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Monday, June 12, 2017

Dyeing Adventure... Addiction Level Attained

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  This past winter, my husband had gifted me with yarn dye from knitpicks.com (Greener Shades Dye). The good side, is that the the dye is really REALLY fun. The downside? It's a tiny amount of dye so I have a feeling that this summer I will run out real quick. I have already researched and will likely buy some Dharma Acid Dye in my favorite colors.



  The first idea I had, was to practice dyeing a solid color. I had the main primary colors, but that left out outliers such as pink. But I thought a nice pink and then later my oldest daughter and I could poke dye into it and make it a little like cotton candy ice cream.

  So I took the ruby red and mixed the dye, hoping to use less of it to create a nice pink. But to be honest, I didn't know how much to mix. The instructions that came literally said nothing about how much of the powder to use....



   So yeah. No idea what I was doing. But hey, first time so let's swing with it. 

  Using stroll undyed yarn from knitpicks.com, I took a skein out (462 yards) and soaked it in citric acid and a room temperature bath for 15 minutes. At this point, I ran to my phone and downloaded the instructions for how to dye a solid color from Hue Loco. 

  If you go to this page and sign up for a pdf of instructions, it is emailed automatically to you and I saved it on my phone. It was a lifesaver!!  I followed it to the T. :)



  Added lukewarm water to my stainless steel pot and some citric acid (about a tablespoon). Once the yarn had been soaking for fifteen minutes I added the red dye to the pot, then the yarn. Worried that it wouldn't be enough, I added a little more once I put it in over the yarn. Then I turned the heat on and waited for it to come to a simmer.

  Lesson's I learned at this point?
1) Yarn is always darker in the pot than it will be once it dries.
2) I need better gloves so I can open up the white spots to absorb all the dye.
3) Don't be afraid to add more dye to the white spots, perhaps with a syringe.
4) I need to tie the yarn with a darker scrap of yarn because I could not see the sections tied in the yarn itself... I did this from this point on.

  So it heated up, came to a simmer and I turned it off to not touch it until it had cooled completely.


  A bit more tonal because I hadn't really gotten in there and separated the yarn to get the dye throughout the whole thing, but the color was pleasing!

  Next, I decided to try and make a variegated yarn. I did this by following the same steps above (soaking the yarn, and adding water and citric acid to the pot as well, same room temperature, but less water than with a solid color.

  The reason for less water is because I didn't want the dye I was going to add to mix as much in the water. 

   Using River Blue, as well as more Ruby Red (but just a little bit of it). I did this skein, but again, I didn't use enough dye I learned later. I was supposed to be using a teaspoon for 2 inches of water in my little dye containers, but I was using a quarter teaspoon and more than two inches of water. 



  This time I got more into the pot, added more dye and tried to find all the white spots. Adding the red was a ton of fun!!


  I joked that it ended up more like Painter's Blue Jeans haha. 

  The last skein I did was after I discovered I was using too little dye (and I realized that I needed to by more dye soon as I only had a 1/4 ounce of dye in each color). 

  Using Amethyst Purple, River Blue and Ruby Red, I went to town. Still working on those white spots though.




  Finally, my oldest daughter and I decided to test the microwave method. The idea here is that you place everything out on a paper-lined counter, with plastic wrap placed out. You soak the yarn then put it out on the plastic wrap. 
  
   We wanted to give the pink skein some more color, remember the cotton candy ice cream idea? Well, we went to town and I will be re-skeining it to redistribute the colors. We used a plastic fork to poke the Amethyst Purple and River Blue dye into the yarn, then I ended up pouring what was left of the dye into white spots haha. Why not right?

  Then you wrap the yarn in the plastic wrap, I put it in the microwave in a paper bowl and nuked it for 2 minutes. Then let it cool down completely before I rinsed it in SOAK and room temperature water. 




  Cotton Candy Monster?
  This last step I did with all of the yarn after it had cooled down completely, almost no yarn had any residual dye (because, as usual) I was usually really stingy with it (though I didn't know it).

  In all, I had a BALL and will continue to show you my dyeing projects as the summer progresses. It is best to only do this in my house during the summer, windows open (wool stinks hot and wet haha), and they can dry outside on the drying wrack. 

  On a side note, my adventure with making sock blanks with the knitting machine pictured here from Michael's:



  Violent failure. It did not work at all. So I gave up and caked two skeins of undyed yarn to knit together two at a time into a sock blank that I will be dyeing later. More time intensive but at least it is two skeins at once.  I really cannot say more on that matter, it was the most frustrating part of the weekend.

Be Well!
Jen
Tangledmania