Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Ok, so I went down that dark hole.....I decided I had to try dyeing my own yarn.  Yikes!  I wanted something easy with little investment in case I didn't like it.  Duh, of course I was going to like it!  Now I'm hooked.
I have a LOT to learn....I need to figure out a better way to dye and how to not be in the kitchen doing it....of course, the kitchen is the only place with a water source AND heat source. 

The first thing I told hubby when I was done was that it would be great to have water and a sink in the basement.  It's not the first time I've brought that up - I have 2 dogs, and a tub sink in the basement would be awesome.  Dual purpose now that I want to dye fiber and yarn.

I started with yarn as dyeing fiber still frightens me a bit.  I don't want to be felting anything when it's done.  Of course, what I worked with was BFL superwash.  Less chance of it felting that way!  I had spun up some yarn (it ended up not being as much as I'd hoped - about 182 yards), I washed it and rinsed it, let it dry so the twist was set.  Then I pre-soaked it in water and vinegar.  Then I read some instructions I'd downloaded from the 'net and realized I had to add more vinegar.  So an hour of soaking later....I had my yarn ready.  Meanwhile, I had bought some Wilton dye from WM, in Leaf Green.  I found a jar to mix it in, and went to mixing.  I used an old mixing bowl which was the only thing large enough to put a hank of yarn in.  I added more water because I wasn't going to paint this on, I wanted it to soak up the dye.  This is not what the directions said to do, but I figured I'd give it a shot.  I could always add or subtract.  It's just water.

I added the dye, covered the bowl in plastic wrap, and set it in the microwave.  I set it for one minute.  The directions said 15 seconds to one minute.  Well, I didn't think it was hot enough, so I set it another minute.  I think I left it alone then and let it cool the 10 minutes the instructions said to let it set in the microwave to cool.  I removed it, and the green wasn't nearly dark enough for me - especially since I didn't know how much was going to come out in the rinse.  I added more dye directly to the bowl, and stirred.  Placed the bowl back into the microwave, and set it for another 2 minutes, let it cool 10, removed it.  It was ok, but still not where I wanted it.  I stirred it around again and realized that the yarn on the bottom of the bowl was a LOT darker than the rest of the  yarn, and some of the yarn hadn't really taken.  I added a lot more dye, stirred it really well, and put it in the microwave again, this time for 3 minutes.  I wanted it good and hot to take that dye in and set it.

I removed the bowl, let it cool some more, took the yarn out, squeezed it gently, put it in my soaking tub (a small yellow tub I bought from Target) and I took it to the bathroom to rinse and let it set.  A LOT of color came out, and I was getting worried.  I dumped that, let it soak in some cooler water for about 30 minutes, then took it out and drained it.  A lot less color came out and I think what was left was from the first rinse and was water still left in the yarn with color in it.  I squeezed gently and wrapped it in a towel and squeezed some more.  I hung it on a hanger to dry.  It took overnight plus some time the next day - the weather has been cool.  I had read that food coloring dyes can fade in the sun, so I was worried about putting it in the sun to dry.  Just some time outside was good, hanging on the porch in the breeze. 

So, after all that blabbering, here is the yarn.

 This photo is much more the real color of the yarn.  I took this photo in my light box setup for taking photos. 
The photo above is a bit brighter than it is in real life, but it was the only one that came out once I twisted the hank.

It really was fun, and now that I'm braver about dyeing, I know I'll be doing more of it.  Look out world, here I come!  :-)

I have done some spinning on  the new fiber that we bought a week and a half ago.  I'm trying to spin it thin although I know there are some thick spots in there.  That's ok.  When I'm done, I'm going to make a ball and 2 ply it onto itself.  I added some glitz to it with the bronze shiny stuff I bought when we bought the fiber.  I spun a lot on Sunday, but didn't spin yesterday.  I wasn't having the best day and didn't want to mess with it.  Plus, I'm out of fiber almost and I want something to spin tomorrow at spin group.

Yesterday I painted 10 canvases, and today I plan on starting the Mod Podge - if the paint covered the canvases ok.  The paint I used was not Plaid, and boy, I won't make that mistake again!   It was way thin, and I may have to do 2 coats, something I don't have to do with the Plaid paint.  Once I get those 10 done, I'll be taking photos, then going to the website and switching them out for what's currently up there.  I will also take those to a craft show if I do one.

I need to go out today too, to pick up a stand I had left at the horse shop where I used to sell the horse beads.  I will need that for any shows I do and I want to be sure I have it back before someone forgets that it is mine.  It'll be a nice day for a ride. Besides, I need to get myself out of this house for awhile.

Thanks for looking in on my progress.  I appreciate it!
Take care,


Judee said...

Absolutely LOVE that green! good for you trying something new.

bspinner said...

Love this green yarn!