Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2016 NC State Fair Projects: Thread Fail #1

For the past few weeks I've been working on entries for this year's state fair. One of the projects is a crocheted edging attached to a tea towel. The towel has a cookie recipe decorated with large red dots. My idea was to crochet a base edging and then echo the dot motif with crochet disks. I crocheted 11 disks and yesterday wet blocked them to reduce any cupping and flatten them out. When I checked to see if they were dry enough to attach to the base edging, I saw that the red thread had bled into the white, making an uneven ring of pinky white...not the effect that I wanted to achieve.

I've accrued a sizable stash of size 10 crochet threads over the years (it's the size I first learned to tat on back in the 1990s), and, as far as I can recall, most of the labels state that the thread is "colorfast," i.e., the dye will not run or bleed. I've attached motifs made with these threads to clothing and never had a problem with dye bleeding. But somehow this ball of red thread does indeed bleed, and the resulting pieces made with it are unusable for my entry.

Since the tea towel that I'm using is mostly white, if I ever plan to use it as intended, I can't risk having dye from the red thread ruining it. So right now I'm soaking the red base edging in white vinegar in the hopes of setting the dye. I'm also soaking several additional yards of red thread so that I can make new disks that won't bleed. Fortunately, redoing this part of the project won't entail too much more of my time, but this is so disappointing! I realize that red dyes can be notorious for having dye bleeding problems, but --mistakenly-- I assumed that the crochet thread I was using would not be a problem. Now, before using any of the colored thread in my crochet cotton stash, I think I'll do a test of the color fastness regardless of what color the thread is. And maybe it's time to replace that ball of red thread with a newer ball that explicitly says it's "colorfast."


Madtatter80 said...

Wow that is very sad and disappointing my heart goes out to you. I had that problem with some tatting thread and just didn't buy the brand again. I found out when I sprayed it with hair spray to stiffen it and it bled. I did also fix with salt but sure vinegar works same. Really sorry sounded like such an adorable idea too

Carolyn Kotlas said...

Thanks for feeling my pain 😊

I will be redoing and finishing the entry. It took me longer to decide on what to do than the actual crocheting took. I had every edging book in the house out looking for a pattern. What I finally settled on is actually a combination of parts of 2 patterns. So I will be finishing as soon as I can stop the bleeding.

Jane McLellan said...

How annoying!

Eliz Davis aka Tatknot said...

So sad, Carolyn. I'm sorry that this happened to your lovely work, but your post is timely for me. I recently posted about a thread I have that is bleeding badly. I've been wondering what to do before I tat with anymore of it. I'll try a white vinegar soak.

Carolyn Kotlas said...

Someone suggested adding salt to the vinegar. I tried that when the thread kept bleeding after several soakings in vinegar, but I'm still getting red spots bleeding out on the paper towel that I laid the piece on. :-(