Wednesday, March 21, 2007

hand-dyed yarn ~ my first batch

My adventures in yarn are a never ending story: This week, I tried my hand at hand dying yarn.
This particular batch was dyed with Kool Aid. The process went like this: I bought a few balls of Patons Classic Wool, and seeing as how each ball was 100 grams and had over 200 meteres per ball, I cut them all in half. (I wouldn't've normally done this, but I think that over 100 meters in a ball of yarn is simply awesome yardage in itself.)
I had wrapped each new ball around 2 chairs ~ I took 2 chairs and had them face each other, their backs furthest away, and just wrapped. Using embroidery floss, I tied the loose ends into this new skein, and soaked it all in a water/vinegar/salt mix. (1 gallon warm water, 2 tsp salt disolved into it, 1 cup vinegar.)
After 10 minutes of soaking, I expunged each skein, leaving it a bit damp. I then took 1 cup of this soaking water into each of 5 tupperware containers, added half a cup of vinegar to each, and disolved 1 packet of Kool Aid in each, for a variety of colours.
Starting with lightest colours first, I soaked part of a skein into the colour for 5 minutes, which gave it a nice shade. I continued to add all the colours I wanted to add.
Leaving a bit of the dye in it, I put each coloured skein into a microwavable bowl. In some cases, to make the colours a bit stronger, I added (with a tablespoon) some extra dye. I then nuked each skein individually in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Now, the skeins are pretty hot and still a bit damp, so in order to avoid felting the yarn, I picked up each skein with a pair of tongs and let them air dry on a flat surface for an hour. (Cooling them off with cold water would felt them!) After that hour, I then hung them on coat hangers and hung the hangers off of a lamp, putting a towel on the floor to catch whatever moisture dripped off of them.
The next day (yesterday) they were perfectly dry, so the embroidery floss was removed, and they were re-rolled into new, colourfull skeins.

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