Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Trying to dye Black... (part two and three quarters - Americolor)

So I did this last month, but things have been really hectic around here, so I was not able to get the post up until today.  Thanks to racinggirl on Ravelry for messaging me today... it reminded me that I had not posted this yet.

After my Trying to dye Black... (part two and a half - Americolor), I wanted to give it one more go with the Americolor black to see if I could get closer to an actual black.  One thing I noticed was that my previous attempts seemed to lean more towards the red side of things, so I had an idea that if I dyed the yarn blue first, then put the black over the top, I might get a less reddish colour.

I used 100g of my superwash Opal sock yarn, soaked in plain water.  For the first dye bath, I used 6 drops of Wilton Color Right blue dye (since the drops are easier to control) and let it go until it absorbed all of the dye.  I am noticing that no matter how loose I tie my figure eight ties, the dye really does not want to strike under them. I am going to have to start putting those sections in the dye first and making sure they are dyed before I put the rest of the yarn in.

I brought the water up to temperature and then added the citric acid mix one tablespoon at a time, at about 10 minute intervals. There were a total of 3 tablespoons to this one.
Step One - Dye blue first
I have to say, I almost stopped right there because the blue was so pretty. Even my husband thought it was really nice and that I should stop, but I had a plan, so I kept going. For this one, I let it cool completely before I went on to the next step. Again, was doing other things at the time or I would not have had the patience to do that.

I took the yarn out of the water and put it on a plate, dumped the water and mixed up another dye bath. This time I used 10 drops of Americolor black and 1/4 tsp of salt, dissolved in hot water.  I slowly added the yarn back to the dye pot, and let it come up to temperature. Once it was at temperature, I added my citric acid mixture one tablespoon at a time, adding each tablespoon at 10 minute intervals. I added a total of 4 to this pot.

I kept the yarn at temperature for about another 20 minutes or so, and then turned off the heat and let it cool while I dealt with a bunch of other things.  After about 2 hours, I made it back to the yarn. The water was pretty much clear, so I rinsed the yarn, washed with baby shampoo, wrung out in a towel, and then put it in the dryer on a shoe rack.

When it was done, it had more of a purple tint to it, but it is still definitely not black.
Much less of a brown than the last one. Picture did not pick up the tone as well as I had hoped, but you get the idea

Wrapped up, with the white twine as a contrast to try to show the colour better.

I do really like it, and already have plans for it, but I think this may be the end of my attempts at a full skein of black.  The only other thing I MIGHT try is doing with all WCR colours. I find the WCR black seems to be a bit more green based, so it would be interesting to see what happens if I dye it blue first,  like I did here, then overdye it with the black WCR colour.

For now, I am confident in saying that while dyeing stripes of black in a variegated skein is possible, trying to dye a whole skein black with food safe colour is not just worth the hassle. I get a feeling you would have to overdye the skein multiple times, and even then, am not confident you would ever get a true black.

Would love to hear if any of you have had any luck with a full skein of black using only food safe colours! Post in the comments below if you have tried it.

1 comment:

  1. What if you mix the black food color with green food color in the pot and the add the yarn the green should help with the brown tones