Friday, March 19, 2010

dying... dyeing... dead

DYEING! Wool yarn that is!

I finally found 100% virgin wool yarn today! I was like a kid in a candy store at Michael's crafts!  I went in for Dylon fabric dye and came out with a $9 skein of beautifully soft wool yarn. I was jumping up and down squealing with joy! (Imagine some crazy woman 35 weeks pregnant jumping and squealing in the very back corner of the store; made you laugh, didn't it).

Lion Brand

Ok, so as soon as I pulled myself back together, hoping no one I *knew* saw me, I took my lovely purchases to the counter to check out. $9.61 later and I was on my way home with my bland wool yarn.

I have been planning on dyeing wool yarn for a while so I pulled up my saved sites and refreshed my memory of the processes I wanted to use.

I started by winding the wool around a folding chair.

My little girl Em wanted to help so I let her wrap for a few.

After you have all the wool wrapped around the chair you need to secure the loop with acrylic yarn

Here is the loop off the chair

 Next you will place your loop into a dry/cold crock pot.


Add water, and 1 cup vinegar. You need enough to cover the yarn. Press down with your hands to completely wet the yarn and remove all air bubbles. Once wet turn crock pot on high.


Now it's time to start thinking about colors. Choose colors that complement each other and can blend well. The colors will mix in the crock pot.

I call these colors "bottle of sunshine"

You need to dump 2 packets of kool-aid of each color into a tall glass

Add about 5-6 ounces of HOT water to each cup

SLOWLY pour your colored water into different areas of the crock

It's hard to tell in this picture, but there are 3 different colors in there

Set a timer for 1 hour. Come back and check the progress of your cooking yarn. It is VERY important that you do not jiggle or agitate the hot yarn, or else it WILL felt.

If a spoon dipped into the crock yields clear water, your dyeing is done. Turn off the heat and take your crock pot to the bathroom. Very gently dump, er glide, the contents of the crock into a clean bathtub. Allow to cool completely. Don't touch or move the yarn, to avoid felting.

I wonder how this would look knitted?

Once cool, use a little shampoo to wash the yarn, very gently, using luke warm or cool water. Be careful to not agitate the wool too much or else you will cause it to felt. Once the yarn is washed clean, gently squish out the excess water. Lay on a thick towel to dry. Drying may take up to 24 hours.

Once fully dry, you can rewind the yarn and now you are ready to knit, crochet, or do whatever it is you plan on doing with your yarn. I am planning on felting mine.

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