27 January 2010

A first adventure in dying....

I've been dying (sorry) to try my hand at dying my own wool for quite a while, and although there are a few projects that I'd like some hand dyed yarn for, at the moment, I can't find any undyed 10ply yarn, and it's probably best not to practice (play) with the stuff I really want any way. I had got some undyed 2-3ish ply on a cone though, and thought that I could have some fun with some food colour......
First of all I wound my wool into a skein, as I want it to be self striping, I set chairs about 2.5m apart, and wound the wool around the backs. I secured it with little bits of wool at various intervals, so it wouldn't get too knotted.
Next I soaked it in about a cup of water and cup of white vinegar for about an hour and a half.
Then I mixed my colours in old jam jars, half a cup of vinegar, a cup of water and about 30 drops of each colour into each jar. It sounds like quite a bit, but I'm hoping for a really strong colour. I'm using hansells food colouring, red and blue.
I squeezed the water out of the wool, and put roughly half into each jar.
I then placed them into the microwave and zapped them for 1 min, then moved the yarn slightly so that the white bit was now in the colour.

I continued to zap in minute intervals moving the wool each time, so that the middle bit had plenty of exposure to the dye.
I'm not sure exactly how long it took, but after a while the water in the red jar became clear, and the blue one clearish. I then tipped the lot into the sink, and once it had cooled a bit, rinsed it with clean water.

After squeezing the water out I hung it to dry, and later on, I'll be winding into a ball.
The next plan is to knit a pair of little baby socks with it, and see if the self striping effect actually works........
More pics to follow.

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