We're lucky enough to have a guest blogger today: Kristin Page. She was kind enough to offer us a little tutorial on hand dying.
What's in Your Dye Pot?
There's a lot to be said about hand dyed yarns. No two skeins will ever be exactly alike. It is possible that there is such a small difference that you don't even notice but your skein is unique.
In the last 10 years hand dyed yarns have become more popular than ever thanks to the hand-knit socks trend coming back around. While the argyle socks and hand-knit socks go back centuries, multi-colored socks with every color imaginable is a new trend.
Do It Yourself
There are plenty of places on the Internet to purchase hand-dyed yarns, but why not create your own? It is not that hard and will let you create exactly what you're looking for.
What You Need
1 . White or natural yarn
2 . Vinegar
3 . Water
4 . Non Washable dye colors of your Choice (Personally, I use all of my
colors from RIT Dyes)
5 . A few plastic bowls (that you don't care about changing the color of!)
6 . Crock Pot
If you are planning on dying the yarn more than one color the first thing you need to do is make your hank longer. Take three chairs and spread them out around your room. Pretend you're playing musical chairs with the yarn and start winding it around all of the chairs to make a new hank out of the yarn that is about 9-10 feet around. This will help spread the color out when you dye them.
Take your newly wound hank of yarn and soak it in 1 cup of vinegar and a bowl full of water for one hour. (Generally I soak it over night but an hour will do.)
Using one cup of boiling water, one spoonful of dye, and a few tablespoons of vinegar mix the ingredients into one of your bowls. Repeat until you have all of your colors
mixed. If you are only mixing one color than use 2-3 cups and 2-3 spoonfuls in the bowl.
Note: If you want a deeper color use 2 spoonfuls of dye.
Carefully lay your yarn in all of your various colors of dye at one time, putting a section in each bowl. This may involve twisting your yarn or putting large sections of it in each of the bowls. The dye will work its way up through the yarn so do fret if some of the yarn doesn't make it in the bowls due to spacing.
Let yarn sit for 1-2 hours.
Take yarn from bowls of dye and place in your crock-pot. Cover yarn and turn on high. Let sit for 1 hour. You may smell a little bit of vinegar.
Using tongs, pull the yarn out of the crock-pot and move to sink. Run yarn under cold water for 10 minutes or until water runs clear. Hang in bathtub to dry.
The vinegar will help the dye set in your yarn. By including it in when you soak the yarn and when you mix it with the dye you are getting it all set so when it rinses it wont come out. When washing yarn or knitted objects for the first few times make sure to wash separately from other items in order to avoid any dye that didn't get rinsed off to comeout.
So tell me, what's in your dye pot?
About the Author:
Kristin Page is a project manager by day and a knitter, dyer, and photographer by night. She's been knitting for 6 years and has been dying yarns at The Knitted Geek for 2 years. Find her on twitter @kristypage or check out her blog at www.kristypage.net.