Friday, September 05, 2014

Dying Yarn

I'm finding that I really enjoy dying yarn.  If I could afford it, I think I'd try my hand at selling the yarn I dye.  However, it's not a cheap hobby, which is why I haven't done it much.  I'm sure I'd make my money back and more, but getting started is half the battle.  Anyway, on to this dying adventure.

This time, I used a method that involved freezing Kool-Aid into ice cubes prior to applying the color to the yarn.  These ice trays are new, and I discovered that there is such a thing as "too full" if I'm planning to stack the trays.

This led to me having to handle the cubes more than I had planned, which led to staining my fingers.

Thankfully, this only took a couple of days to fade completely.  Moving on - as usual, I soaked the yarn for several hours in water that had a few glugs of vinegar in it.  I just eyeball it.

Once it had soaked I put it into a roasting pan and scattered the color cubes over the top of the yarn.

Then it went into the oven for 2 hours.

When it came out, it wasn't nearly as dark as I was expecting or hoping for it to be.  Therefore, I decided to give it another run through the system.  I got more Kool-Aid and doubled the concentration of Kool-Aid to water.  I also moved the yarn from the large roasting pan to a smaller glass pan.

Rather than freeze this batch of dye, I just poured it over the yarn in the pan.  It made for a very full pan of yarn, so I had to be very careful when it came to transporting this across my kitchen.  Grape Kool-Aid stains.

Back into the oven it went for another hour and thirty minutes, after which the color was much darker overall.  I checked to be sure that the water was now clear, then gave it a dunk in the sink to cool/rinse.
Then it was onto the drying rack in the bathtub.  Best place for something to drip dry - especially something that you can't wring out for fear of damaging it (wringing wet wool yarn can cause felting, which is great when you want it but terrible when you don't - and I don't, at least not for this).

The next day, it was dry and I twisted it into a hank.  Finished!!