Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: August 2013 Page 2 of 3

TdF Wrap UP


These were plied a while back but I didn’t skein them off until just now.

Source: Spirit Trail Fiberworks
Colorway: 2012 Spinning Club Special
Fiber: 80% Merino / 20% Cashmere
Weight: 8.4 oz
Yardage: 2,400 yards (approx 4,500 ypp)

Madder Progress #2


I’m a little disappointed. The second skein (left) isn’t as vibrant nor as saturated as the first skein (right). I don’t know if it is because the first bath exhausted the most vibrant colors or because I overheated the second bath. The second bath reached 180F. While not a simmer, it was definitely warmer than I wanted it to be.

I’ve put both skeins back in the bath and will let them sit for the remainder of the week, with an occasional warming up. Thankfully, it will be a warm week (80F) and I can let the sun do most of the work for me after the initial warming in the morning.

Madder Progress

Silk/Wool yarn, au naturel

Silk/Wool yarn, au naturel

After 12+ hours at low temperature High of 110F for an hour or two, but left to sit out overnight, off heat.

After 12+ hours at low temperature. High of 110F for an hour or two, but left to sit out overnight, off heat.

Isn’t this a gorgeous color? It reminds me of the Buddhist monk’s robes. That’s the ubiquitous silk square that I put in my dye pots for my notebook.

Second skein in the reheated dye bath.

Second skein in the reheated dye bath.

I didn’t have room for the second skein yesterday so I took out the original skein and exchanged it for the undyed skein. I’ll let it sit for the day to “catch up”. I’ll add the original skein back in tonight and let them sit in the bath together for the remainder of the dye period.

I have added calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to make the water alkaline. At Phyllis’, her tap water was bang on neutral (7.0 pH), whereas my tap water was closer to 5.5. I had to add a lot more CaCO3 to shift it to at least a pH of 8.5 or so. I think I’m going to need to buy more CaCO3.

Edited: After a re-check, I have 6.25 pH from the tap. I think I wasn’t letting the pH strips sit in the water long enough. According to the latest water quality report, my water is supposed to be around 8.5 pH, but I’m definitely not seeing that.

The idea is to keep the water below 160F and alkaline until I get a nice rich red. I will periodically heat up the water to about 120F or so over the course of the next week.

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