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??

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?