I’m in love again

*This post is loaded with photos so please be patient while it loads.*

 

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.

The dye tablets.

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!!

My warm yarn.

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?

Christmas in July

Nothing like receiving a package to make it feel like Christmas, even in July.  The outside temperatures say HOT and the yarn says warm.

I ordered four skeins of  Knit Picks Stroll in fingering weight in the color Bare, one sock blank* also Bare, blunt point tapestry needles, a knit-picker, and Pints and Purls book.

A great book so far.  I’ve just skimmed through it and found several things I want to knit.  The projects are rated for “designated driver” to “four drinks” with the DD rating for knitting with fewer distractions and the four drinks rating for more distractions aka beer or other concoctions  Did you notice those sexy reading glasses?  Buy-one-get-one free for $2.98.  Can’t beat that price even if they aren’t exactly right.

Can you guess what my plans are for the Bare naked yarn?  I picked up these Easter Egg coloring kits for $0.25 each after Easter.  I want to dye or hand paint the yarn for socks or whatever I feel like knitting with fingering weight yarn.

I’ve seen all sorts of yummy colorways of sock yarn and I really want to dye my own.  I’ve never done this so if you have any techniques, suggestions, experience, or positive energy, please feel free to share!

The next few weeks are going to be a bit hectic (motorcycle trip and a party) so I might not get to this right away.

*sock blank description straight from the Knit Picks web site:    Our brand new sock yarn dye blanks are long double-stranded pre-knit stretches of machine washable, Merino/nylon blend sock yarn that you can hand dye using the dye method of your choice, and then knit directly from the sock blank to easily create your own colorways and self-striping sock yarns. Finished knit size is 33″ long by 9″ wide.

Overdye

At least that’s what I think it’s called.

This is not directly a knitting post but I know there are many knitters that dye yarn.  I have a dye question.

I have a wonderful denim wrap skirt.  It fits great, is A-line, is the right length, has the nicest buttons.  And is age appropriate.  I love everything about it.  Except the color.

Denim skirt

Not a good picture but it’s the only one I have available right now.

It’s too light.  It’s a washed-out denim.

I’d like to dye it a darker blue but have little experience in dyeing anything other than Easter eggs and the tie-dye T-shirts we did in art class.

My biggest fear is that I will ruin it forever.  I will wear it as it is now but if I could change make it darker, I would.  If it comes out a yucky blue, I’ll be very upset.

It has a little bit of metal on it so “curing” it in the microwave is out.

Have you ever dyed anything successfully?  Help!