Quatrefoil technique experiment

QuatrefoilOn my learning journey again – towards more ways of creating multi-coloured skeins of yarn. This time I’m building on a technique in Hand-dyeing Yarn and Fleece by Gail Callaghan – she calls it ‘Dip and Dye Multi-coloured’.

I thought it would be a good idea to use my foil pans – square, disposable, 50mm tall sides. Also seeking to use up some old dyestocks. Right now, I have 12 different stocks of various concentrations.

This experiment is about the dye application technique, so it is a good opportunity to use some miscellaneous strength stocks. And since I have a lot of brown-red-yellow, it is going to be an analogous colourway: Tan Bark, Red Ochre, Broome, Wattle/Desert Pea (4/1) and Chamomile.

  1. Using one 100g skein of Bendigo Sock, undyed, soaked in plain water overnight, excess water squeezed out by hand. Skein still wet.
  2. Cold, into Chamomile dye stock, low water immersion. No heat, didn’t let it exhaust.
  3. Tan Bark, Red Ochre, Wattle/Desert Pea (4/1) and Broome, about 25 mL each, into foil pans. Water added, up to about 3/4 full.
  4. Wet yarn removed from Chamomile dye bath, about one quarter of the skein into each foil pan. Yarn well covered with dye. So far, so good.
  5. Hmmm. How am I going to heat set this? Foil pans won’t fit in any of my heating gadgetry. Plot twist!quatrecolour-170212
  6. Shift yarn to a cluster of four medium jars: this works much better! Jars into frying pan, steamed and done.

The end result: nice soft colours. The depth of shade of the Red Ochre and Tanbark dyes was low, so the colour intensity is low – subtle and soft, definitely.

Major lesson – other than the foil pan/jam jar thing – the yarn was too wet. I couldn’t get the colours to wick up from the jars to merge at the joining points. Even with a lot of attention, I ended up with bands of Chamomile between the darker colours. Not horrible, but noticeable.

So, in the next post, an attempt at glazing to add depth and to soften out those colour merges.