Yesterday I decided to do a little dabbling in a field related to knitting, ie: dying yarn. I had absolutely no expectations that I would identify a long hidden talent with my savant like dye job – and I must say that I was not disappointed.
Somewhere on the internet I had read something about dying yarn in cake form and it magically becoming a gradient. Woo Hoo, for shortcuts. And then I vaguely remembered being able to dye with food coloring. I just so happened to have some Wilton’s Powdered icing coloring stuff and a cheapo ball of yarn lying around, so hey – no time like the present.
Apparently Kool-aide brings its’ own acid to the party, but I needed to add acid myself. I also figured that the dye would wick into the ball better if the yarn was already wet. Into a measuring cup went a mixture of water and vinegar and the yarn ball.
I piled a plate and a can of potatoes on top and let it sit for a good long while. It took forever for the bugger to quit floating. While this was going on I mixed water, dye powder and vinegar in my little crock pot (usually dedicated to delicious, delicious cheese dip) and started it heating up.
Once the ball sank, it went into the hot-tub for a good long while. It looked fabulous. Until I took it out and poked it with some chopsticks and identified that the dye had only penetrated about 1/2 inch. So I got my trusty ball winder and re-wound it from the outside – effectively turning it inside out. After adding more dye to the crock-pot I chucked the yarn back in.
The little bugger floated, but I decided not to worry about it and got a hard cider. After several more hours I fished it out and re-skeined it to see what I had wrought. That is a whole story in and of itself – a hint? At one point the swift collapsed.
It was almost midnight by the time I got finished and this picture was taken with the on-camera flash. It sucks more than a Dyson vacuum, but you get the idea. Lesson of this story? I am gonna stick to buying awesome yarn from awesome dyers who know what the heck they are doing.
Do you have any indy dyers that you love and would recommend to me? Please feel free to share links in the comments (even if you are the dyer in question – toot your own horn!)