Blueberry smoothie and red tonal

I’m going to show you two of the other skeins of yarn I dyed last year.

This one is called Blueberry Smoothie. I used food coloring and Paas Easter Egg dyes. Kid (and adult) friendly and as far as I know, colorfast.

I love the blues and touch of purple.

There are a lot of light blues and undyed yarn. Nothing planned for this skein…yet.

The second dyed yarn is a red tonal, also using food coloring and Paas Easter Egg dyes.

I already knit a pair of socks and didn’t get any pictures of the skein beforehand. This is what I have left over.

The sock pattern is from Helen Stewart’s Handmade Sock Society: Scribbly Gum Socks. Once knitted up, the yarn appears as a tonal stripe that is only noticeable on the plain stockinette stitch on the back.

I dipped a plastic fork into some black liquid food coloring and touched various areas of the yarn to give add that speckled look. It’s not as pronounced as I wanted.

I’m still experimenting with dyeing my own yarns and once the weather warms up (again), I’ll try some other dyeing techniques.

Patti

Dyed frog

This post is picture heavy. It might take some time to load.

I decided to rip out that sock and redye the yarn. It was one of three 100 gram-skeins/hanks of yarn that I dyed in the crock-pot last year (and never blogged about). The other two turned out great and I’ve knitted one already into a pair of socks.

I was cleaning out parts of the basement last summer and lo and behold I found packets of dye! Sunshine Crafts Batik dyes. Let’s just say I acquired these a long, long, long time ago in a place far away. Along with my fantastic find, I also bought some professional Jacquard dyes in some basic colors.

This is my first foray into using dyes other than food coloring and Easter egg dye and it was a great experience. In the future, I will reread the ratios of dye to water. I just winged it when I mixed the dye and the two colors were VERY concentrated giving deep, intense hues.

My original plan was to use Azure blue and Brilliant blue. I swapped out Jet back for the Brilliant blue as the Azure was blue enough.

It was warm enough last week to set my amateurish dye station on the picnic table outside. Mr. Aitch does not like the smell of wet wool and vinegar so all my dyeing is now done either in the garage or outside. And no microwave dyeing either.

L to R: Crock-pot, white vinegar, H2O, dyeing spoons, dyes, syringes, yarn, dye mixing tub, gloves.

I soaked the yarn in a water/vinegar solution overnight. In the morning I twisted the yarn so I would retain some of the lime green colors and the blues and black would blend together into a navy blue with some teal areas.

Then I placed it in my cold crock-pot with enough water and a slog of vinegar to cover. The acid in the vinegar helps the fiber to absorb the dye. It took over two hours for the water to get hot enough before I could add any dye!

Oops, I forgot to twist the yarn! The heat is on

Once everything was ready I loaded up syringes with the blue and black dyes and squirted it into the twisted skein. The dye struck almost instantly as I probably had too much vinegar in the dye mixture.

I played with adding dye in various places for about an hour. Mr. Aitch helped photograph with yarn when I checked it before untwisting it. Too much lime green was still visible so I kept squirting dye onto those areas.

The yarn sat in the dye bath until the water was clear. Then the impatient me had to wait until the yarn was cool enough to rinse. Because the dye was so concentrated, it took a long time to rinse out the extra dye…(no showers for me for at least a week! Just kidding)

Clear water. All the dye is absorbed.

The finished product.

Even though it’s not what I planned, I still love it.

The colors are so rich and varied.

Socks for sure! It takes about 65-75 grams of yarn for a pair of knit socks. I will have some leftover to use as an accent toe/heel, add with another yarn for striped socks, or the slipped stitch socks I love to knit.

Patti

Spinifex

The newest pattern in Helen Stewart’s Handmade Sock Society is called Spinifex, named for a sturdy Australian grass that appears as a starburst when looking down on it.

(c) Helen Stewart

No yarn in my (growing) stash would work so I gathered a bare skein of Knit Picks Stroll fingering weight yarn, my Crockpot, vinegar, and food coloring for another dye session. This time I used green, yellow, and black for some soft greens that turn into deep greens. The yellow happened with one or two drops directly onto the hot yarn in the dye bath. The black broke into red and purple and added a nice contrast to the greens. I don’t really follow a recipe for the colors as I only dye one to two skeins at a time and it’s so random that I’d never be able to reproduce any of the colors again.

This pattern has a toe-up construction and that is new for me. All of my socks have been knit from the cuff down. But I was interested in learning something new. Judy’s Magic Cast-On took me over two hours to get right while reviewing written instructions and numerous videos and another hour to knit the first round! Of course, I was using double pointed needles and not circulars as suggested but I used what I had.

Not bad for my first attempt, well, my first foray into this technique as I attempted it many, many, many times!

Then came the actual textured pattern that is on the top of the foot and up the leg. After two pattern repeats I’m not liking it. Not liking it at all. The “star” in the reverse stockinette area just looks like a mess to me. And it’s lumpy.

I don’t think these would be comfortable to wear with the lumps even though they are only on the top of the foot. Several others mentioned that as well.

The inside (wrong side) looks better.

The bottom is beautiful. I love those greens!

I’m not going to rip out that three-hour toe! I will ladder down to the star stitch on the front and do some other stitch that isn’t lumpy or bumpy. Just as soon as I figure out which stitch to do.

I’ll keep you posted.

Patti

I dyed

Helen Stewart released the third pattern in the fourth season on the Handmade Sock Society early and that’s OK with me. This is called Wild Bees Socks. The stitch pattern looks like bees and she chose a honey color of yarn.

I’m trying to use stash yarn for as many projects as I can but I didn’t have any color that would work. So I decided to dye a hank of Knit Picks Stroll Bare yarn in a Crockpot/slow cooker using food coloring and Easter egg dye. I’ve tried the microwave method before with great success, however, Mr. Aitch doesn’t like the smell of hot wool and vinegar thus the Crockpot technique. On the deck. Because it was a warm, sunny day.

I didn’t take any pictures of the dyeing process but I added water and vinegar with the yarn and turned it on high. My Crockpot is a small one (3 1/5 quarts) so I only had room for one skein. I added the dye (in three, four, or maybe five batches) while the water was hot. The yarn grabbed the dye as soon as it hit the water.

I got some great golden-yellow tonal yarn. Exactly what I wanted.

You can see the various tints, shades, and hues ranging from pale yellow to golden yellow to pale apricot and a bit of brownish yellow.

I couldn’t wait for the yarn to dry to cast-on this sock pattern.

Here are two repeats of the pattern already. Blocking will be key to this pattern to even out the yarn-overs so the “bees” stand out more.

I love how the plain back shows off all the tones of the yarn.

I think I have 15-20 more skeins of yarn I could dye. So many options. Plus Easter egg dyes should be on sale after Sunday! That’s a great time to snag some great deals on non-toxic dyes.

Have you dyed before?

Patti