Based on a True Sweater

Jul. 3, 2006

Good News, Bad News, Good News, and a Question

Before I Begin:
Thank you all so much for your comments on my last entry. You've given me some food for thought and for further discussion, which I think I will return to in a later entry. I think, also, that I will be wearing this look, possibly with more makeup than I was wearing in the photo (because I was actually wearing some). But now, the new business.

The Preamble:
Have you seen this insane sale on R2 Paper? I loved the R2 project, I'm quite sad that it didn't fly in the end. I imagine it was more feasible for British consumers, but by the time the yarn made it over the ocean, it was too expensive for the way it was being marketed. I was quite inspired by the R2 books and I continue to draw inspiration from them every time I pull them out, though I find I use the ideas more in sewing than in knitting.

I have wanted to try the Paper yarn since it came out (I'd love to get my hands on some Rag and some Braid, too!), but I wasn't willing to pay the $$$ for it. At this price, however, I could not resist it, and I ordered a bag of grey.

Good News:
It arrived only 2 days later! I swatched and cast on for a sweater at a pretty firm gauge (approx. 16 sts = 10 cm / 4 inches on a 6mm/US10 needle). The yarn was so nice at different gauges, I ordered another bag, and an 8mm/US11 Addi Turbo. I'm into the third ball of the sweater now, and I'm really enjoying knitting it. (I'll rhapsodize more about why I love it in another entry, when I've got something to show you.) But...

Bad News:
What the hell is going on with the colour?? I received a sealed bag of yarn, all one dye lot, but the colour differs so much from ball to ball that you'd almost think I was using 3 separate shades! Of course, it doesn't differ enough that you can see this difference in the ball, it only shows when it's knit up, and it's subtle enough to look like total crap. This yarn is 100% nylon, would you really think it would be so hard to achieve colour consistency between 2 balls of the same freaking dye lot?? (rolls eyes, froths at mouth, shoots steam from nostrils)
Fortunately, however...

Good News:
Nylon is, apparently, easy to dye. I have RIT dyes and acid dyes (which I've never used), so I'm going to try dyeing the sweater when it's done. I suppose this could work out better in the long run, since I really do love the yarn, and I really do hate its pastel colour palette. In fact, this could be a lot of fun. Which leads me to...

A Question:
Dear readers, have any of you had any experience dyeing this yarn, or dyeing nylon in general? If not, do you know anyone who has? I'd welcome any information you could share. I have 2 more bags on the way (one is to make a gift), so this yarn and I will be spending some serious quality time together. Hopefully the other bags will not present me with the same bullshit colour problem, but if they do, I'd like to know what my options are.

In other news, Zak and I had a really nice Canada Day, which Ben has summed up here.

I hope you all had a nice Canada Day! (...or will have a nice Fourth of July, or will have/did have a nice nationalist celebration of your own country, as applicable, whatever.) Last year, we didn't manage to leave the house to celebrate, so it was great to actually get out and enjoy the beauty of Vancouver (and some tasty food) with some friends. Buying take-out before walking to the beach is certainly a very stress-free and enjoyable way to have a picnic.

On an unrelated note, I really, really hate editing glove patterns. Hate.

That is all.


At 8:37 a.m., Blogger spaazlicious said...

Ah, you're evil for linking to the bag sale. That is crazy, crazy cheap. I need no more yarn but...no. I won't.

It's pretty near impossible to overdye anything without splotchiness at home, so I hope you are okay with that, maybe have a different effect planned, like camo. (To attempt evenness: You need a large container to float it in, with the dyes well distributed in it, and even then the temp differences within the pot can cause the dye to strike first and harder in certain places. Make sure the sweater is well wetted out and stir and turn it gently in the largest container you can find nearly constantly. Acid dyes are best for nylon.)

At 7:06 a.m., Blogger sammimag said...

The below website has some good info about dyeing nylon.

If you are starting out with uneven yarn then you will get uneven yarn. The uneven nature you have already will carry through. Read info on the site above about about low-water immersion dyeing. Then you could dye a garment or afghan few colors so you can go with a mottled look.

I'd definitely make a few swatches and do some test batches so you can see how you like it.

At 7:27 a.m., Blogger Amy Boogie said...

I have dyed nylon and it sucks up the color fast. I mean. FAST! Like Spaaz said about the splochiness, it will be tough to get a purely even and solid color with this stuff.

At 10:35 p.m., Anonymous ang said...

eh yah - I dye with rit and tintex all the time at work. I'm no professional dyer - and never dyed yarn but I am sure overdying a sweater will be fine. I can't remember if you have a washing machine at home but you can probably do it right in there. That is how we do it at work. The hotter the water the better (boiling ideal) but mixing your dye in boiling water before pouring it in the machine works fine if the washer is on a hot setting. Nylon shouldn't shrink or anything - it does take color quite well.
I'm not sure - unless you are going much darker - if it will hide the difference in the balls of yarn. I would think it would. The only time that hasn't worked is when the color difference was caused by something other then dye - aka a mysterious stain at value village. It only makes it worse then.
You could ombre it if you used the yarn from lightest to darkest (or the other way round) - it could be quite pretty - and overdye that.
I know nothing of acid dyes - even though I took a course. I promptly forgot everything and threw out my notes.
I use tintex more then rit - I can get you it at wholesale at N.Jeffersons if you want heh heh..... better colors is the reasoning behind that I believe.
I like leaving novels in your comments.

At 12:36 a.m., Anonymous Cookie said...

I'm tempted by the Rag over the Paper, but even at their dirt cheap prices, I think I'd have to order three bags to be able to make a decent sized sweater. (As opposed to one that has the chest missing!)

Wish I had some info on dyeing nylon. Would love to see pre- and post-dyeing pictures!

At 8:24 a.m., Blogger ErLeCa said...

I have had that happen before, though it wasn't with nylon, it was with wool. I say try dying a small bit of the yarn and see how it turns out before you try dying the whole sweater. It might save you some tears in the end!

At 11:31 a.m., Blogger Brenda said...

you've probably already checked, but just in case, the Rit site has many good tips: http://ritdye.com/default.asp

be sure to show us before and after shots!

At 11:39 a.m., Blogger Heather said...

I've done a lot of dyeing and the advice the other people have given is pretty solid. I use Lanaset dyes myself (Rit and Tintex are union dyes, which ultimately means their dyeiing power is weaker.) Go for a darker shade, use a big pot, watch the temperature (gradually raising the temp can avoid instant dye strike). Or how bout enhancing the variation and doing a subtle version of painting (keep it to analogous colours)?

Good luck!

At 5:44 p.m., Blogger ladylinoleum said...

I've wanted to try R2 as well. I'm going over to purchase a bag this minute!


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