Yesterday was a good day to dye
I've had several skeins of KnitPick's Bare yarns on hand for months, along with a dozen jars or so of Jacquard acid dye. I've been reading various blogs and articles on how to do it, but haven't felt up to the whole experience (clearing off enough counter space, gathering all the stuff together, working up the solutions--heck, deciding which colors to use!--and getting a skein re-hanked into a much longer hank.
The hanking I did several nights ago - set up a couple of chairs 7 ft apart and wound and wound and wound.
Last night I was restless for some reason, fidgety and not into knitting or reading. So, of course, what do I do? Dye!
I used 1/2 teaspoon of the dye powders (Turquoise, Pink, and Lilac), each in 8 oz of water, with 6.5 cc of vinegar each. Well, and George's Aloe Vera Juice, whose gallon jug looks a lot like the gallon jug of vinegar. ::sigh:: Since vinegar is the acid that makes the dye penetrate into the yarn and set, thank whatever goddesses there are that I realized my oops before I started applying the solution to the yarn!
Here's the yarn right after I applied the colors:
Here it is wrapped in heavy-duty plastic wrap prior to microwaving it (the dye requires heat to set):
Here it is in the microwave (3 minutes on, 2 minutes off, repeated 5 times):
A lot of the turquoise fell out of the yarn and got into the pink, which helped tone down the freakish pinkishness of the pink. Here it is after rinsing:
...and hanging up in the iguana room drying over night:
...and wound into a hank tonight:
Excuse me while I go drool over the sink instead of my keyboard.
Some of the articles I read in preparation for dyeing:
Dye Fingerprint (knitty.com)
Real Dye Adventures (Dave Daniels)
Jacquard Acid Dyes
I bought most of the dye-dedicated kitchen stuff (bowls, strainers, measuring cup, tongs, wooden spoon, condiment squeeze bottles) at Cash & Carry, a relatively inexpensive restaurant supply house owned by the Smart & Final company, and threw in a large plastic mixing bowl, measuring spoons, and Pyrex baking dish from my existing kitchen stuff, and a 3cc syringe from my rehabbing days. The left-over solution I'm storing in some Ball glass canning jars. I raided my CERT go bag for the mask (must be worn when working with the powders themselves), disposable gloves, plastic trash bags, and masking tape. If you're looking for metal bowls and pots to do stove-top vat dyeing, be sure to check restaurant suppliers' used section as well as thrift stores and dollar stores (Big Lots, Dollar Tree, etc.).
And now that I've exhausted myself by dyeing, I think I'll go to bed and dream of other colorways...
Update: For some reason, I kept my yarn aside, and worked on several community knitting projects (blanket squares for Sonoma Blanket Project, a preemie blanket and cap for the guild's new Hospital Stash, and a couple of Socks for Soldiers). One friend suggested I save the yarn for posterity, but I finally decided one night to dive in. I pulled a just-started third SFS sock off the needles, and cast on my yarn. The 12-14" stretches of color are apparently going to create a spiral pattern (my least favorite, as it happens), as evidenced by the first 4 inches or so - here's what the 'front' and 'back' look like:
The colors, though, are still darned yummy!