Weekend yarn dyeing

Our 11-year old granddaughter stayed with us over the weekend.  We went to Blackwater Falls near Davis, West Virginia, and walked to the falls.  It was a crisp, sunny day.  A bit chilly for our picnic but by sitting in the sun we managed to stay comfortable.

After we got home, Jayne and I dyed some Knit Picks Stroll fingering-weight yarn using Easter egg dye and some food coloring.  We soaked the yarn in water with three tablespoons of white vinegar before we left in the morning so it would be ready for us when we came home.

She decided on teal, purple and pink dyes alternating the colors all the way around the oval of yarn.  I bought some 20ml syringes to apply the dye.  They worked much better than the cheap squeeze bottles I used before.  The syringes did not leak or drip.

Once all the dye was on the yarn, we wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed the bundle in a glass dish.  Then we microwaved it for two minutes, let it cool anywhere from 5-15 minutes, and repeated that process for a total of four times to heat set the dye. (I was so involved that I forgot to take more pictures.  Oops!)

When the yarn was cool, she rinsed it thoroughly in warm to cool water with a little bit of clear soap.  The yarn absorbed most of the dye and she only had a small amount of purple dye wash out.  By Sunday morning the yarn was ready to wind into a ball.

I’ve already started knitting a pair of Helen Stewart’s Dorsal Fin socks (her choice) for her with the yarn she dyed.Patti

Cliff Walk revisited

The leg and heel turn are done and I’m part way up/down the foot of the Cliff Walk socks.

I’m loving the colors of this hand-painted yarn.

This close-up of the stockinette stitch on the bottom of the heel and foot shows the range of colors created.  No color pooling as I randomly applied the dyes.

Have a great weekend!

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!

Not for eggs

We needed a loaf of bread the other day so I went to the small market closest to our house.  I spotted these as I was walking past the clearance table.

Fourteen boxes of Easter Egg dye marked down to $.65 each.

I bought them all and used some on a skein of Knit Picks Bare fingering yarn.  I’ll show it to you as soon as it dries…which might take a day or two what with all the muggy, rainy weather we’ve been experiencing.

Anyone have an idea for all the wire egg dippers I have accumulated??