Thursday, April 06, 2006

Put on Your Easter Bonnet ...

And your sunglasses. More yarn has been dyed. First the more tame skeins.

Please excuse the "lump o yarn" look - I'm apparently skein twisting challenged.

Procedure for dyeing these two:
Presoak yarn. Spin out excess moisture in washing machine on spin only. Lay flat, and apply whatever colors you can get a hold of from the spice cabinet - Easter egg dyes, food coloring, Wilton cake colors, Koolaid drink powder- mixed with a tablespoon or two of vinegar and 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. As you apply each color, press it into skein so that there is no runoff. When you feel it's done, put it in a glass casserole dish in microwave, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let it rest for a few minutes. Microwave on high for another 2 minutes. Let cool, and rinse in sink. Spin out excess water in washing machine (again spin cycle only), hang to dry.

And now for the third skein. This clearly applies to April's Project Spectrum colors of orange and yellow. For your own safety, put on the protective eyewear before viewing!

Please note: I did not up the saturation on this photo! I think any garments made from this yarn would keep me safe during hunting season. They could also potentially save my life if I were ever lost in a wilderness area - I'm pretty sure the rescuers could spot it. This may be overdyed at a later date with a pinch of violet, or maybe some tan.

This skein was dyed after seeing this post about dyeing prewound balls in a crockpot. I had 440 yards of wool, so I wound two balls, and put them in the crockpot sideways.

I used 3 cups of liquid, a couple tablespoons of vinegar, and too much Wilton's Golden Yellow icing color (about 1/2 teaspoon). I know it was too much, because it never exhausted. I cooked it covered, on low, for about an hour and a half. I let it cool slightly, flipped them over, and added a combo of several pink and red colorings mixed with vinegar and water. In this case, I didn't use enough, as the color didn't reach the center of the balls. I added more color part way through, then squirted food coloring directly into the white areas and cooked some more.

The variegation is astounding, but the drawback of this technique is the extra work. It requires prewinding the balls, then unwinding them when wet in order to let them dry properly.

Posting in the next week or so may be sketchy. I'm headed on a trip to Texas. Happy Spring!


Carol Dean said...

Wow! You must be on a color high right now. I can only imagine the wonderful hours you will spend with these colors as you knit away.

Karen said...

What is the fiber content of these yarns?

Diane D. said...

Thanks, Carol. Karen, they are all 100% merino wool yarns, from . They call it item 23418, Natural White Color Your Own.

Ande said...

Awesome!!!!!!! Isn't it fun? Even though the unwinding to dry sucks, it's still not enough to discourage me. Keep it up!

Michelle said...

Your yarns are GORGEOUS!! Makes me want to give it a try!!