dyeing

A Bright, Sunny, Yarn Dyeing Day

I put to good use the things I learned in my first try at yarn dyeing and took another stab at it today.  Going in, I was aiming for a three color skein, pastel pink, pastel purple and pastel turquoise. To make sure I was at least in the ball park of getting the right colors, as I mixed them (I’m mixing dye solution in plastic squeeze condiment bottles) I would test the colors on a bit of paper towel.  I knew this probably wouldn’t give me an exact image of what I’d get, but I was hoping it would be pretty close. I was amazed at how little dye was actually needed and it resonated again how heavy handed I had been when making my first dye solutions.

I’m, again, using fingering weight yarn in a 75% merino, 25% nylon blend- perfect for socks.  I tied some extra figure eight ties around the skein of yarn to **crosses fingers** hopefully prevent any tangling later on.

Dye in dye pot

I pre-soaked the yarn for about an hour in lukewarm water with a bit citric acid in it. I
then placed the yarn in my dye pot trying to keep it in a circle around the edge of the pot– I am doing them so I have more control over where the colors end up. There was also not a lot of water in the pot– the yarn was not entirely submerged.  Here’s what it looked like. I brought the water with the yarn in it up to a simmer and was ready to add in the dye solutions.

FullSizeRender1Since I had 3 colors, I mentally divided the pot into thirds and squirted the dye into each section.  I was also intending for there to be some bare spots, so I made an effort to leave some white space.  I also wanted to experiment with adding some speckles so I sprinkled in some turquoise and pink dye powder into the pot by tapping on a measuring spoon with just a tiny bit of dye in it.

You can definitely see the dark spots from the sprinkles.

 

Then I waited.  After I added in the dye, I turned off the heat and let it sit on the burner until it cooled completely. I checked every once in a while and did a happy dance when I saw that the water in the pot was completely clear.  I tested it and sure enough, the dye was completely exhausted into the water!!!  Yay! I knew I was going to have a way easier time rinsing it than the last time!

Sure enough, that was the case.  I added in some wool wash and rinsed the yarn.  The water was clear from the first rinse but I rinsed it a handful of times to make sure all the soap was gone.

Then it was onto drying and so far, there are no tangles! It’s warm and sunny and a bit windy, so it is the perfect day to let my yarn dry outside.  I picked up a laundry dryer at HomeGoods before my first time dyeing.  I turned it on its side to hopefully keep the wind from knocking it over.  I absolutely am loving the way it looks.  I think the blue speckles were maybe slightly more heavy handed than was my intention, but still.  I’m loving it! Surprisingly, with the weather working on my side, it only took about 3 hours to dry completely!

Yarn Drying Outside

And finally, the finished product! It reminds me of unicorns and I’m absolutely ecstatic with the way it turned out (also, I need to work on my skein-twisting skills!). I added several pictures because I re-twisted it a few times so I could see more of the color variation.

 

I’m actually going to be casting this on to make these Patio Socks.  I think the lattice stitch will look cool with the colors!  Stay tuned!

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