Monday, January 17, 2011

Oops! I Dyed it Again

Apparently, I've sunk to punny new lows in the search for compelling post titles.  Sorry.

Anyway... Thank you SO much for all of the kind words about my freshly dyed yarn, and the loads of expert advice, too.  Seriously.  Go read the comments on this post if you're thinking about dyeing yarn for the first time.  They're a gold mine.  I decided to go ahead and try to re-dye this yarn and see if I like the results better.  It's not terrible as it is, but in real life, it's sort of... well, meat-colored.  I've dubbed it Beef Yarn.  Not quite the look I was going for. 

For this round, I've decided to follow Mimi's instructions.  Because when you get down to it, Mimi is freaking brilliant when it comes to color.  Have you seen this woman's blog, or her designs?  Gorgeous.
And so, I filled the sink with cold water and a tiny bit of detergent.  Like so...

Then grabbed the Beef Yarn and gave it a good dunk. 

While it soaked, I ran to the store to grab these...

And also this.  Because, a little caffeine never hurts.  Plus which, I'm addict.

So I rinsed and wrung out the yarn as best I could.  You'll have to trust me on this point, as Mr. Right was out doing Very Important Truck Things, and I didn't have an extra hand to hold the camera.

Then I mixed up some purple-y dye using Wilton's Violet...

...and dumped it into the cold crock pot that was 3/4 filled with cold water and about 1/3 cup of vinegar.  Then I saw that the water was a pale purple-y blue, so I mixed up some more violet with a bit of water and dumped that in as well.  Very scientific stuff, this.

I took the freshly Tide-d and rinsed Beef Yarn and dunked it into its new pretty violet bath and squished it around with my new gloves.  That part was probably more fun than it should've been.

All that was left was to turn on the crock pot and wander off to grab some lunch and knit my mitten for an
hour.  I love Saturdays.

This time the dye didn't exhaust after an hour and a half, but I chalked it up to being the 2nd pass, and also using a metric ton of violet dye. I grabbed my trusty salad tongs and plucked the yarn out of its bath so I could hang it to dry.  Goodbye Beef Yarn, hello Psychedelic Purple!  Again, what came out of the ooze was absolutely not what I expected, but this time I LOVE it.

Even when it's soggy and drippy and not looking its best.

But check out what I ended up with when all was said and done.  A skein of this:

And a skein of this:

Both of which are much prettier in person than in these photos.  So awesome!  One more question, though... if the dye didn't exhaust, and the skeins dripped a bit of blue water while they dried, do I have to worry about the dye rubbing off when I work with it, or wear something made with it, or bleeding when I block it?  If so, is there any way to help set it?  Inquiring minds, and all that.

And then, after I cleaned up my mess and bundled up my new yarn, I went to the store and bought this:

Stay tuned for Part III -- Kool Aid's Revenge!


  1. Some more of the dye may come out, you can try soaking it again (washing it) after its had time to dry out completely. Kool-Aid is super fun to dye with, but yes you will get odd, unexpected results sometimes! Over-dyeing solves a lot of problems. I've had to over dye skeins before because they didn't come out how I intended ... at all and once overdyed were actually quite pretty.

  2. W-O-W! Good for you! I've been a knitter forevah, and I've yet to attempt to dye my own. It's on my "list" though.

  3. Whoa this looks like complete advanced crafting to me. Very nice.

  4. I think you should call this the Double Surprise yarn, since both times it's emerged from the dye, it hasn't been what you expected! I'm glad you're happy with the results of the overdyeing, though, I think both skeins are gorgeous. And I can't wait to see your Kool-Aid dye project!

  5. Great use of the crockpot! I've never tried hand dyeing before so can't offer any technical insights. I love what you ended up with however. I will be tuning in to the Kool-aid episode. Very exciting!

  6. Soaking the yarn in a bit of vinegar will help set the dye. I'm not sure about the water/vinegar ratio, but I bet a quick google search will clear things up. Beautiful yarn!

  7. I'm a beginner at dyeing too but I've heard that there is a limit to how much dye yarn can physically soak up. Your skeins are very pretty!

  8. That looks amazing! Can't wait to see what you knit with it!