I was waaaaaay ahead of the curve this month and actually had both kilos of KdR all dyed super early. Hopefully this whole "getting things done ahead of time" thing will be a new trend for me. Makes things so much less stressful. With four whole kilos of yarn due to arrive by Friday (for the upcoming Blue and Alaskan Ice Tea colorways), I'm thinking I might actually be able to have the next four month run completed by December so I can begin working on other projects.
As seems to be the way of things, each subsequent dye gets a little bit easier as I work towards perfecting my methods. Successes and failures this month:
1. More intense colors tend to wick beautifully. Both the dark purple and the raspberry dyes used in this month's colorway require heavier concentrations of dye to get just the right color - roughly 3 times as much dye per kilo as for the softer colors. Because of this, it seems like the dye gets sucked up by the yarn much more readily, so that it wicks (spreads through the fiber) very easily. This created some really beautiful and subtle transitions between the colors.
2. Fiber content matters way more than you think for some colors. The dyes I use are good for all animal fibers - wool, silk, nylon, angora, alpaca, etc. Up until now, I've been doing samples on 100% wool even though the yarn for Socktails is 75/25 SW wool/nylon, and there hasn't been any difference in the colors on the sample versus the finished product. Until now. I did a couple samples on the wool which were nice, but ran out before getting it just right... so I switched to a 75/25 blend just like the sock yarn. Wow, so different! I'm so glad I ran more samples using this new yarn because otherwise you would all be getting some really weird looking skeins later.
3. Nitrile gloves are the way to go. I've been trying to salvage my nails, which got all messed up during the move up here, and a big part of that is keeping them dry and away from weird chemicals. Especially my right index finger, which was severed (and reattached, thankfully) straight across the nail bed when I was a kid, resulting in a "trauma nail" that has a lot of problems. I've been wearing regular kitchen gloves while dyeing but find that they (1) leave my hands smelling funny and (2) make it hard to feel the yarn and know what I'm doing. This month I switched to blue nitrile gloves - the kind your doctor probably uses - and they felt way more natural and comfortable. I still can't find any small enough to fit my apparently freakishly tiny woman hands, but the nitrile fits better than the rubber gloves and that's a start.
4. Raspberry colored dye is just as messy and unpredictable as actual raspberries. You know how, when you eat fresh berries, you tend to find stains and splotches even in places you SWEAR were nowhere near the berries in question? Raspberry-colored dye is the same way. How did it get on the bottom of my socks? I wasn't even wearing socks while I was dyeing! Sigh.
Anyway. Those were this month's grand revelations. Stay tuned later this week for preview pics of Kir de Reddit!