Adventures in Dyeing #3

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:20160326_170025

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!



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