Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kool Way to Dye!

So knitting is my latest thing, and dyeing yarn is my latest knitting thing.

First of all, if you knit you need to be on Ravelry. Unfortunately I tend to spend more time on Ravelry then I do actually knitting!

I started with this: Red Heart Wool in it's original form

This was some "age undetermined but very old" wool that my mom gifted to me (thanks Mom!). First I had to combine all of these small skeins into one large hank. I used my swift to wind the skeins into one long hank for dyeing.

For future reference - the hank ended up being 5 ozs of 3 ply fingering divided into three 40 inch sections for a total of 120 inches. The end result should be self-striping yarn suitable for a pair of socks.

I used several online references for instruction on how to dye the yarn. I opted to use KoolAid for my first attempt as it was cheap and easily available - and nontoxic. Some of the references I used are: and Streets and YOs. There are many other resources online as well.

Once I had the yarn wound all in one hank I soaked it overnight. I did add vinegar to the water, although I don't think it was necessary when using the KoolAid method of dyeing.


I decided on three colors: green (lime), purple (grape), and orange (orange).


I decided to use the hot water bath method. I filled a large pot about 2/3 of the way full with hot water. I then put the canning jars with the dye into the pot.

IMG_8537 IMG_8539 IMG_8541

I brought the water in the pot to a boil and then simmered the pot until the water in the jars was primarily clear.


I rinsed the yarn in the water that was in the pot to avoid shocking it and risk felting.

Once the yarn cooled I drained it.

IMG_8545 And then hung it to dry. IMG_8548

I made myself a niddy noddy so I could wind the dyed yarn into a hank solely for the purposes of photographing it. I used the directions here: Niddy Noddy Instructions and made this:


Unfortunately I removed the ties on the hank too soon and ended up with this:


But with lots and lots of patience and time I ended up with this:


And then this:


I will definitely doing more dyeing in the future. I have on order some Jacquard Acid Dye from KnitPicks as well as the book Teach Yourself Visually Hand-Dyeing.