I bought myself a big jar and had a go at dyeing mercerised cotton. I wanted sort-of peacock colours, and proceeded to pour in a variety of shades of blue, green and purple but was alarmed when my jar looked like this:
(Photo taken with flash - without flash it looked like a jar of black.) The yarn wasn't emerald green as the colour suggests, but a mid blue, with the dreaded pale spots (interestingly these were mainly purple). So the yarn got slung back in the jar with more blue dye:
This yielded a better result, though it killed the purple. The excess dye was a real pain to wash out - it never seemed to stop coming. Due to messy skeining round the back of chairs (no niddy noddy... yet), I would it into cakes as soon as it was dry:
But my 'cakes' were more like... donuts...?
Mercerised cotton, it seems, doesn't collapse so readily in on itself after being removed from the wall winder.
The colour ended up as variegated turquoise/blue. Not as bright as I would have liked (who says fibre reactive dyes work better on plant fibres - the dilutions were about the same as I used for the kettle-dyed sock yarn in the previous post). The yarn is currently being made into Elizabeth Myers' Feather Stole. Oh, and my hands haven't turned blue so maybe I'm just being paranoid about the amount of excess dye.
Finally, a real yarn cake (2-ply merino laceweight, dyed by me and in the previous post but one):