Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm a Convert!

Not a religious convert as it were. (Not sure there is anything to convert from some days.)

I'm a vinegar convert. Since I do dying of the wool and yarn kind it is necessary for the pH levels of the water to be lowered so that the dye will set/exhaust properly and not run. Since I have to use space in the kitchen for all my dying activities (not using the same pots I cook with) I was always afraid of the myriad amount of chemicals and how they would affect our space. So it was an easy fix, use vinegar as an acid.
Vinegar is easy to use, nontoxic and cheap. However, vinegar has a strong smell or so I was told by Sniffy McSnifferson aka my husband. It had never really bothered me before. I guess all things change with time though cause I started noticing it just didn't know what to do about it. As luck would have it there is Twitter.
One day I was sitting on the computer and people were talking about the smell you can get from vinegar. I was quietly observing this conversation in 140 characters or less about something called citric acid and it was supposed to be odorless. I decided to do some research. I even told my husband what I was looking into and why. Being the absolutely brilliant man he is, he told me not to buy anything yet. When he came back (he left the house for a little while) he bought with him a 7 oz bag of citric acid from an Indo-Pakistani store in town. Who knew? (I didn't even know that the store existed.) Since then I have been doing my dying with citric acid and you know what? When I smell my hands they smell of wool! It almost smells wrong. Almost.

As for projects with my new found information here is one of the things I plan to start dying next:

This is a cheviot fleece that I purchased last year. I pulled it out and skirted any remaining tags and vm in it. There wasn't much just stuff that I didn't care to work with really. The plan is to sort it into 3 pile - very crimpy, crimpy and not so crimpy. The very crimpy and crimpy are the best softest of the bunch. The not so crimpy might be good for felting or rug yarn or blending for strength. I'm excited and hope to get more pictures along the way.

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