September 30th, 2011
I’m so excited to try my hand at dyeing that I just couldn’t wait to have all the stuff I need and decided to give it a whirl with what I did have. So I looked at all my skeins to see what one I might want to try changing the color of, and the only one I had that I didn’t like was this:
I won a contest for a free skein of yarn and I wasn’t given any choice of the color they sent me and so I of course ended up with the worst color possible….Pepto Bismol Pink. Yeah, the was a perfect candidate for my first yarn dyeing experience. No matter what color I end up with, I figured it HAD to be better than this.
So next, I looked around the kitchen to see what I could use for a dye. I found tumeric. Mixed with some water it looked like a definite possiblity. It looked like this:
That’s not bad. Better than pink. And I kinda like pink and orange together, so I thought I’d do a variegated colorway, part pink, part orange. I filled a large pot with the tumeric and water, brought it to a boil, then simmered the yarn for over an hour. The yarn is 100% wool and you have to be soooo careful when handling wet wool as it felts super easily. Anyway, after about 2 hours, I had this:
The orange was duller than I had expected, and maybe I should have mixed some vinegar with the mixture to brighten it, as I’ve read it’s something one can do, but I just didn’t feel like having the whole house smell like vinegar, especially since I have a couple of guys working here putting in a new boiler. (They probably thought it was strange enough that I had a pot of boiling yarn on my stove, much less to have a pot of yarn cooking, and a house that reeks of vinegar. ) To get the variegated color, I twisted the yarn back into a skein before I put in into the pot, so the dye could not move freely throughout the yarn. I let it drip dry over the bowl and into the sink for awhile, then hung it over a chair and let it drip on a towel. This morning, we have this:
Not bad, but not great. I decided yesterday that I liked it better but didn’t love it yet, and I decided to try some purple KoolAid to see if I could get a more interesting colorway. I dragged Emmet to the grocery store only to find that they didn’t carry the packets of KoolAid, only large containers of it. A large container would just go to waste in my house as we don’t drink KoolAid, so I came home disappointed. I’m still going to try it. I think I will go on another KoolAid packet quest later on. And in the meantime, I must figure out what acid dye to buy and where to get it from and I need to order some skeins of undyed yarn. I’ll make sure to post what happens when we dunk that thing in some purple.