Thursday, July 24, 2008

Over dyeing variegated cotton yarn

Here it is, one Clapotis, knit a couple of years ago, worn once and discarded, now revived and much more presentable. It is knit in Classic Elite Imagine, a cotton and rayon blend yarn, space-dyed to a searing combination of coral and yellow.

I got atrocious pools of the bright coral. I tried to counteract it somewhat by tying off bits of yarn or by changing skeins every other row, but it was too much for my rather meager knitting skills. I'd only been knitting about a year when I knit this. I remember how much trouble I had knitting through the back loop and keeping track of my repeats. None of that bothered me in the slightest when I knit my second Clapotis a year later.

Now, like my knitting skills, my first Clapotis is making progress. Sorta...

At least it's not orange anymore. I rinsed it well, and blocked and dried it quickly, so it is not stiff or unevenly dyed. Nope, those blotches you see are solely due to the variegation in the yarn. I'm sure I could have reduced the variation by bleaching it prior to dyeing, as I did Latoya. Seriously, I never considered bleach. I originally planned to tie-dye it, protecting strips of the rectangular wrap by putting rubber bands around it. I wanted it to be orange, yellow, and brown--in variegated stripes! I also hoped that the rayon wouldn't dye, so it would stand out as flecks of the original color. Thankfully, reason prevailed, and I went for the safe, simple, plain overdye.

It came out burgundy and greenish brown. The rayon that is plied with the cotton did take the dye, but it is still shiny and reflects the light, just in a less obvious manner. The drape is perfect.

I realize that the colors vary from one photo to another. The photos are actually a true reflection of how it appears in different light. In low light, it looks more dull greenish brown; in sunlight, the red is more visible, highlighting the burgundy tones.

In all the time that I've spent thinking about dyeing this Clapotis, I never thought it would come out quite like this. Now I have to decide if I want to wear it. Whether I do or not, the dyeing experiment was interesting and educational for me. I hope you enjoyed it.

Posted by Picasa

10 comments:

Wool Winder said...

I've certainly learned a lot from your experiments. Bleaching first was something I'd never heard of, but will remember for the future.

beverlyanne said...

Luni, I have been enjoying your blog as well as your experiments in dyeing. You are a great, prolific blogger and knitter. But I have one questions. What's wrong with orange?

theminx said...

But why wouldn't you wear it now?

vlb5757 said...

That is so cool how your dyed it and changed the color of it completely. I don't really like my first Clapotis either but I am thinking about just donating to a nursing home instead of keeping it. I really love the second one much more. I hope that lady I bought half a skein from mails it soon! I want to get it finished!
I love your dying experiments. I might get gusty and give it a try myself.

Robin said...

All right already! This is the second completed clapotis I've seen tonight in my blog reading! I MUST get mine back out and finish it! I sure hope I can remember where I stopped! Love the dye jobs!

sydney said...

Thanks for posting your experiments. I probably wouldn't have thought of bleaching first. I think I had a cotton ease buying frenzy around then too.

Patricia said...

I tip my hat to your bravery, I'm not sure that I would have the chutzpa to dip hand knits into Rit.
I am fascinated by those whose talents run to the knack of dying yarns. I just bought a skein of sock yarn from a lady in BC who really has an eye for color. knittingonimpulse.com
I think that both items have definite wearability. The sweater looks great.

Marjorie said...

I think it looks very nice, and you should wear it. I've never even considered the idea of redying something I knitted, and your successes have given me some confidence that it could be done.

Corwink said...

Your Clapotis looks amazing! I really need to experiment with some dyes.

Sam said...

I think the colours look interesting. I'd say wear it for sure :)