Friday

[spinning] SOYSILK (a.k.a CRAPSILK)

Oh man, I am never spinning this crap again. The finished yarn (which I purposefully coiled up like a pile shiny blue-green turd):

Soysilk, a.k.a. Crapsilk


I can report that it was a nightmare from start to finish. I mentioned that the fibers got all over everything during the spinning process. I saw some fuzz on my pants and on the sheets of the spare bed where I was drafting and spinning in the craft room. I rubbed my hand on it in a circle and came away with a big ball of green. Ugh! I started rubbing my hands where I didn't see any fuzz- still got balls of green. This stuff was invisible and it was all over.

After plying and cleaning up, I wondered how I should wash it. Hot water? Was whacking necessary? Soap? I searched and read through soysilk posts on Ravelry only to be more horrified at what lay ahead: the yarn bleeds like a mo-fo. It's not that the color isn't colorfast, it's that there is excess dye in the fibers that doesn't rinse clean during the manufacturing process. That dye is going to come out when you wash it.

The trick is to soak/wash the yarn with synthrapol (or a less-toxic version), which keeps the excess dye suspended in the water, rather than creeping into other colors in the yarn. Woe is the person who adds vinegar to the water- a common, easy, inexpensive way to make colors colorfast. It will permanently set the excess dye into your lighter colors. Boo.

The good news is that I hear the blue "flavor" of Dawn dishsoap will work just as well as synthrapol. But, I didn't have either. I just washed it in lukewarm water with Eucalan wool wash.

It bled like a mo-fo. For real, the water wasn't a little blue-green, it was freaking DARK. I washed it four times and the water wasn't getting any lighter. The tub was blue, my hands were blue, my mood was blue. Unfortunately, I had some place to be while all the the wash, rinse, repeating was going on. I just went, "Aw frak it, I'm hanging it up to dry."

Now I'm terrified to knit with it. I know there's excess dye still in there! Is it going to stain my bamboo needles? If I make a hat and I'm caught out in the rain, am I going to turn green? Lois said there is one way to solve this whole problem... Throw it in the trash. To which I replied, "NO WAY! I spent good money on that craptastic crap. I can't- No. I can't throw it away." Someone else suggested I make the hat and gift it to someone I hate.

Hmm... Yes. Possibly.

For now, my plan is to knit something with it and then wash that, like, 45 more times. Then we'll see.

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Music to hate by: Kelis' Caught Out There

1 comment:

Carol Rivermoon said...

...I'm new to the whole spinning area, but I just got a skein of 50/50 wool/silk in muti-colors and while it is VERY soft, the blues RUN. So I've been looking on the Net about this and apparently this is NOT unusual with darker colors and this material.
You may have to wash the fiber/spun yarn 5-10 times to get the excess dye out :(. While I'm not terribly Happy about this, Everything is still a Learning Experience for me right now, so I'm rolling with it. Good Luck !