Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I have no idea why the picture is turned sideways, but you can still see that it is a Starter Kit from Greener Shades. The kind folks at Greener Shades sent me this sampler so that I could try the dyes out myself. They are acid dyes which are formulated to be absorbed with greater intensity by the fibers, and to leave less metals in the dyebath which gets integrated into our water system.

Yesterday I did a little test using mini skeins of Bluefaced Leicester and Merino and another of a superwash merino with nylon. My test actually brought up more questions than answers, and I now realize that I have nothing to compare the results to, so it's time to do a test on the regular dyes I normally use, i.e., ProChem, and the same fiber combo. Initially I saw that the superwash with nylon changed hues with the yellow and orange, and absorbed much more dye in the blue and black than the non-superwash yarns. I know that superwash yarns do absorb more color than non-superwash yarns, but I am talking a major difference in the amount of absorbed color.

Using a set of three little measuring spoons with denotations of A Pinch, A Smidgen, and A Dash, I did not follow the set of instructions which came with the samples, but used my old quick and tried routine of a little dye, a splash of white vinegar, a cup of hot water all into a zip-bag and into the microwave for two sessions of two minutes, with a rest in between. Colors were nice and clear, and most of the color was absorbed from the mini-bath.

I will say that my first impression of Greener Shades is that the colors are vibrant and lovely. Ever since the experiment, I have been daydreaming of dyeing up some of the limited British Merino in SW DK and making a one-of-a-kind sweater for next year. Maybe a sleeveless vest, even, since I've picked up Barbara Walker's book, Knitting From the Top, and am becoming obsessed with some of her ideas. She and Elizabeth Zimmerman can just put me into that wonderful zone where ideas flow, there are no dropped stitches, and long swaths of plain knitting go by effortlessly.

Will post a picture of the results of both experiments in the next few days, but wanted to see if anyone else has used Greener Shades with success? They look good, so far. Good enough to have me daydreaming about an Amethyst vest, knit from the top down.

Wish I could remember where I got those little measuring spoons. They come in handy when mixing colors and I recall that I found them just after buying Maryanne Lincoln's book, Recipes from the Dye Kitchen. She is a rug hooker, but that doesn't matter. She is a genius at mixing color, mostly for wool fabric swatches, but wool is wool and her recipes are wonderful. She does mention the TOD brand dye measuring spoons, which are calibrated scoops at both ends measuring down to 1/32 of a teaspoon. Also the Grey brand of spoons which go to 1/128th of a teaspoon! Maybe they are the Grey spoons. If so, I have only this information for the hunt (though the internet will surely yield some better results -- this book was written ten years ago when we didn't think to look on the internet as a natural reaction): Ralph Grey: 4877 Ashworth Road; Mariposa CA 95338. Happy hunting!
Here's a link ... http://www.iloverughooking.com/grdyemesp.html (the tiny ones!)
Found them: http://www.greenfeet.com/itemdesc.asp?kw=Pinch-Dash-Smidgen-Measuring-Spoons&ic=6005-01203-0000&eq=&utm_source=google-base&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=6005-01203-0000&utm_term=Pinch-Dash-Smidgen-M


Katie said...

Shelia, amazon.com has those measuring spoons. http://www.amazon.com/HIC-Andersons-Smidgen-Measuring-Spoons/dp/B000H0UAUI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1243990922&sr=8-1

I found them locally at an outlet mall for a $1.00.

Knit Witch said...

Interesting! I have never used these dyes before so I always appreciate reviews of other products!!