It is rare that I get to do a specific colorway on different types of yarns at the same time, so it is difficult to actually see comparisons effectively.
Last week I had occasion to do just that, so I wanted to share with you how different yarns can affect the end result of your Custom-Dyes selections. First the pictures, then the discussion.
This is the exemplar photo for the Patina colorway shown on the Custom-Dyes page:
The original exemplar was shown on a previous line of sock yarn that I used to use a few years ago.
The actual recipe remains unchanged.
Last week I was requested to do Patina on both the Alpaca-Silk-Cashmere lace yarn (on special offer, not one of my regular yarns) and on Phydlbitz Sock, so I was able to mix a single batch of dye for all of them. I did the two ASC lace together as a Twin-set to ensure they would work together with equal proportions throughout the pair.
The Twinset of lace looks fine, and the Phydlbitz Sock looks fine. Sitting next to each other, however, they don’t appear to be the same, but they are. That is the because of (1) fiber content, and (2) size/type of yarn. The Phydlbitz Sock is 75% superwash Corriedale/25% nylon – the nylon grabs and holds dye much better than the Alpaca-Silk-Cashmere fibers. Also, because the strands on the Phydlbitz Sock are wider, you can see individual colors along the strands more easily than on the lace.
The natural animal fibers, whether wool, alpaca, cashmere, etc., are slower to take up the dye, so that during the dyeing and subsequent steaming (to set the dye) the colors migrate. That is one of the reasons I developed my “watercolor wash” technique, to deliberately take advantage of this phenomenon. Patina is one of the colorways done with this technique.
So is Stone (like the stones of a rock garden, or beach rocks):
Dirty Mechanic (think of a mechanic’s blue flannel rag or overalls, smeared with the oils and grease of her auto repair work:
and Rose Granite (every slab of rose granite yields a new array of marbled pinks and veined greys):
as well as many of my Blog Reader Specials.
None of these colorways will EVER look exactly like the picture. I use the same recipes and color proportions, of course, but it is the nature of this technique and the nature of the yarn itself, to allow the dye to go where it will go. I put the dye where I want it to start, wrap it up and put it into the steamer, but the end result is always (ALWAYS) a little bit different. Even when I do Twin-sets, like the pair shown above, there are slight difference.