Sunday, March 4, 2007

Dyeing Young: A Yarn Story

Apologies for the crappy spacing with the photos. I've fiddled with it so the text doesn't spill over onto the photos (at least in Firefox), but that seems to be the best I can do.

The yarn, it turns out, is a bit stiff and scratchy. I'm trying to mend this with a wash in some extra-moisture baby shampoo, but it's never going to be sock yarn. I suspect that it will felt well, though, and I'm regretting already that I didn't wait for it before I started my bag. Granted, when I started the tote, I had no idea that children's powdered drink mixes would become the new governing passion of my life. To the right is a swatch I started of the cream on size 4s.

I chose Black Cherry Kool-Aid for my first go at this because I thought the color would be quite rewarding. I was not wrong, though I ran into a few problems, as I will note below. I made a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water, more or less, plus the packet of Kool-Aid. One set of instructions I read said the vinegar wasn't necessary and another said it was. This, luckily, is not nuclear physics, and I do not have a positronic brain. That I know of. Anyway, I dropped two khaki-colored bits and two cream-colored bits into the dye bath in the hope that the khaki would yield a more muted tone and the cream a brighter one. They came out, however, more or less the same, as you can see in the photo. As you can also see the photo, the yarn bits soak up the Kool-Aid entirely. This was an anticipated effect, but still very kool.

The problem I mentioned above is clear in the photo at the right: the yarn bits did not dye evenly at the point where I tied them together. Lilyriver has suggested I wrap them more loosely, perhaps with some thread, and I think that's probably the way to go. I suspect also that a bit more Kool-Aid might be in order (when is it ever not?).

I will post later today, I hope, with a swatch done in the dyed yarn, although with my rate of accomplishment lately, you might read "later today" as "sometime before the revolution comes."

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