Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spot the difference (black bean dyeing, part 2)

Can you see it? And no, I'm not talking about a difference between yesterday's yarn and today's.

See it now? No? Ok, how 'bout here?

It's subtle, but it's there. The two dyed skeins (shown here with their undyed sibling) were mordanted together, and dyed together for 75 hours, give or take an hour.

The difference? The one on top (first picture) and bottom (second picture) went back into the dye bath for another eight hours -- after I added a whack (Piggy is not a born dyer, I'm far too loosey-goosey with measurements) of white vinegar to the pot to alter the dye's pH level.

The results were not as dramatic as I'd hoped. So in a last-ditch effort, I threw in some vinegar into a sinkful of water as an after-bath. No change.

What I'd wanted was two distinct shades I could use in colourwork. What I've got now are two skeins so similar to make colourwork pointless, but just different enough to make knitting a single-colour project with both inadvisable. Unless, perhaps, something knit with a strand of each held together.

Here are all four dyed skeins, back together again:

Final Results

Overall, I'm pleased with the results on the non-superwash wool. But I do prefer the greater absorption of dye on the superwash Kroy Socks.

I'll definitely try dyeing with black beans again. But not for a while: I have a freezer full of black bean soup to get through first!


  1. Very pretty greens! Good luck with all that soup...

  2. I love the green hmm i've never had black bean soup is it any good ??

  3. Ooooh... tasty AND crafty! Don't get confuzzled and eat the yarn!!

  4. I do see the difference in the yarns, and while I do see what you mean about colorwork colors, I think they all turned out fab! Very inspiring, creativity-wise - thanks for sharing!

  5. Very nice!

    Though it does make we wonder what black beans do to your insides after consumption ;-)

  6. THe last picture shows the difference between the two blue-grey colours. I think you would get a very subtle difference for colour work. I am liking very subtle differences right now. They are very close. It would be tricky to do it properly. I think it is worth a swatch in your colourwork idea and see how it pans out.

    I love black bean soup. I hope you had several different recipies!


  7. I love the colour that the Kroy came out as!!