Monday, July 9, 2007


I have a little problem. Yesterday I bought a large skein of red variegated hand dyed alpaca yarn, and in winding it into a ball tonight we discovered it leaves nasty red stains behind on your hands.

What to do? I've never used hand dyed yarn before. I don't want it staining my head, my neck, my clothes. Surely I can do something?

Help? Please?

In other news, I dropped off three little items to the Knit1 Blog1 exhibition today - Barbara, it was so lovely to finally meet you! And I've nearly finished the Canberra Corporate wrap, which is going to have to change name, as "Canberra Corporate" depresses me too much.


  1. Hmmm, I think you can probably treat the alpaca by soaking it in vinegar and cooking it in the microwave, but I'm not the expert on this - will ask Happy Spider to drop over and read your question.

  2. It depends on what dye was used. i would probably put it back in a skein and soak it in warm water and wool wash or cheap shampoo and rinse til the water is clear. What tends to happen with chemical dyes is that they form crystals or settle during the dyeing process, so if care is not taken after the dyeing then there are often dye particals trapped trapped in the fibres (think about covering a skein in talcum powder, then trying to get it all off again - tricky). washing should solve the problem, as would giving the finished item a good soak and rinse until the water is almost clear.
    don't let it phase you! it's just someone not taking the time to cool and rinse the yarn properly after dyeing it. It's extremely unlikely that the colour will 'wash out'. If you have further questions you can email me at penippelyAThotmailDOTcom.
    Hope this helps, and good luck :)
    PS. Red yarn tend to be chemical dye rather than food dye because the food dyes lack intensity in that side of the spectrum.

  3. Oh thank you so much Happy Spider and Jejune! I will definitely try that. I've dyed fabric before, so I know about reds being a bit ... um ... tardy. But the yarn thing was a whole new kettle of fish!

    The Shopping Sherpa - That would be too much like art imitating life!


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