Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dyeing can be fun!

This weekend was the dyeing experiment. Friday night my friend, Sarah, came up from southern Minnesota and we planned how we were going to go about dyeing. We had sent several emails back and forth the previous weeks and Friday night decided to go with Kool-aid dyeing this time around because that meant we wouldn't have to worry about chemicals and could use regular kitchen utensils.

Before the dyeing began we did 2 things. I gave her the Christmas present I made for her and can finally post a picture of it. The pattern is in the Berroco Flicker free ebook/ The pattern is called Gurie. I made a few changes. The original was created to use 1 skein of Flicker (a wonderful, soft alpaca chain yarn). Because it only used 1 skein, the neck portion went down to only 10 stitches and was fairly short. I made it wider and longer but kept the 2 ends exactly as the pattern showed. It's a beautiful yarn and I love the design of the 2 ends. Sarah seemed to be happy with it too.

The other thing we did before dyeing was head over to Lila and Claudine's for a quick trip. Sarah hadn't seen the new expansion and me, well, I just like to go over there cause they're so friendly and have a great stock. The expansion now includes a lot of gift items. Something for everyone.

So, time for dyeing. We stopped by the store on the way back and grabbed a bunch of kool-aid.

The yarn - I had bought a pound cone of WEBS fingering weight yarn. We wound the yarn off into 50 gm skeins. We got 8 skeins and a 12gm skein. Sarah also wound off a 25 gm skein of a merino-alpaca blend she got at Lila and Claudines. All the yarn went into a bath to get it ready for dyeing. The bath was lukewarm water with a small amount of dish soap.

While the yarn was soaking, we made up the dye mixes. We had 5 colors so made 5 cups of 2 packs of the same color with a splash of vinegar and a 8 oz of water. The rest of the kool-aid, we made cups of 1 pack and 4 oz water so we could mix colors or do multi-color skeins.

With everything ready we did our first attempt.We also decided to use the microwave. 2 minutes - check the yarn - 2 minutes more - check yarn, etc until the water was clear. Most of the skeins took 3 trips to the microwave.

After the microwave each skein was allowed to rest for a few minutes then we transferred the skein to a different container without its water. Once the yarn was completed cooled, Sarah gave each skein a final wash in tepid water and a small bit of shampoo.

After it's final bath the yarn was squeezed of all its water and hung in the bathtub to dry. As you can see some of the yarn was done solid - some tonal and some multi colored.

We had a great time giving this a try and both of us agreed this wouldn't be the last time we dye yarn. Next time around we'll try the jacquard dye I buy a while back or possibly Wilton's food dye. I understand Wilton's has more ready colors available.

If you haven't try dyeing yarn give the kool-aid dyeing a try. It's fun and easy and you get to knit something totally your own. Plus, its best to try it with a friend cause we had a GREAT weekend!

While we were dyeing yarn, Chief was busy amusing us by trying to tangle himself in the chair.


llamalady said...

Looks like you guys had a great time! Love your yarn.

LaDeb said...

Looks like a great weekend!

Julie said...

Jill, this looks like so much fun! I'm envious of the trip to Lila and Claudine's, too.

Sharon said...

I love the yellow...particularly today! Looks like you had a good time.