wdicwg, Violet and green combined can become muddy.
Yes, I meant wrapping each half of the elipse. (Sorry, but it was late and it is a hard concept to explain!!) You can use any type of squeeze bottle, but be certain the yarn is not soppy wet with dye or you may get too much bleeding. I keep towels/rags handy and blot up any excess. You are right, this does give you more control. Also, depending on the size of the skeins, you can do multiple skeins together.
Do you have a scale? I have a kitchen scale that weighs ounces or grams. I carefully weigh yarn/fiber and dye. I convert to grams for more accurate weights. Having accurate weights generally means that the dye will exhaust and will rinse clean. One ounce =27 grams. Depending on the intensity of the color I want I use 2-4% dye for the weight of the yarn. So if you have a 4 ounce skein that = 108 grams and I would use 2 grams of dye - or 4 if I want deep color.
If you are on yahoo there is a GREAT group called Dye Happy.
Thank you for the compliment on my yarns. I am truly a fiber/dyeing junkie!!!
If you can get Ritt dye that can be used for yarn. I have occasionally used Ritt, but sometimes have found that it does not always exhaust and can make yarn a bit rough, but you can rinse with diluted hair conditioner to help that. Also, if you have a Jo Ann Fabric or craft store close, they often have Deylon (sp?) which I have used. For best results I highly recommend using an acid dye specifically for natural fibers. One brand that I have found to be affordable and very stable is Cushing. I buy this at www.woolery.com for $3.25 per packet which dyes one pound.
Belladune had some good points about keeping your technique the same. (I have never used food dyes - so can't address that.) One thought I had is that when doing immersion dyeing with multiple colors (often called rainbow dyeing) you generally have only an inch or two of water in the pot to avoid the colors mixing too much and becoming muddy.
When I want to dye multiple colors on yarn, I paint and steam it. I lay out the damp yarn (presoaked in vinegar) in an elipse shape on plastic wrap and apply dye to sections using a baby bottle. I roll the two sides of the elipse in the plastic toward the center so there is two separate "sides". Then I roll it up like a jelly roll, and steam by placing it on bricks with an inch of water in a covered pot. Steam for 45 minutes, cool and rinse. By rolling the yarn in two sections this avoids much color bleeding. Does this make sense???
Here are some photos of yarn I have painted. Painted yarns are by far my best seller, so I do alot with this method.
I have not done much dyeing with naural plant materials, so I googled "dyeing wool with cranberries" and got several good hits. Sounds like it works. One consideration - if it would be colorfast..... Louise
By bleeding do you mean that the colors are bleeding together too much, or that the yarn is not absorbing the dye?
If I am using colors that I do not want to bleed together, before dyeing/painting I roll my yarn (which I soaked in a vinegar solution) in a towel to take out any excess moisture.
I generally mix my dye stock with a stronger ratio for deep colors. I am not familiar with the dyes that you mentioned, for the most part I use Jacquard. I use 1 heaping teaspoon of dye in a pint jar of water for my dye stock. I use 8 ounce baby bottles to paint and add 1 ounce of vinegar, 2 ounces of dye solution and 5 ounces of water. This is for maximum color.
If I get too much dye on the yarn, or my colors are bleeding together too much, I will blot with a towel, very messy but effective and I have many beautifully dyed towels!!
As minimummy said, do a test. If you want pastel colors, go light on the dye - remember, you can always dye again.
Also, you may be able to barter some of the fleece with someone that would card it.
I have a Louet Jr drum carder I bought 5 years ago and love it. I tried the hand carding, but it takes too much time for me. Yes, the cloth is very expensive, but it lasts a long time and used carders are hard to find, and generally not much less than new ones.
What is the project that you want to dye? You do need acid dyes and heat to dye wool. I bye my dye supplies from Dharma Trading. They have a wide selection and EXCELLENT service. They can answer any dyeing questions.
I laid the bag on plastic and applied the dye using baby bottles. This is 5 colors (maybe 6 I can't remember). I then rolled it in the plastic and steamed to set the dye. To steam I place bricks in the bottom of my pot (stainless steel) add 1/2 inch of water, place my plastic wrapped project on the bricks, cover and steam for 45 minutes. Allow to cool, unwrap and rinse.
Two things, I soak my project in vinegar and add vinegar to the baby bottles. Also, I use approximately 1/2 teaspoom of dye to 2 cups of water for the solution. If you want to do ombre in one color, simply start with the darkest tone, and add more water to the baby bottle as you apply the dye.