In other news, my very first hand-dyes:
I used KnitPicks Dye Your Own
sock-weight merino. It's not a wildly good quality yarn, but it's perfectly decent. I was underrconfident of the colors, and made them all bolder than I meant to (particularly the green in the blue/green colorway), but I still like how they turned out.
The method was based on the multiple-jars-in-one-pot-of-water method fromDianna's tutorial
(which also inspired the red colorway) and used the stripe length math from Eunny's
. I used water-to-vinegar-to-kool-aid ratios from Barbara's tutorial
In short, here's what I did:
- estimate how long I wanted each striped section to be, and how long the full cycle of color repeats would be
- wind a skein as long as the full cycle (this is LONG. I did it in a huge rhombus around four chairs)
- tie off the skein to mark where the colors change
- soak the huge skein in a vinegar and hot water solution for half an hour or so
- mix 6 oz water, 2 oz vinegar and 1 packet of kool-aid (the sugar-free kind) in a large jar and mix very well. Repeat for all colors. Add more dye mixture, in these proportions, if desired
- place the jars in a large pot, in a bath of cold water several inches deep
- place each section of the yarn in the appropriate jar. Add enough water to cover the yarn well, and give it a very gentle, but thorough, stirring to mix.
- turn on the heat under the pot (I did it on medium), and bring the water in the pot (but not the dye in the jars) to a simmer. Stir the yarn very occasionally, to make sure the dye circulates
- it's done when all the dye has been sucked up into the yarn. The liquid in the jars will either turn milky or clear. The picture below is ALMOST ready (and has a cool steam effect):
- Let the yarn cool (or put on a sturdy oven mitt) and dump the yarn carefully into your (clean and bleach-free) sink. Let it sit for a minute.
- Gently wash and hang to dry as usual. (I used cold water and Eucalan)
- wind into a ball or skein. I think self-stripeys look particularly adorable on a skein. Plus, it will entertain your cat no end.
- make your color change markers nice and obvious. Once your yarn gets wet, it's harder to guess
- choose jars with plenty of room. I used a 26 oz jar for about a 1.5oz section of the skein, and it was a bit too small.
- choose jars of approximately the same height. Otherwise, the dye from the taller jar will travel down the yarn and mix into the lower one. If you're stuck with different heights (as I was), allow the yarn to dip down below the lip of the lower of the two.
- use rubber gloves when handling the Kool-Aid powder and mixed dye
- artificially-sweetened drink mixes like Crystal Light work just fine
- the yarn is going to absorb all the dye in the water, so the actual dilution doesn't matter, but the total amount of dye does. Add as much water as you need to cover the yarn, but make sure you mix it well.
- if you take the yarn out of the jars before it's milky/clear, it might bleed onto the other colors
Largest section, appx. 2 oz of yarn: 3 packets of Cherry, 1/2 packet of Grape (dark red)
Med section, appx 1 oz of yarn: 2 packets of Wyler's Strawberry-Kiwi and 1/2 packet of tropical punch (coral)
Med section, appx 1 oz of yarn: 3 packets of Lemonade (yellow)
If I make this again, I'll include more Cherry and less Grape in the dark red, omit the tropical punch from the coral (for more of a peachy pink), and maybe use 2-2.5 packets of Lemonade.
Largest section, appx 2oz of yarn: 3 packets of Ice Blue Raspberry (turquoise)
Small section, appx 2/3 oz of yarn: 3 packets of Watermelon Kiwi (green)
Small section, appx 2/3 oz of yarn: 2 packets of Wyler's Strawberry-Kiwi and 1/2 packet tropical punch (coral)
Small section, appx 2/3 oz of yarn: 3 packets of Lemonade (yellow)
If I make this again, I'll use 2 packets of Watermelon Kiwi for a green that's more lime than grass, and omit the tropical punch from the coral, for more of a peachy pink.