Wednesday, March 26, 2014

{Yarn Along} Dyeing and a Conundrum

So here you go, the results of the yarn dyeing experiment.

I started by asking around to see if any of my knitty friends had tried this before. We're all pretty solid DIYers, so I was surprised to discover that none had and even shocked when my friend Laura responded that she had little interest in trying because there were other people know more and do it much better than we! That's not very adventuresome!

So I used this tutorial and it worked with two minor blips. I had read that the vinegar soak could cause colors to not come true. I know from experience with berries that when you wash a berry-covered dish that the soap changes the colors entirely and really messes with reds and blues. I assume the same sort of action occurs with pink and blue hydrangeas, all that ph stuff. I told Julian specifically that I wasn't going to worry too much about that because I like all colors, so as long as it was colorful, I was fine.... that was before my purple-y color scheme became brown + blue + orange. Then, all of a sudden, it made sense, that bit about people knowing how to do this better than I.

I mixed up three colors using Wilton food colors in punch cups with boiling water, about 1/2 tsp of dye each. I used violet, pink, and burgundy. I pre-soaked my wool in 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water, but I sped up the process by putting it in a pot on low heat for about 45 minutes. No overnight-ness here.

The ugly shade shifting happened immediately upon pouring the dye on the wool. {I really wish the pictures showed the colors better} Grr. I wasn't happy. I followed through with the process, wrapped it in plastic and baked it in the oven on 210F for about one hour. I took it out and it was like magic - the colors were beautiful and vibrant, and 100% absorbed. The baking wool had become so colorfast that when I rinsed it, not even one drop of water was discolored. Then I left it to dry overnight and balled it up. Voila! (I know, I said there were TWO blips but only mentioned one. The other was the fact that the only thing that smells worse than wet wool is wet wool soaked in vinegar and baked in the oven. Yeah. Julian was not keen on being an innocent bystander for the process. The house smelled rank.)

So now... here is my conundrum. I cast on my 32 stitched for my one hour mitts, but how on earth do I close the round? Am I missing something? I don't have enough yarn to be able to connect my ends. (In the picture, I just started knitting back plainly because I love the yarn so much but made myself stop, so that's why the needles are in an odd spot.) I googled the miracle loop method for doing glove fingers and what not but I have no idea how anyone could make anything in one hour using that option. Help!?

Linking up with Ginny.


  1. That looks awesome! Well done.
    Start again with Magic loop once you get going it really is very quick. Just make sure you have a long cable on your needles. The longer the better for Magic loop.
    Have a great week.

  2. I did it with my kids this summer, not sure we did it right, but the yarn was very colorful and it was a lot of fun!

    Keep going with the hand-dyeing!

  3. Cast on the number of stitches then turn the needles so that the right hand is holding the edge that has the yarn to the skein. just start knitting into the left needles stitches on the outside like you would ordinarily knit. PM me if you need more help :)

  4. Love it! And I always think the process is just as much fun as the end product :) Here is a video tutorial of the magic loop (I'm sure there are many). It took me a while to really get it but once you do, it goes really quickly! Have fun!