Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dyeing yarn . . .

Dena and I are going to make Anna Zilboorg's Carved Kimono.  We are testing the pattern so it can be added to Ravelry as a for sale, downloadable pattern.   But we didn't have yarn - well, Dena did but not quite enough.  So we ordered the yarn that Anna probably originally used when she first knit it (which is not what is shown in this photo).
We got lots and lots of yarn - five pounds of it - all in it's natural state.  So we decided to dye it.   
We went online and looked at all the dye colors and picked two that we thought would look great in a tonal yarn.  I had a small hank of the same yarn, so as soon as the dyes arrived, I did a test.  

Um, it didn't turn out very well.  The photo barely shows it, but the lighter area which is supposed to be tan is pretty green in spots.  So, we decided to eliminate the tan but then we didn't have enough of the toffee color to dye all the yarn.  So we went through the dyes I had and Dena picked blues for her yarn.
Then the yarn arrived on Wednesday afternoon - Finally!!!

So, first I gave it a good soak.  Now that sink is not all the yarn, that is just half of it - one person's portion.  

 My normal dye pot wasn't big enough for this much yarn, so I hit goodwill and got this roasting pan - it is HUGE.  I also tossed that test hank in to overdye the green sections.  That green pitcher was supposed to be for mixing the dye up in, but it was plastic and didn't hold up too well to boiling water . . . oops!

First batch was the toffee yarn - my yarn.  Sadly, I didn't stir the pot enough and so the bits of yarn that were nearest the heat absorbed a lot more dye than the rest.  So my yarn has some really dark spots - they don't ruin it though as shown in later photos.

Dena's blue dye being added to the vinegar water - loved how the dye slowly spread into the water.

 The blue dye bath . . . The blue yarn got a lot more variegated than I intended.  Thank goodness I'm not trying to make a living dyeing yarn!

 The toffee yarn drying in the sun.

Close up of the dark spots.

 The blue yarn which was supposed to be tonal but ended up being pretty variegated.

How the blue knit up - and these colors are pretty accurate - it is a bit more turquoise than blue.  It knits up nicely - a larger piece will yield less striping.

The toffee knit up.  You can see bits of the really dark on the left hand side and the bottom.  It doesn't look bad at all.



Dena Rauch said...

The camel is very very pretty and it is so my usual color but I am stepping away outside my comfort zone and knitting my first ever blue item. Thank you for such an awesome dyeing job!

Jane McLellan said...

Dyeing a large batch is a lot more difficult than dyeing a skein or two. But you've done well.

Julia Thom said...

Fascinating! Enjoyed the photos. And I think they both came out well. The subtlety of color changes make it beautiful! I'm going to start following you!