Midwest Knit Girl


Posted on: July 28, 2007

Not so sure about this hand dying yarn business. I’m not totally wigged out just yet about these hanks because as we all know, a swatch can look waaaaaaaaaaaay different than what you think you see in a hank (good AND bad). I like the color combos on the left skein but the one on right reminds of the Regia skeins – they always seem to have black and white in them and it’s definitely NOT what I was aiming for. But I’ll hold off on passing judgment until I knit up the swatches tonight. 

The method I used was that I soaked the yarn in a little vinegar and water overnight, squeezed out a lot of the water and started squirting on the dye using squeeze bottles. I used the Wilton food dyes. After dyeing I wrapped up the hank in plastic wrap, nuked it on high in a container – no lid – for two minutes, opened the door and let it cool for two minutes and then nuked again for two minutes. Once it was cool enough to handle I placed the whole hank in the kitchen sink with some lukewarm water (not sure why this is necessary, I had no dye to rinse out but I was following directions), then put on a towel, wrapped it up and stepped on the towel to get our excess water. Then I hung the hank up outside to dry.  

In the meantime I will share some learnings from today’s session.

1. Spread out the yarn on the surface before dying – I had dyed the yellow/blue/green one and thought I was done until I picked up the skein. I hadn’t realized that the dyes hadn’t done all the way through the yarn in some places. Had I spread the yarn out a bit more it would have dyed better. I was able to fix it but it could have been an easier process the other way.

2. Use large bottles. I was using little 4 ounce squirt type bottles and had to redo the dye/water mix multiple times. I think at the minimum I should have had 12 ounce bottles.

3. Watch out for pin prick holes in your rubber gloves or they will leak dye onto your skin.

4. Buy your yarn in hank form in the final length you’re aiming for…I wound up 3 balls and tied each to the other to come up with a total of 390 yards in one hank. Now I have knots. Duh, me.

5. Hold off on passing judgement until knitting up swatches – which I am going to go do right now.

















4 Responses to "Hrrrmmpphh"

I love the colors. I’ve been trying to find the time to dye yarn also. I need more time! Thanks for the advice. However I’m using real yarn dyes the next time I do dying and not food dyes or kool-aid.

I think they both look great and have a lot of character! I’ve also just started hand-painting my own yarn with acid dyes and love the process. I’ve also used Kool-Aid, but haven’t tried the Wilton’s yet. Can’t wait to see your swatches!

Ahhh, after I posted that previous comment, I saw you had already done a swatch. That’s what I get for commented on a post in tag surfer! I like them… they look wonderful!

I am completely in love wht the second hand you seem to hate! It is very reminicent for the work of Dyeabolical Yarns http://stlrachelknits.blogspot.com/

People would buy it…

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Down, Stella!


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