Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Adventures in Dyeing

I finally tried my hand at Crock pot dyeing. As part of a swap, a group of us were to create some hand dyed yarn in the yarn weight of choice for our partners. This was just the stimulus I needed! The past two years, I wimped out and dyed using Kool-Aid. I've mastered that....so next on my agenda was crock pot dyeing.

My partner plans to use her yarn for socks, so I chose some sock weight Merino (left) and turned the crock pot on after adding just enough water to cover the yarn (right).

I pre-soaked my yarn in Vinegar water in the crock pot.

While the yarn was pre-soaking, I measured out the bright blue dye and the magenta dye into two separate canning jars. My goal was to create yarn that was about 35% magenta, 35% blue, and 35% purple.

While the crock pot was heating up, I prepared the dye by adding water and vinegar to my pre- measured bright blue and magenta dyes (left). After stirring to make sure they were properly mixed, I put some of each color in my squeeze bottles (right)...for ease of application.

Once the wool had soaked for about 15 minutes, I then added the dye - magenta on one side and blue on the other. I "encouraged" the two colors to mix in the middle. The yarn took the dye rapidly and left quite a bit of white. I expected that and was prepared to turn the yarn over in the crock pot and add more dye. That fixed most of the "white" issues, but I definitely did not get the planned results!

I had much more color separation than I had planned and very little purple. I had expected there to be various shades of purple in the center where the two colors "co-mingled". It didn't quite come out as planned. Instead, I had quite a bit of magenta and quite a bit of blue with only about 5% purple!

I guess I need to work on my dyeing skills a bit. I have plenty of yarn and plenty of roving to work with, so I'll definitely enjoy the process...and hopefully learn a bit more each time I try my hand at dyeing!


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