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 Help, it's bleeding!

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
robinstephanie Posted - 08/13/2013 : 09:18:05 AM
Knitted a baby blanket and whilst washing before blocking, the dark purple stripe bled into the white stripe next to it! I didn't think of this possibility as I haven't had bleeding yarn before. Does anyone know if there's anything I can do to get the color off the white stripe?

Wash it again? A friend suggested one of those wipes you use to get stains off your clothing, but I don't know what's in them (and have actually never even heard of them, but could probably find them). I thought about bleach for about 2 seconds, until I realized if I used it I'd have the opposite problem: bleached out purple.

The blanket's cotton, if that makes any difference.

Thank you!


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
19   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
grannygoodknit Posted - 09/25/2014 : 6:32:38 PM
Thanks Knitlvr!! And Thanks to everyone for the great information! By-the-way, Amazon sells the Carbona if anyone is lookig for it.

KnitLuvr Posted - 09/25/2014 : 09:15:50 AM
For about the last 10 years I have been making Christmas stockings using Cascade 220 in red, green and white and had never had any color bleed when blocking/washing them. However a few months ago, I made another stocking with a new supply of the same yarn and to my horror the red bled onto the white quite a bit. I immediately rinsed the stocking in a basin of cool water and about a tsp of sythrapol. The extra dye just disappeared from those white areas. I just made 2 more stockings and rinsed them with synthrapol--the water turns quite red but the dye does not stay where I don't want it.
grannygoodknit Posted - 09/25/2014 : 07:08:09 AM
Let me ask if most of you prewash yarn in dark colors. I have not been prewashing. Normally I use cotton or linen since it is hot here, but I have purchased more (beautiful ) wool lately. I haven't, but I would like to make some stripped sweaters, and I would hate to ruin them when one color fades onto another. Does anyone use synthrapol?

dschmidt Posted - 09/24/2014 : 6:23:09 PM
Thanks, Robinsteph, that is good to know.

Donna in VA

The Honor Roll? It's easier here than in school. Scroll up to "Want to Make Betty Happy?" and be an Honor Roll member.
robinstephanie Posted - 09/24/2014 : 08:37:26 AM
Natch, Marfa my sweet!

Donna, I went on a little spelunking expedition and found the label. The yarn is "2nd Time Cotton" from Knit One Crochet Two.

I made two dishcloths out of the blanket remainders. One I treated with Retayne and the other I didn't. The one with the Retayne lost some of the sparkly characteristic of this yarn. The one without the Retayne showed a dramatic fade after ONE washing. Bummer. It's really pretty yarn, 75% recycled, and made in the USA.


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
marfa Posted - 09/22/2014 : 05:12:33 AM
How do.

I love this thread & all the info in it. It symbolizes to me what the KR Forum does the best: hi, I have a problem/challenge, what can I do?, oh that's such a god idea, other voices chime in to say thanks for that, much appreciation all 'round.

As our Jane would say, I love us! Thanks, Robinsteph, for another great ? that allows all of us to learn & thanks to the responding posts - great info!

dschmidt Posted - 09/21/2014 : 11:42:10 AM
Robinsteph - if you don't mind telling us, what was the yarn you used? I know it was cotton but I'm wondering what brand, etc.

Donna in VA

The Honor Roll? It's easier here than in school. Scroll up to "Want to Make Betty Happy?" and be an Honor Roll member.
stitchellen Posted - 09/21/2014 : 09:45:43 AM
I also found a website with instructions on how to make one's own color catchers: muuuuch cheaper than buying them ready made, and no fragrances. (:


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover

How interesting! I have a large supply of soda ash from my years of fabric dyeing. Soda ash is the mordant that makes dye bond with plant fibers like cotton and linen, so it makes sense that a soda ash-infused cloth will bind to itself loose dye in wash water. I use commercial color catchers a lot, and now I will try making my own. I assume, though, that they will not work on non-plant fibers like wool. Citric acid and vinegar are the mordant for those.
ikkivan Posted - 05/02/2014 : 06:35:16 AM
I am so glad I read this ... I just saved this "recipe" for myself AND sent the link to both my daughters! Thank you.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
robinstephanie Posted - 09/01/2013 : 11:57:35 AM
I found the color run stuff. It got the bleed out, along with loads of dye from the rest of the project! My vibrant purple is blue-grey; my black is dark grey, blues are various shades of denim. Even the silver is now... grey! It's kind of amazing how much dye was in that yarn.

The blanket still looks good--in fact, it might even look better. It's got a kind of faded denim look about it that I really like, but it's lost that "Dallas Cowboys" look that I was going for. (Father-to-be is a huge fan.) It's definitely a lesson learned. I bought some Retayne to have on hand next time I have a project that could be damaged by bleeding.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I am very happy that I was able to salvage the blanket. KR to the rescue!

I also found a website with instructions on how to make one's own color catchers: muuuuch cheaper than buying them ready made, and no fragrances. (:


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
robinstephanie Posted - 08/17/2013 : 11:46:20 AM
You guys are adorable.

The stain stick didn't work and became yet another kind of disaster when it picked up blue dye from the surface I was working on; I nearly fainted when I saw that. BUT the color catcher got it out, leaving the original purple. Next up: Carbona, if I can find it. Funny enough, I remember you posting about this incident, Owl--I've read that blog post of your'n, and thought, "How useful; I should remember this, I might need it sometime!" HA! So much for memory. Although, gotta say, now that it has happened to ME, I will remember it.


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
Shelia Posted - 08/17/2013 : 06:55:18 AM


ravelry name - sheliaknits
NutmegOwl Posted - 08/16/2013 : 7:45:22 PM
OMG. It can't be possible I knew about something related to dye and fiber that you did not, Shelia. We will assume that was pure accident and properly attribute the discovery to KnittingKittens. ;)

Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
Shelia Posted - 08/16/2013 : 07:04:13 AM
Oh, Owl, that sounds great. I've never seen it in a store, so I didn't know it existed. Good to know for possible problems in the future!

ravelry name - sheliaknits
NutmegOwl Posted - 08/15/2013 : 4:21:05 PM
Try the Carbona Color Run Remover, available at the supermarket. It saved a Christmas stocking this happened to:


Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
robinstephanie Posted - 08/15/2013 : 08:30:18 AM
Thanks so much everybody.

I did a little reading on the Retayne and the color catchers, and sounds like the best time to use the Retayne would have been before I washed. If I use it now, I'm afraid I'll retain that bleed right where it is.

I'll try Shelia's recommendation and rewash. If the color comes out, I'll soak in the Retayne before sending the gift. If it doesn't, maybe I'll try washing again.

Fingers crossed,


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
Shelia Posted - 08/14/2013 : 07:50:16 AM
Actually, vinegar doesn't do any color-setting unless its a specific type of dye and it is also heat set. Very often with dark colors like navy, scarlet and purple the problem is that there is excess dye (more than the fiber can absorb) on the yarn that must be washed out. I was working with 2 colors of Cascade 220 Superwash last week and had the blue coming off on my needles, so I knew that I needed the Color Catcher sheet in the wash. If you are working with a yarn that is a darker, saturated color you can rub it with a damp white paper towel to see if it will bleed.

Robinsteph, I have had some success with putting something like Stain Stick or resolve on the part of the white with the bleed and then washing again in hot water with detergent and a color catcher. It might be worth a try.

ravelry name - sheliaknits
Ceil Posted - 08/13/2013 : 9:41:07 PM
Vinegar will only set the color. Try the stuff at the supermarket, or there is Retyne,sold at some yarn shops or online at Dharma Trading Company.

(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
purlewe Posted - 08/13/2013 : 11:33:06 AM
I know that there are color catchers in the laundry soap section of our supermarket. You can also try soaking it in vinegar? I wish you lots of luck!!! I am so sorry about your project!

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. ~Myrna Loy

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