I promised I would share my adventures in dyeing with you and that’s what today’s post is all about. Of course, the first step is not all that fun – measuring out the skeins! I got out my skein winder and niddy noddy and set to measuring off 500 yard skeins of fingering weight yarn…
I had my first dyeing adventures this past week and, oh boy, was it fun! As Geena Davis said in Thelma and Loise, “Now I understand what the fuss is all about.”
Here we see Dyeing Command Central. Note all the assembled supplies: laptop, vinegar, newspaper, measuring cups, dyes. Everything is ready to go.
To make my first attempt easy I decided to use the space dyed method as described in Dyeing to Knit. Basically, you immerse a skein of yarn into a dye pot by thirds. For the first third of the skein you use the darkest color. When that color is all absorbed you lift out the yarn, rotate it by 1/3, add the next color to the dye pot, and put the yarn back in. When that color is finished you do it again. Finally, when the whole skein has been dyed and all the dye is absorbed by the yarn, you drop the skein into the water and simmer for 45 minutes to set the color.
Simple, right? Frankly, anything is simple if you plan ahead.
I set about soaking some Knit Picks Dye Your Own sock yarn (sold out, don’t bother checking) in warm water and vinegar. And I encounter my first problem. The skein is only tied in 2 places and when it hits the warm water I wind up with a messy tangle of yarn. Hunh. Note to self: next time, tie the skein in a few more places before wetting.
Ahhh. The first color hits the yarn. And Carole’s second issue erupts. If the dowel sits across the dye pot too much of the skein is going to get dyed by this color. Did I check this in advance? As in, before I dunked the yarn in the dye? Nope. So, here I am, holding the yarn above the pot, trying to figure out a way to suspend it in mid-air. And, of course, I can’t let go and no one is here to help me.
Necessity is the mother of invention. And I’m really glad I keep the cast iron fry pans right next to the stove.
The second color is applied. Mmmm. Green.
And here’s the thoroughly dyed skein, simmering happily.
Finally, a hank of space dyed yarn. Not bad, I think. Of course, I was going for magenta, bright blue, and spring green and wound up with cranberry, navy blue and hunter green, but that’s okay. It’s all about the learning experience, after all. Oh, and the fun. And I had lots of fun.
But wait! There’s more! Tune in tomorrow to see the hand painted skeins that Blogless Sharon and I created together on Saturday night!