When you're trying to train for a 450-mile cross-state bicycle ride and the weather does nothing but pound you with snow, might as well get some color going!
22 inches were forecast; we had 15 after the first 36 hours. Not quite the Storm of the Century predicted, but still enough for another round of snow-dyeing!
Five hanks of cotton yarn were prepared for dyeing (hanked and then mordanted), then a hank of cotton thread, two yards of cotton fabric, and finally, one hank of wool yarn. This would be my first time using snow to dye wool, as well as my first time ever trying fiber-reactive dyes on wool. The dye process for wool is completely different than for cotton, so my efforts with the wool were experimental. Didn't know what to expect, and didn't really care how it turned out, as long as the wool didn't felt (shrink and coagulate). (The wool turned out just fine!)
I was hoping for lavender and violet this time around; the color broke once again, which is one of the magic aspects of snow-dyeing, so initially not the color I envisioned after the snow melted, but still not bad. Four of the cotton yarn hanks are to return kindness to friends who helped me through various difficulties, and I thought they'd each be happy with the results.
This time, I did an entire 415-yard skein of size 10 Baroque crochet thread instead of winding it into individual 100- or 150-yard hanks. I decided I want enough of one colorway to make something besides snowflakes. Especially if I like the finished color.
The wool is totally different in color from the cotton, but I think it turned out great. I think this will knit up beautifully!
Then came the washing stage. Eek. Sometimes washing is the make or break in dyeing. I'd been doing only natural dyeing for most of the last 18 months. You don't use hot heat in natural dyeing; it messes up the colors, typically resulting in standard grays and browns. Not fun after experiencing color heaven.
This was my first time using professional dyes in quite a while, and I mistakenly applied the natural dye washing rules to the cotton instead of the professional dye washing rules. Professional dyes need heat to set.
My cold cotton color did not set.
Fortunately, I still like the faded pastel pink, and I can always overdye if necessary. I also learned a much-needed lesson and hopefully will not need to relearn it. With 16 more inches on the way and yet another winter storm in the extended forecast, I want to take another stab at lavender and violet, without so much color break this time, if possible. Reducing color break in snow- or shaving cream-dyeing is a challenge, and challenge is one of the dyeing aspects I apparently enjoy. I keep trying again and again and again...
Meanwhile, this pastel pink might work very nicely for me and my friends, each who've had personal close calls with breast cancer, actual breast cancer, or loved ones facing close calls or the real thing. Pink is always sentimental in my neck of the high plains meets foothills.
Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.