it. Cheap and classy!


After the soaking I stood the bottle up on the draining board to drain and then used a paint brush to add dye in splotches all over the yarn. It ended up in a sort of messy leopard print.  Sprogzilla folded her pre-washed and primed T-shirt lengthwise and secured it with old hairbands. She then used the same paintbrush to "paint" pieces of her shirt in a random way. The shorts she wanted a sort of gradient so just painted on what ever she fancied onto them making sure that both the front and the back were covered.


We left the t-shirt for 6 hours and the yarn for about 7 hours. I popped the t-shirt in a plastic bag and left it outside while I cleaned up. You could also leave it overnight if you like, we did with the shorts. They were then rinsed in cold water until it ran clear and then a warm wash with a couple of teaspoons of Synthrapol in a sink of hand-hot water. I drip-dry outside but you could give them a rinse and spin in the machine. Do wear gloves though as I did a bit of the final rinsing without and now I have magenta pink hands like a big, camp Jumblie. 


This is how the yarn turned out. I really love it.  The colours are very different from the t-shirt even though we used the same dye lots. Dyeing will always be affected by the composition of the fabric. If there is any man-made-fibres in your mix then it may be a bit paler. Cellulose fibres such as bamboo and cotton are best for the Procion Dyes but there are differences in how each fibre takes it up. Also any existing colour will affect the final outcome. For dyeing proper wool you should use special dyes for proteins but you can use the Procion ones just replacing the Soda Ash with white vinegar or some thing else acidic.

Top Tip - Don't be a trumpet like me and take the yarn off the bottles to rinse it or you will end up with yarn spaghetti like I did. Fun unravelling it all though, all 300m of it.

Oh, and just in case you thought I had forgotten I will post a separate post this week on the winner of the Patrones magazine as this one is long enough for tonight and I need to get to bed. Sorry for not posting it sooner. Life is really dragging me down a rabbit hole at the moment.

Until later!
Kxx


Disclaimer: Just mentioning that this post is sponsored by me, me and only me, plus everything in the above is of course my own opinion. 

No pickles were dyed in the making of this post.











16 comments:

  1. Wow, clever you... loving that wool!

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    1. Thanks Edwina. I am now looking for something easy to knit with it. The balls were 50g and I only have 3 but I think that it might be enough for a scarf or a small shawl. Xx

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  2. You found some fun vintage pieces! I was just out in Colorado and I came upon some lovely lace pieces. I'll show them later on the blog. Love the dyed yarn. Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Rhonda. I love collecting vintage lace, fabric and haberdashery. I might have a bit too much now but can never resist it. Looking forward to seeing your pieces. Hope you had a great time in Colorado. Xx

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  3. Sounds like you're having a good deal of fun! Love the dyeing. I've never been brave enough to move past Dylon, although I'm about to have a go at dyeing some shoes!

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    1. Shoes would be great. I have never had a go at being them. Are they leather or fabric? I think that leather would be very hard to do. There is a shop in Perth that dyes shoes to match outfits. Good luck with your shoes and please let me know how they turn out. Xx

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  4. I used to be mad on tie-dying and used to make all sorts of mad combos back in the day. The wool looks gorgeous as does the tee shirt. Love the idea of using a Lidl pickle bucket, too.
    Great scores in the chazzas and lovely shot of Sprogzilla on the beach. xxx

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    1. Thanks Vix. I love tie-dyeing. I spent a lot of my 20's also in mad tie-dye usually dancing a lot in a field. The chassis here are pretty good for linens but not for clothes except for the Relate shop in Whitley Bay that has some gems. Xx

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  5. What a great dye job on the wool, it looks fab. And extra Lidl pickles too, mmm!
    That knitted trouser suit made me chuckle - imagining myself in knitted trousers is a very funny thought!
    Aren't those illustrations lovely?
    Yep, teens and their phones, the only scenery worth looking at....
    Hope life settles into a more enjoyable, easier rhythm soon. I'll be up in Tynemouth on Saturday, way hey! Xxxx

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    1. Knitted trousers would be hilarious. I can just imagine the "pampers effect" from sitting down in them all day. Plus wouldn't they be a bit see-through? Swinging 60's indeed. Have a great time in Tynemouth and if you do end up in Whitley Bay the chazza across from the Auctioneers has loads of good vintage. Xx

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  6. i've always wanted to try dyeing yarn! The results look great!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Oranges and Apples. Dyeing the yarn was pretty easy but I think the next time I do it I will leave the yarn in situ until it is dry. I had a big job rewinding it all into balls. It took me three days. I am going to give it anther go with undyed yarn soon. You should really give it a try. It is fun. Xx

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  7. The fashion they came up with in the 60's! Hihi! I'm trying to imagine knitting a size 24 and the amounts of yarn it would take......wow...lol
    Love your yarn! Turned out great! What will it become eventually?

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    1. Thanks for the comment. Haha! That is one of the reasons I never knit myself anything bigger than a scarf. I would be buried under yarn, not to mention bankrupt. I only have 150g so it will probably end up as a scarf or a shawl. They have some lovely lacy patterns on Revelry but some of them look a bit hard for a beginner like me. Xx

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  8. I have far too much wool, including some beautiful hand-dyes. I'm on more or less a yarn diet until I've used some of it up! I've never tried dyeing my own, though. Yours looks nice.

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    1. Thanks Mim. I don't have so much will around these days. I gave a couple of black bin liners full away to my Mum who is a prolific knitter. I am very slow so it would have taken me forever to get through it all. The hand-dyes sound lovely. Xx

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