Hand painting yarn

I hand painted/dyed a 100-gram skein of Knit Picks Stroll Bare (undyed fingering yarn) using Paas Easter egg dyes and some blue food coloring.

Hand painting means to apply the dye by hand rather than submerge the yarn in a dye bath.  Dyeing by hand is less predictable and is nearly impossible to replicate than other types of dyeing.  Submerging yarn (or fabric) in a large dyepot or vat can be reproduced as the dye penetrates the fibers in a more uniform manner.

The fixative for setting this dye is acid i.e. white vinegar.  I just followed the instructions for the ratio of vinegar to water:  Three tablespoons of vinegar to dissolve the dye pellets to 1/2 cup water.  I used 2-3 dye pellets per 1/2 cup water to get more intense colors.



After the yarn was saturated with color, I wrapped the yarn in plastic wrap and nuked it 2-3 minutes at a time and allowing it to cool between so as not to scorch or burn the yarn.  Once it came out of the microwave sizzling, I let it cool before rinsing it in warm to then cool water till it ran clear.  It turned out beautifully.

A lovely mix of blues, greens, and a hint of purple.

But I wanted deeper colors for the Cliff Walk socks.  The Midnight Heather and black were just too dark for my aging eyes.

Back into the dye pot, or rather the dye plastic wrap/microwave.  One of these days I will find a large enough pot that I can dedicate to dyeing.  That day hasn’t arrived yet.

This time I used blue, purple and red dye pellets.  I think I went overboard with the red though I only used one tablet mixed with a blue one and a purple one.  I mixed up three different iterations of the dyes and squirted them using one bottle without washing it in between colors.

I like this much better for socks.  The red isn’t as intense as it looks here.

I can still see variations of the original teals and blues.

Another dip in just blue would probably tone down the reddish purple but at this point, I am done experimenting with the yarn.

I just want to knit it up!

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