Changes and a few answers to searches

If you’ve been to the front page of this here blog, you might have noticed that I changed the layout.  I intended to have this layout from the beginning, but only yesterday I was able to make it work.  I’m writing about this on my other blog.

On another subject, since I posted the tutorials about dyeing, I’ve been noticing a few searches that end up in this blog, despite the fact that up until today, the answers to the questions on the searches weren’t found here.  I decided to address a few of those.

“what can i do if i dont like the way my rit dye came out ?”

Rit has a product that takes color out of fabrics (and yarn).  I used it once on some mohair I was given and don’t intend to ever use it again.  It did take most of the color out, but the smell is awful, the yarn lost its sheen and became brittle.
When my dye job doesn’t come out the way I want (no matter what dye I’ve used), I usually over dye the yarn.
One final note on colors coming out wrong.  Some dyes are composed of various different colors that set at different rates depending on temperature, pH, time and heat (hypothetical example: the dye “brown B” is composed of red, blue and yellow; the blue component needs a lower temperature to set, the yellow needs a lower pH and the red needs more time).  Unless the dye you chose has only one color in it, changing the variables (temperature, pH, time and heat) won’t give you a lighter shade, it will give you a different color (or break the dye – you’ll see a lot of different colors).

“fingers sore from spinning yarn”

You’re either spinning for too long with no breaks or you’re putting too much pressure when drafting the fiber.  One of the best advices I was given when I began spinning was to hold the fiber as you would a bird: firmly enough that it won’t fly away from your hands, but gently enough as to not squeeze it to death.

“how to make yarn with 5 colour gradientd (sp)”

The best ways to achieve this would be by doing method 1 or method 2.  To get a subtle transition between colors (and avoid ending up with striped yarn) when using the first method, paint the blank starting with the lightest color and overlap the colors on adjacent areas (paint with the new color over a small area of the previous one).
Getting a true gradient color using the second method is a little trickier.  If the gradient you’re looking for consists of different shades of the same color, divide the yarn into 5 mini-hanks, dye each one and then over dye the whole skein using the lighter shade.
Now, if the gradient you want involves two or more colors, you’ll have to divide the yarn into more mini hanks – at least nine.  Place  mini-hanks 1 and 2 into the first dye bath, when the dye is set take them out and place mini-hanks 2 and 3 into the second dye bath and so on and so forth.  For every new color you’re going to place one mini-hank dyed with the previous color and the next blank one.
By doing this you’d get a less stripey look.