09 July 2012

Oh yeaahhhhhh

I dyed some yarn baitches!  Wooo dye!   I've already mentioned that I was going to dye some yarn so that I had a few more purpley coloured stripes for my Sailor Purples Shawl .  I had about 200 grams of remnants of laceweight yarn I purchased from the bargain room at BWM skeined into little bunches.  
Who else sees a blank canvas?
Dye Job #1 - Kool Aid

Firstly, I have never consumed kool aid.  We don't get it here.  Well, now we do, in those shops that are popping up all over the place selling American lollies and drinks and such.  Most of my knowledge of kool aid comes from Dane Cook's jokes about it.

I used this tutorial to dye my yarn.  I used the microwave method.  Now, I experienced a few problems.  The tutorial says use 1 packet of kool aid for every ounce of yarn.  (Come on USA, use the metric system already!!!)  Google tells me this is 28 grams, so I used 2 packets of grape kool aid for 66 grams of yarn.  Well, 2 packets was no where near enough for this amount of yarn.  So after going through the process, I had to use another 2 packets to get a bit more coverage for my yarn, and even then it's still very patchy.
Another lesson learned, I probably should not have been wasting time taking pictures of partially dyed yarn, because the yarn sucked up the colour from the kool aid fast.  Mega fast.  The liquid was going clear before my very eyes.  The instructions instructed me to 'add my yarn and enough water to cover it' to the kool aid mixture.  Next time I would add extra water first so my yarn could be submerged all at once, rather than some of it missing out on the dye because there was not enough liquid to cover it straight away.

Anyway, the results.  I could not photograph this yarn true to colour.  But as you can see, even after 4 packets of kool aid, I could not get consistent coverage.  Not sure what my problem was, too much yarn at once mayhaps?  I didn't stir it enough?  I think it comes back to the yarn sucking up the dye super fast and me not being quick enough to get it all in there.  Nevertheless, I quite like the varigated result. 

Afterthoughts:  People actually drink this stuff?  It's sooooo potent!! There must be sooo many chemicals!  I'd definitely do this again, maybe in smaller batches.  It leaves your yarn with a lovely fruity aroma, so that's also a plus!  Also this:
Dye Job #2 - Food Colouring

It was really difficult to find a tutorial for this method that I liked.  Most of them I found told me to soak my yarn overnight in vinegar, or some other tedious process.  Sorry, but I want results NOW!!  Then I found this video, and there was much rejoicing.

I dyed three lots of yarn using this method.  First, I dyed some with red only, wanting a pale pink colour.  The result was the below shocking neon magenta colour, so I dyed it a second time with purple (3 parts red, one part blue).  I'm quite happy with the result!!

Next I did straight purple, using the 3 parts red 1 part blue concoction.  Sorry, I didn't take any pics of these unwound.  Finally, I overdyed a couple of blue remnants with red.  I poured a LOT of red into the water, and was very surprised how much of it took.  I was expecting purple, and got burgundy.  I'm diggin' it though - pictures of this one wound below.
Blue + red = purple right?  Not necessarily!
Afterthoughts:  I also like this method.  It was quick and easy, and I managed to get some varied results, so I was quite pleased. 

Now I've got about an extra 175 grams of purples (and red) to add to my shawl.  Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out!

The final verdict:  dyeing was tons of fun!  So many steps involved though (I'm mainly thinking about skeining, washing, drying and winding up) so it's a slow process, and I have a new appreciation for all those indie dyers out there!


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