Monday, August 09, 2010

In which I learn to properly dye yarn

Why do pictures never show the colour just right? The yarn is actually most like the skein picture!

I've been on the hunt. I sewed a little dress for a friend's baby and I desperately want to knit some little bloomers to go with it. I want pink bloomers to match. Problem was despite my hunt I could not find the right shade of pink yarn for love or money. Then a friend suggested that I dye my own yarn. I thought about it for a bit. I've done some before - but never been exactly thrilled with the result. I've always used the microwave/kool aid method. How would I mix kool aid flavours to get the right shade of pink. Then my friend had another suggestion. Wilton dyes. You know - the ones that come in little tubs in about a million different colours? I wasn't sure how to go about using Wilton dyes or how they differed from using kool aid and couldn't get back to my friend. In all fairness, I guess she has other things to do in life besides sit idly by her computer waiting to hold my hand through the whole process.

I started to search online figuring someone must have a tutorial somewhere and that's when I stumbled upon a Knitty article on dying your own yarn. I printed it off, stopped in a Michaels for a tub of colour, headed home and grabbed one of my dozens of balls of Patons Classic in Winter White that I have in my stash (thank you Kristy for your mom's yarn - it's come in handy again already!!!) wound it into a skein and set it to soak in water and vinegar. Yes folks! I do think that is a fun way to spend a Friday evening! Who wouldn't?!?!

Saturday morning was an early one. I can't remember why. Normally (BF)G gets up with little toddler man when he wakes up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday, but for some reason I had to get up too - and little toddler man was up at 4:45am! By 8:00am my lovely pink yarn was cooling in the crockpot waiting for it's bath! I did end up dying it a bit more in the afternoon though as I wasn't sure it was just right. There were a few spots that seemed to be naked of colour altogether and that just wasn't going to do! After it's second time in the dye bath, it seemed MUCH better!

I hung it initially on the shower head to dry, but the house is so hot and humid right now it wasn't really drying quickly enough for my liking, so yesterday morning I took it outside while the sun was out and there was a lovely breeze blowing. By mid-morning I was casting on the bloomers happy as a clam about my yarn. There are still a few spots in it that didn't get as much dye as the rest and I was a bit concerned about it at first, but it seems to be knitting up with just a slight, subtle varigated look to it. I keep hoping I don't come across a really pale spot - but so far almost 2" in to the knitting and nothing hideous yet!

Now I am afraid that I may have created a bit of a problem for myself. It would seem that I can't stop thinking about the possibilities of dying yarn... I do have, afterall, several balls of Winter White Patons Classic just sitting there begging to become something different!

Oh - and the dress? It's a from a Simplicity pattern and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! Picture quality may be sadly lacking here... I took the picture in my slightly dark living room late last night!

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