You know, I've been doing this yarn dyeing stuff for a pretty long time now. Just over seven years. I do it alot too. For the first few years I did it every day for eight or ten hours. Nowadays I don't do it quite so much, but I'm still at the dye pots a fair amount of the time.
I like to think that I kinda know what I'm doing. I'm not going to say that I know everything about dyeing a skein of yarn, but it's been a long while since something really flummoxed me. Last week, I was flummoxed.
You see, a couple of months ago I'd gotten a sample of a sock yarn that intrigued me. It's a blend that has an unusual fiber in it and I wanted to do some pretty serious testing of it before I made a decision about whether it would make sense to add it to the Lorna's Laces stable of yarns.
The first thing I did was dye up a few skeins. Then I dithered around trying to decide which socks I wanted to knit. After more than my usual hemming and hawing, I picked Chouwa from Judy Sumner's Knitted Sock East and West.
I got one sock knit up and because I sometimes have a little trouble with second sock syndrome, I put on my singleton and wore it while I cast on number two. I usually wait until both socks are finished before I wear them, but I was doing some testing here. Strictly scientific.
After having worn the sock I tossed it in the washer and dryer. Much to my surprise, the washed socked looked darker than the ball of yarn I'd been working from. Darker. I was totally befuddled. See what I mean?
Aren't things supposed to fade the more often they are laundered? What was happening?
I finished up the other sock and tossed it in the washer and dryer and now I have matching socks. We're pretty sure that the color changes have something to do with that "unusual" fiber I was telling you about. I want to keep the fiber a secret for now, but there is some serious potential here.
We've got some more testing and some further mulling to do with this stuff. I'll keep you posted.