TGIF. I'm so glad I've made it to Friday this week, and I'm really looking forward to a weekend of dyeing, dyeing, and drying. Hopefully come Sunday night, all of the piles of wool being propped up by my loveseat will have some new tints and colours, and be sitting pretty in bins, cubbies, bundles and boxes. Today's list is all about dyeing...
:: Cheap Digital Thermometers. With my style of dyeing (basically I tint smaller pieces of wool one-at-a-time, then set the dye by combining all of the related wools together of one basic colour family together in one pot with citric acid to steam), I can easily lose track of time. Different colours take longer to absorb into the wool, so there can be a big range in how long it takes me to assembly a 'family'. So I'm hoping that the little timers I picked up at the dollar store will come in handy - I bought one for each of roasters. Now I just need to keep them out of the water - the magnets are not quite strong to hold tight to the metal exterior of the roasters (definitely not the Lee Valley quality my dad has gotten me accustomed to...LOL)
:: Good rubber gloves - the thicker, the better. For years I preferred to use disposable gloves whenever I dyed. I could quickly toss a filthy pair, change wet ones, or replace a leaker. But a couple of years ago, when I had that really bad burn on the inside of my wrist (not from dyeing!), I decided to try proper rubber gloves as an extra layer of protection over my bandages.....and I haven't looked back! I love the extra length, which provides more coverage and results in fewer accidental dribbles into the insides. But what I really love is that they thicker gloves allow me to grab pieces of wool in the dye bath, shove down any peek-a-boo virgin bits, and even squeeze water out of patches to better reveal the true colour. All things that I would NEVER do with the skimpy disposables. Plus, less waste....is another very good reason to love them. To keep then from getting skanky, I always store them inside out. My initial two pairs lasted for 2 years - and would have lasted longer if I hadn't worn holes with the string of my salad spinner - I just treated myself to some new ones this month.
:: My favourite tongs. I picked up a pair of these last fall in Southampton at the wonderful kitchen shop.....and they are my absolute perfect tongs for dyeing yarn. No rough bits for strands to catch on....no sudden extra-wide openings....no sudden down-pouring of water down the channel if you lift the bottoms higher than the hinge (there is no hollow trench in the handles like many other tongs)....they don't seem to discolour (at least no so far). The only drawback is that they don't offer a super strong grip - but that's not an issue for me with yarn. Oh, and the fact that I only have one pair......but hopefully I will remedy that soon! LOL!