My latest obsession is dyeing. Ok, it started by becoming obsessed with spinning yarn. Then that yarn needed to be dyed! So before spinning more yarn, I wanted to practice dyeing. I bought some relatively cheap, natural-colored 100% wool yarn (Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool yarn, to be exact). Adventures #1 and #2 were fun, but #1 didn’t make enough yarn and #2’s yarn colors leave something to be desired (a bit too bright and the color changes are too short). I will post about them later. Adventure #3 looks promising.
After some research, I would 100g of yarn across 2 chairs, so I had nice big loops. Then I soaked the yarn in 1 cup white vinegar added to 4 cups tap water (I have fabulous well water). It soaked for about 25 mins (I couldn’t wait another 5!). As it soaked, I mixed the dye. I use food dye and mix it in glass jars. I wanted a gradient pink and black yarn. From Adventure #2, I knew that 20 drops of red in 1/2 cup water made a pretty bright pink. The black I wanted dark, so I mixed 20 drops of black in 1/4 cup of water (I ended up making 3 batches of this).
I squeezed out the excess vinegar/water (do not wring, you don’t want to felt the yarn). I laid the yarn out on a long piece of plastic wrap that was laying on a plastic board. I then proceeded to use a plastic dropper to coat the yarn. Then I dipped the end in to get the end really soaked. I put less dye in the middle and splattered a bit so it would mingle in the middle. Then I wrapped it up in the plastic wrap, coiled it into a glass casserole dish, and microwaved it for 4 minutes. I took it out and let it cool.
When I opened it, the black had some brown patches. Ugh. So I made more black (this was #3), did a quick dip in the vinegar, and really soaked the end with the black. Another 4 minutes in the microwave, and I got this:
I wish I had remembered to take more pictures! Anyway, I rinsed it and squeezed it dry in a towel and this is what it looks like:
Now I will hang it to dry. Once it is dry, I will wind it into a cake and knit it into a shawl!