Yarn mop use 1
At the end of my dye session yesterday I used my customary yarn mop. While I was swishing it around, I realised that I’ve never explained where most of my one of a kind skeins come from.
During a dye session I tend to use a few colours. I mix them up in bottles, jars and jugs, depending on how I’m using each dye. I also use spoons, and sometimes syringes if I require precise measurements. By the end of the session I usually have small bits of dye leftover, or some of the equipment has dye residue that needs rinsing off.
I could just pour it down the drain, and rinse off the equipment in the sink. But that’s a) a waste, b) bad for the environment and c) no fun. So I rinse the equipment in the dye pot, and add any of the mixed up dye I have left unless it is in an amount to be worth storing for next time. Sometimes they would just mix to make brown. In this case I pick the colours I want to mix together and go through the process for each set.
Then I put in one, perhaps two skeins of yarn and see how it all turns out! Sometimes I end up with a colour so lovely I wish I could recreate it.
Yarn mop use 2
Another use for a yarn mop is when I have a colour that just won’t exhaust. The dye bath is acidic enough, the water hot enough, but the yarn just won’t absorb any more dye. This often happens with highly saturated colours as well as many of the teals & turquoises.
If I just take the yarn out and rinse it I’ll be there forever, and the customer will probably end up with a skein that just won’t stop bleeding. So I add a yarn mop.
I choose the size of the skein for the yarn mop depending on how much dye I think is left in the water. For fairly dark coloured water I’ll use a full 100g skein, or even two if it’s very dark. For when I only think there is a little dye left, I’ll use a mini-skein. Sometimes I still use a full skein if I don’t have any minis to hand. If the colour ends up too pale or patchy I’ll save it and use it during the next session too.
I usually pick a 4ply sock yarn to use as a yarn mop. 4ply has enough meterage to be used as a single skein, especially if it’s being used for socks, or it can be mixed with a complimenting colour for a bigger project.
Other one of a kind skeins
There are some other more rare reasons I end up with one of a kind skeins, but the yarn mop uses are the main ones. I’ll go into detail about other reasons in the future!