Friday, 28 September 2012

I am not fond of

the colour pink. It is a colour I never wear (and no, I am not a red head). I was sometimes forced to wear it as a child but the garments were never favoured by me. Had I been given the choice I doubt I would ever have had anything pink.
There are other people who clearly love the colour. I was given wool recently. Two bags of it. A great deal of it was pink.
I shared some of it - the less virulent shades of pink were taken away by other knitters I know. They seem content to use it - after all they did not have to pay for it! But there was some even they could not bring themselves to use.
It was a sickly-ickly bright candy pink. It reminded me of a sort of sweet around in my childhood. It was a small, hard square in a composition similar to that of "conversation" sweets and came in that very colour.  If you just sucked at it for a short while and then wrapped it in the piece of waxed paper again it would last for days. Ugh!
It seemed nobody was going to use the candy pink so I have done the sensible thing. I dyed it.
        "Isn't that difficult?" someone else asked when I announced my intention, "Doesn't it mean mucking around with nasty chemicals and all sorts of other horrible stuff?"
There was none left from the last foray into dyeing so I bought some more of the cheapest white vinegar. I had food dye. Water and my new dye pot were to hand.
I measured out two cups of vinegar and eight cups of water into the pot on top of the stove. I added some dye and tested an end of the yarn. I added a little more dye and tested again - and again. Eventually it looked to be a colour I thought I could use - a rather pleasant indigo shade. I dumped the wool (tied in hanks) and poked it down gently until it was saturated - it was machine wash so I was not too concerned it would felt.
Then I heated it to almost boiling point and let it simmer for a short while - until I judged that the dye had taken and would remain fast enough. I let it cool, removed the yarn and "washed" it by dunking it in water that had some cheap shampoo in it. I squeezed it gently and hung it on the line to dry.
Last night, just as it was starting to get dark I went out and brought it in again. I wound some of the yarn while watching the news. I will wind the rest tonight. The colour is perfectly satisfactory - a very useful sort of shade.
Someone will be wearing once-pink - but they will never know it!


Sue Bursztynski said...

What a useful post! I must bookmark it. So, you can make colourfast dye with vinegar, water and food colouring? I never knew that.

jeanfromcornwall said...

I've bookmarked it as well! I'm the one who went to San Francisco to meet the son's in-laws, and had to be taken to a supermarket to buy Kool-Aid - which is basically citric acid and food colouring. Which is all very well, but there is such a small amount in each sachet. Home grown food colouring would be much better.