the following is a rant. if you don’t like reading rants, please look at the pretty green yarn below and move on.
today i was listening to one of the more recent knit picks podcasts and was appalled. first of all, asking someone how they dye and what they do while they’re dyeing is not a bad thing. however, i never, throughout the whole conversation, felt that either of the people on the podcast had any idea what they are talking about and not just that, i felt that they could be putting people’s lives at risk (i’m being dramatic, but…). if i were running a podcast and wanted to give accurate information to people i may have found someone who was a professional dyer with some training or someone who was well-read on the topic.
first of all, their comments on color theory. they recommended you learn this from mixing paints. although this may be a good place to begin… i think that there are serious differences in between dyeing than painting. you know, the whole adding white thing as opposed to making your solution a different strength. very different in my mind and in my experience.
next… um… don’t use your dyestuffs for food or your foodstuffs for dyeing. ever. in truth, as they mentioned, the powder form is the most dangerous, but most of our dyes have not been tested all that well. i’m not overly paranoid, but wear gloves, have separate dye stuff, wear a simple dusk mask when dealing with the powder form, and have separate clothing for dyeing that you wash right after. easy peasy. go to a thrift store and buy pots/pans/measures etc so that you won’t be tempted to use your foodstuff for dyeing. do as much as you can within reason to be safe. i am a kitchen dyer like most of you, but i also have a brain like most of you.
they also mention having dried up dye in pyrex dishes!! folks, that is back to powder form which is the most toxic form of dye. wash everything. clean up after yourself.
when you get dye on your hands it’s ‘nothing worse than pen ink’ – i don’t think that this comment was in any way researched. cave painters thought they were good to go dipping their hands in paint and putting it on the walls, then all the artists died early deaths.
mix your dyes. one color of dye won’t give you variegated… it’s true. the definition of variegated “Having streaks, marks, or patches of a different color or colors; varicolored.”
“certain dye bonds to the fiber in certain areas in different concentrations.” they seemed to think this was caused by the dye… could be, but really? i’m not so sure about this. my humble opinion is that when the water starts heating and the color starts moving around, the heat/movement of water are what causes the dye to bond to the fiber in different concentrations in different areas. granted, it could be a mixture of the nature of the dye and the water/heat.
the podcast also recommended muting with black/brown and claimed that it doesn’t matter which black/brown you use. actually, to mute a color you add a bit of the color across from it on the color wheel. to darken a color you use a black/brown and i must say that which black/brown you use does make a difference. they also recommended a color for this because they liked it best!!! i’m not sure that’s a good reason for it to be the best color for mixing dyes and the darkening of colors.
are immersion dyeing and kettle dyeing the same? they think so, but i’m also unsure about this. i think in kettle dyeing you put the fiber in, then add the dye on the top, heat. immersion is making a dye bath, then putting your yarn in and heating. i may be wrong about this because there are so many different variations in the dye world… but what i do as kettle dyeing is nothing like what they were doing. anyone clarify?
thanks for letting me rant :)