Friday, March 5, 2010

I *heart* Dyeing Yarn!

Have I said before how much I heart dying yarn? I do. I really do :). It all started when I just couldn't find the right pink for these soakers (and these which I made at the same time for the same person) so I decided to dye some myself. I fell in love with the first strand we pulled out of the dye bath, even though it was totally the wrong color.

We (my sister Suzie and I) learned a lot about dying that first time. First of all, with Cushing's Perfection Dyes a little goes A LONG WAY, even with alpaca which doesn't want to hold the color quite as well as wool.

Also, a salad spinner is indispensable in the process of dyeing wool. Maybe you can get away without one if you're dyeing fabric, but with wool, it's really difficult to keep the yarn from turning into a big ugly mess when you're trying to get the water out without one. I guess we could have used the washing machine on the spin cycle, but that would have involved transporting it to the laundry room and it was already complicated enough dyeing yarn with 4 toddlers tripping us up. Running across the house with dripping wool didn't sound very appealing.

We learned that you get very uneven dyeing if you don't get all of the wool into the dye bath at the same time. Alpaca likes to float on top even when it's been soaking for a half an hour. I got some really uneven color the last time I dyed because when I was putting my alpaca yarn in the dye bath, the tongs got tangled in it and I couldn't get it all plunged all the way in at the same time, so some of it came out quite a bit lighter than the rest. I actually ended up liking the effect, and it wasn't very obvious since it was really just an accent color on these.

Next up, we've GOT to learn to dye our own self-patterning yarn! It's TOO FUN!! I don't wonder at all why there are so many yarn dyers out there :).

And here's the finished product. Just beautiful, if I do say so myself.

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