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With “those” socks in hibernation mode I decided to get back my sock knitting mojo with Easter egg dye. I’ve wanted to try this for a long time and just didn’t have the inspiration/courage/chutzpah to do it. Until now.
Easter egg dye goes on sale right after Easter and I buy it at ridiculously low prices. Some years I can’t find any but one box in my stash was enough for this project.
I love this yarn (discontinued now, of course) but not the pastel colors so it was time to experiment.
This is a self-striping yarn so I divided it up by color.
Using an acrylic yarn each bundle is tied up individually. BTW this part is very time-consuming.
A large plastic garbage bag is the base, then an old white sheet, and finally layers of plastic wrap.
I laid out the yarn in a circle on the prepared dying surface to keep like colors together and decide what sections to dye.
A damp Q-tip helps determine which tablet is what color. From this point forward rubber gloves are needed.
One dye tablet per cup and an extra one for some food coloring dye. I followed the directions on the box and mixed each tablet with three tablespoons of white vinegar until dissolved. Then added one-half cup of water to each cup.
Most yarn dying instructions say to presoak the yarn in a water/vinegar bath before dying to help the yarn absorb the dye evenly. I wanted to leave some of the original colors so I skipped this step as I didn’t want too much wicking between the colors.
Since this is my first experience with over-dying anything, I over-dyed similar colors to the original. Purple over pink, blue over green, red over pink, yellow over yellow, green over green red over cream, and orange over yellow. I eventually added a few drops of orange to the yellow to make it more intense.
Then the yarn is dunked into each dye cup leaving some of the yarn out.
This is the result after an hour in the dye bath. You can see that the purple dye is pretty much exhausted as the cup is almost clear.
I wrapped up the yarn with the plastic and placed it in a glass microwave safe dish. Heat is necessary to set the dye.
Microwave the yarn on high for two minutes and rest for 2 minutes. Be careful that the yarn doesn’t burn. Repeat the process until any liquid in the bottom of the dish is clear.
LET THIS COOL BEFORE TOUCHING!!! Seriously, this is hot!!
No photo of this next step but still wearing rubber gloves gently rinse the yarn under warm water until the water runs clear.
Place yarn on an old clean towel and roll up to squeeze as much water out as possible. Do not twist. Hang up or lay the yarn on a flat surface to dry.
Once dry it is wound into a center pull ball. You can see some places where the yarn was tied and the dye didn’t reach that part but I’m fine with that.
Mixed with two other balls of yarn for another pair of Dorothy’s Slipped-Stitch Spiral Knit Socks!
I’m so pleased with the intense colors and in love again with my knitting.
This is just one of many ways to dye. I got my instructions here.
Have you dyed your own yarn? Which method did you use?
Love how bright those are! May have to do this (in my spare time) with all the pastels from my baby blanket phase.
This technique only works with natural fibers (wool, cotton, silk). If your yarn is acrylic, you may need to use another type of dye.
So how long did the whole process take???I would think this is awesome as NO ELSE could have anything like yours!!! Wonderful!!!!
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I started on a Sunday evening to separate the colors and the actual dye process from the beginning to the end was about 3 hours minus the drying. Waiting for it to cool enough to open up was the hardest part. No, I take that back. The hardest part was untangling all the sections.
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