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March 31, 2005

(Yarn) Blood in the Water

I mentioned yesterday that I had some worries about the Calmer I will be using for my T-Shirt. My first worry was that I wouldn't have enough usable yarn. The top I knit with it last fall required several ripping and re-knitting sessions, so I had a ton of "yarn fragments". I cast on for the back and used up as many of the fragments as a I could to see how far they would get me. Fortunately, they went a lot further than I thought they would, so I think I'm in the clear.

The second worry was the one I wanted to share with the blog world. When I recovered this yarn in February, I washed it as directed and hung it up to dry. Imagine my surprise -- and chagrin! -- when I discovered flecks of darker color on one section of some of the drying hanks. It was as if some of the dye ran down the hank and "pooled" at the bottom. It was not terribly dramatic, but it was definitely there.

Here, I'll show you. I managed to use most of the yarn with the darker flecks before I did the hem, so look between the bottom of the garment and the hemline. I know it's not clear, but take my word for it: any variation you see there is the result of the bleeding color.

Help, I'm bleeeeeeeding...

The T-Shirt pattern calls for the collar, sleeve edging and design to be knit in a contrast color, so the bleeding color worried me. I did a little research but found no mention of this problem with Calmer. I'm hoping my experience was a freak reaction caused by some external substance. (I'm thinking body lotion, deodorant, etc that got on the top when I wore it. This seems to make sense, since the hanks of yarn that bled were mostly from the sleeves, shoulders and collar -- areas that fit most closely.)

I thought about swatching the two colors together and washing it to see if there was any color transfer. But I'm already concerned about not having enough of the main color to complete a project, and I don't want to lose more of it if the contrasting color does bleed. I know that Nona's T-Shirt knit-a-long doesn't start until tomorrow, but I'm curious -- has anybody else experimented with washing two Calmer colors together? If so, how did it come out?

Posted by shannon at March 31, 2005 2:09 PM | For related posts: Fixin' Vixen in a T-Shirt


I don't know how this would work with handwashing, but what about getting some of those Shout dye-catching sheets?

Posted by: Colleen at April 1, 2005 10:22 AM

Thanks for your warning about the dye bleeding you're experiencing with the Calmer. I'll knit my swatch with both colors and then wash it to test the color fastness -- I'll keep you posted on the results.

Posted by: nona at April 1, 2005 10:50 PM

You've probably solved this problem already, but last night someone mentioned to me that during the Madras craze of the 1960s, one was advised to wash Madras in salt water to minimize, or eliminate color bleeding. Unfortunately, she couldn't remember the proportions of salt and water.

Posted by: Colleen at April 8, 2005 4:03 PM