Thursday, May 31, 2007

Octopus dyer

I have been busy with something very new. Actually I have invented something!! It is of course something for dyeing and it was inspired by a link on how to make a board for self striping yarn

I actually started out by making a board like that. Only bigger. I can make a 21 m skein from it –just have to get more nails (I ran out twice).

Then I sat to draw and think. I wanted to be able to make self striping yarn for a sweater, so the length of each coloured sequence had to be quite long. I came up with this:
Imagine you divide the board into three areas. Each area is going to have a different colour. By going back and forth several times in only one area you get a longer strand in the same colour = wider stripe. After, for instance, 7 meters move on to the middle area and go back and forth there for as long as you wish. Move on to the third area. You now have a long strand with 3 colours.
Now move back to the middle area, the first area and so on. You will end up with different (or the same if you chose) lengths of colours throughout the skein.
I have no idea whether it works or not but I see a major drawback: you can not get colour one and three next to each other, they will always be separated by the middle colour which therefore will be more dominant. The more colours you have the less represented will the end colours be.
To overcome this problem you would have to have the colour switch place in the center. So I made this: An octopus dyer

It works like this: Wind the yarn around the nails on one arm (I have put 2 nails in the end close to the center to make it easier to tie up the hank). Each round is 1 meter -giving you whatever lenght you want (wider stripe) depending on how many rounds you make. Ie. each arm represent a diffferent colour.

Move on to the next arm (I skipped on on this photo, it doesn't really matter, you don't have to use all arm) but make sure you put the yarn around the nail in the center. This is where the different colours "meet" -and I guess it is the weak point. I wanted to keep the colours seperate to avoid mixing/bleeding, but I guess you have to be very carefull not to tangled up the whole lot.
Continue to the wind around the others arm and to go back to arms already used. This gives you the opportunity to mix all the colours and to make each section the length you want.
When you run out of yarn/decide to stop, tie each hank loosely together at several places...
...and remove them from the nails. You now have up to eight hanks connected in the center. Dip dye. microwave dye or whatever you feel is most succesfull (and please keep in mind I have never tried to dye apart from 1 go with kool aid!)
The difficult part is when you have to reskein the coloured dry hanks end everything is a mess!!!

Below is a little photosession of how I made it. Please respect copyright. No selling, but feel free to make one for yourself -and show it to me :-)


Anonymous said...

I love it! Can I have license of your patent to make one? PLEASE!

Bobbi said...

Thanks for the link and instructions!