Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm dyeing!

I believe I said I wanted to give dyeing yarn a try and this weekend, while it's pouring with rain outside and the husband is out playing poker with his friends, seemed like a great opportunity.

The first sweater that I bought to recycle was always destined to be my first victim. I was a little worried about the dye taking properly because it's a wool/acrylic/cotton blend, but I figured it would be worth a shot.

It's not a full tutorial, but here's a rundown of what I did in 10 steps!

Step 1 - Soak the yarn in warm water with a dash of dish soap (I did this for about 20 minutes).
Step 2 - While yarn is soaking, mix up Kool Aid packs. I had 2 packs of orange and 2 packs of strawberry. I've seen some tutorials suggesting using 8oz water for each pack, but I decided to make it a little more saturated than that because of the fiber blend so for each color I put 2 packs in 12oz water.
Step 3 - Remove yarn from soaking and gentle wring out the water.
Step 4 - Place yarn in microwave safe dish and pour on Kool Aid mixture. I originally was planning on doing one color per hank, but ended up doing one hank that was a random mix of the two colors together!
Step 5 - Cover dish with plastic wrap and poke a few holes to let the steam escape.
Step 6 - Place dish in microwave for 2 minutes.
Step 7 - After the 2 minutes in the microwave, pull it out and take a look to see whether the water at the bottom of the dish is clear. If not, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then pop it back in the microwave for another 2 minutes.
Repeat Steps 6+7 as necessary until water in the bottom of the dish is clear. For me, this was 2 runs through the microwave for each.
Step 8 - I had left the water that the yarn was originally soaking in still in the bowl. So, after I was done microwaving the yarn, I removed the yarn from the microwave dish and threw it back in the original water to let any extra dye seep out and to cool off a little.
Step 9 - Once the yarn is cool enough to touch, pull it out of the water and gently wring it dry.
Step 10 - Hang to dry!
Here are my final products waiting to be hung up to dry. Top hank was dyed with about 7oz of orange flavor, the middle one is whatever was left of the orange plus a few oz of strawberry flavor. (It's somewhat variegated but hard to see right now.) The bottom hank was dyed with the strawberry flavor. It's probably the least saturated of the three and looks like more of a watermelon color to me.

As always, the concept of dyeing yarn seems so much more complicated than actually doing it and I'm really glad I had the chance to just give it a try!


Hollymark said...

Looks great to me!

Heather - - said...

I found this via craftster and will be linking to your tute via! I can't wait to try it!