looks like brains
wants to be navajo plied (may be just me! navajo plying addict, apparently)
makes me love acid dyes.
i'm a total acid dye convert here, from a long while of food grade only (kool aid and easter egg) dying. no question. i always thought that food grade was better around my toddler and more easy/clean in my tiny kitchen, but not really. i can easily dye even when he's awake, getting a load of dishes clean as the water comes up to temp even.
other reasons to like acid dyes:
* cheap. i would use anywhere from 4-8 packets of koolaid/easter egg tabs per *section*/ounce of wool... about $1-2/oz of wool (on sale). with the acid dyes, a little (like really, a sprinkle!) goes such a long way and is cheaper in the long run. 2% of wool weight = about 2.5 grams of acid dyes for 4 oz; buying in 1/2 oz increments, it's about .81/4 oz of wool (regular retail).
re: regular retail + acid dyes... they usually run about 4.50 for a 1/2 ounce size (dharmatrading). knit picks just started selling jacquard dyes for 3.99 for 1/2 oz, free shipping on +$40 as always.
BUT! support a small biz outfit and get a better price from divaknitting! :) the most expensive OUNCE she carries is just over $4 (looks like they average about $2/oz), and it gets cheaper the more you buy. she doesn't have the range of dharma trading, but what prices! :) I didn't buy my acid dyes from divaknitting (did buy some Opal, shipped same day!)... but i will next time :)
* easy. water + dye + vinegar + heat. same as food grades. (really.)
* better color range. i am a bright color fan fo sho, but sometimes you don't want pastel or neon. acid dyes get you this.
reasons you shouldn't fear the acid dye:
* "it says ACID!* ... well, yeah. it takes acid to set (vinegar), but it won't melt your arms off or anything. (believe me on this one!)
* "in my kitchen?! i cook there!" ... i had to buy a separate pot for dying-- found at my local goodwill, about $6. i use a plastic spoon for moving the yarn and a tiny baby feeder spoon for measuring out dyes, all just for dying. i keep the kitchen foodstuffs up, sealed and away from my "work area" (i do practically everything over my sink, which is located right next to my stove), just like i have to with a toddler who likes to use trashcans for climbing :)
* "my place is too small." ... man, i think i win this one :) granted, i only use small project sized batches at a time (4-6 oz of wool, leave the production to the big boyz!), but even then with an empty clean sink i manage just fine. solid/semisolid dyes go all into the pot at once, like a casserole. when i do multis, i was always a dip-dye girl and lined up mason jars in my sink to dip yarn in and around... used my tiny kitchen counter space to wrap yarn in saran wrap to steam. i hang drying yarn over my sink using U-clamps-- the whole process take up about 3' of space, more for multis (just to be able to spread it out and wrap it up).
* "syntha-what?" ... i use dawn dishwashing detergent for a rinse, no synthrapol. rumor has it it has a neutral pH and is similar in chemical composition to synthrapol (and i can buy it when going on a soda run).
* "i don't have a scale!" ... shh. don't tell monica. i don't weigh my dyes all the time (though i'm coveting a palmscale now, so this may change!) i am dying only for myself and small projects at a time, not worried about repeating colors, so i just go for it.
sometimes i will break out my soehnle myra scale (that is great for weighing +5 gm and splitting balls of yarn, but maybe not so much when trying to find the difference between 1 and 2 gm!) to give myself an idea, but its not necessary.
a tip from my past if winging it isn't for you, buy a "finger scale" (first site i found on google)-- the old me says they're pretty accurate at weighing out small gram sizes, are cheap and if you have a "head shop"/smoke shop/place where young people loiter outside in your town, you can find one locally.
i can see myself becoming more interested in the precision aspect of measuring and recording dye amounts, but i'm happy with my learning-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach right now.
(edit, 9/11 for reader comments: Sherry W says...
"If you're worried about breathing in the powder, a disposable fine particle dust mask will work fine. Look for ones for drywall sanding at the hardware store. Also if you place the powder in the liquid (and don't pour liquid on the powder), it wets the dye faster and reduces floating bits, too.
Hate vinegar smell? Try lemon juice concentrate (citric acid) instead. They have a similar PH level, so you can use it at about the same measurement as vinegar.")
(i know its time to cut the lists short when the bullets get longer y longer... i'll leave you with this instead:)
ps! i'm going to see the harlot tomorrow :) i'll be the really shy one with superlong, uncombed hair wearing nothing handknit (i think). cookie's calling for a show of hands on who's going, and has a neatstreet jabberwocky contest going on, too.