Saturday, June 5, 2010

They were all in love with dyin'

Yes, I am in love with dyin'. Yarn that is. I've been tempted for awhile now to try it myself and finally got around to it yesterday. There are many great tutorials out there to get you started and I found that the process is quite simple and lots of fun. I documented the process so that I could share with you. What could be more Wicked than creating my own colors for my twisted crochet projects?
First you need yarn. I got mine from 100% Peruvian Wool fingering weight. It only cost $3.79 for a 100 gram hank. This place has lots of nice yarn for great prices. I highly recommend it.

Now you want to tie you're yarn in a few different places. This is important. If you don't do this you will end up with a huge mess of tangled yarn. My hank came tied in two places already. I made sure to tie it loose enough that the dye could penetrate and I wouldn't end up with white spots.
I just used some scrap yarn to do this.

Next I soaked the yarn in vinegar and water. I
didn't measure anything exactly. Just fill the bowl
with cool water and glug some vinegar in. From the picture it looks like I used about 1/4 of the bottle or so. Hey, I'm no chemist. I'm wingin it here. I let the hank soak for about 2 hours. This is a great time to get things done, like take a nap or
smoke a bowl, whatever you want. I'm not one to judge. Make sure you squish the yarn down, if there are spots where the liquid isn't absorbed the dye won't take.

Here's the fun part, mixing the colors. I used 4oz squeeze bottles to mix and Wilton icing gels for the dye. I wanted to use 4 different colors here's how I mixed em. 1oz vinegar 3 oz water. Color #1 3 scoops (with a popsicle stick) royal blue 1 scoop sky blue. Color #2 3 scoops violet 1 scoop burgandy. Color #3 3 scoops teal. Color #4 3 scoops kelly green. Now shake it baby. Make sure to wear gloves. Unless you don't mind having colorful hands for a few days. Whatever floats you're boat.

Prepare the work surface. Newspapers, kitchen garbage bag, and saran wrap, 3 pieces shaped in a triangle. I also bought some sponge tipped brushes to help move the dye around.

Drain the yarn. I just dumped it in a colander. Squeeze the excess liquid out the best you can. Next time I think I'll throw the yarn in the washer on the spin cycle, just to make it easier.

Get yer yarn on the table. Have everything within reach. Now I finally get to start painting!!

How purdy!! I squirted on the color and used the brushes to move around the color.

Now wrap up the yarn in the saran wrap. Good and tight...I didn't wrap mine up good enough and some of the colors ran. But hell, you can't expect perfection you're first time

Stick you're beautiful yarn in the steamer. I let it steam for about 45 minutes on medium high heat. Make sure you're steamer is CLEAN. Nobody wants yarn that smells like last nights broccoli.

Using tongs take the yarn out of the steamer and put it in the sink. You will burn you're ass if you don't use caution. That is HOT SHIT! Let the yarn cool completely in the sink. Again this a good time to do some stuff. Teach you're cat to yodel or lean to play the harmonica. Like I said I'm not one to judge.

I washed my wool with a little Woolite to help get rid of the funky smell. Imagine a wet sheep eating pickles. Not a nice smell. Again rinse in cool water and squeeze out the water.

Hang the yarn to dry. Mine took FOREVER to dry. So next time it get's a ride on spin cycle. As you can see the dye ran and transferred in places. But I think it looks pretty good for my first attempt.

Here's the finished hank. How cool is that! I hope I've inspired someone to give it a try. I had a blast.

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