Monday, May 22, 2006

My amateur dyeing tips

As I round out my whopping fourth skein of hand-dyed yarn, it's time to impart some wisdom about the dyeing process.

1) Start small and simple: use kool-aid (several packets if you want brighter colors and use WHITE vinegar as the fixative) to try your hand at this. And use the mason jars/microwave method. It's faster than the stovetop and so far I see no appreciable difference. You can also drop-by-drop brighten it up with food coloring (the dye bath). You get great bright colors that would be cute for socks or kids hats/scarves.

2) If you go the Wilton icing colors route, know that those are very volatile in that what color you think you are going to get might not actually be the color that you get. Like when we did the squirt bottle/Saran wrap method--I chose green, purple and golden yellow. By the time I added in some vinegar, the purple looked navy blue. After cooking in the micro, it looked deep purple and once dry, it was actually a nice color of purple that looked good with the other two. And also, with Wilton less is more . Somewhere it said to use 2 teaspoons of the stuff and that was how Linda's came out looking like psychotic clown hair. (no offense Linda, I only say that because you've said worse about it). The second time around that she and I did yarn, we used 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon with much prettier results .

3) If you are planning on doing a multi-color yarn, long skeins seem to be the easier way to go, that way you can put a little bit in each jar, if you go the jar route. Or you can stretch the circle of yarn out nice and wide for the Saran route and even make tiny stripes if you want to do self-striping sock yarn.

I'll add more to this list as I think of more tips.

1 comment:

Holly from Bristol said...

Thanks for the info! Now to find the time to do it when I don't have my little helper around.