Our process when we dye yarn is to rinse the yarn in cold water until the water is clear. We work very hard to make sure the yarns are dyed well in their colors because we want you to have the best experience possible! We also don't want to rinse something over and over again because that's a lot of work! ;) So getting it right the first time is crucial. We take great care with every single skein and always want you to absolutely LOVE your finished project!
After rinsing, I try to recreate what you will do at home, we fill up a sink with cold water and 1 tsp of Eucalan, and will soak the yarn for 5 minutes (the instructions are on every tag). I want to see what you will see when you block your project. I assure you, if the yarn is bleeding at that point, it is not something we will sell. Keep in mind you may get a light tinge in the water on super intense colors. This tinge will not affect the other colors in your project as long as you make sure you're using cold water for 5 minutes.
What is blocking for? It’s not to wash the item, it is to relax the fibers so they will get into the shape you want them for the final item. You do not even need to soak in water, you can use steam blocking as well. So, soaking for longer than 5 minutes is never necessary because your goal is to make sure the fibers relax. Soaking in warm water (or hot water) is never recommended, and will prove to cause you more problems. It’s just like when you wash your towels and have a red sock in there - your beautiful white towels turn pink! It’s not because the sock was bleeding and bleeding, it’s because the hot water will draw out the dye from the sock just enough to make your towels a lovely baby pink.
What if you’re nervous about the blocking because you used a super intense color and light color? You can most definitely steam block instead of wet blocking. You can also use color catchers in your cold water.
Now, you’ve been wearing your brand new sweater all week because it’s your new favorite. lol! Well, you need to refresh that! Washing and blocking are 2 different things. To wash your sweater, you can most definitely put wool wash and COLD water in a basin and soak for 5 minutes. Make sure you do not leave it too long in the water on your first several washes. Over time, you will need less and less caution. Or, spot clean, and spritz a little refresher spray, like the ones you can find from Soak. You can also make your own natural scent with a drop or 2 of your favorite essential oil in water - shake it up and spray lightly.
What do I mean by spot clean? What I do, is I will wash the under arms by hand on my sweater with a little wool wash. If you don’t have wool wash you can use 1 drop of dawn. Massage it gently into your sweater, do not scrub, and rinse with cold water. It will make it nice and fresh again!
Once a year in the fall, I also block all my sweaters and shawls again after I pull them out of my cedar chest. Still using the rule 1 tsp of wash, cold water, and 5 minutes. It’s a great care routine and will keep the fibers on the wool conditioned and lovely.
Which wool wash? There are many options out there! I always recommend Eucalan unscented. It’s what we use when we do the final soak on your yarn, and after trying so many wool washes over the years, I feel like it gives the best hand feel when you get your yarn in your hands. Why unscented? Scented washes sometimes use synthetic scents that can cause the dye to draw out of the yarn. I would stay way from scented washes until you know for sure you’re not seeing any tinge of color in the water. And always monitor your project when you’re soaking with a new wash.
Now! The question of the day! What to do if one color of yarn tints the other colors? I have had so many people give so many suggestions! But the truth is, the damage is already done. Synthropol will cause more releasing of color into the water, which will get onto those light colors more. If you soak it in vinegar in cold water, that will stop the color tint from getting in your water, but it won’t remove the extra color from your lighter colors of yarn. If you decide to try to “set” the dye, by cooking your sweater in a vinegar and water bath, you will just be setting the light colors more into the tint that you didn’t want, or - more likely - you will be making the tint even deeper on your light yarn color. My advice? leave it and love it! You just made a GORGEOUS sweater!! You put a lot of love and work into it and you should most definitely celebrate and enjoy it. And the tint on your light colors will not take away at all from the gorgeousness of what you just did! Can’t live with it? Use the yarn for something you WILL love! Because loving what you create and having it bring you joy is the most important thing!
I hope this answers a lot of your questions, but if you still have questions, let me know! I’m always here to help! And I always want you to have the final project you love. That’s the whole reason I dye yarn, your experience means everything to me.
Thank you so much,