Rather than get excited and dye all three skeins in one go I decided to dye just one skein, in blue and pink. I was aiming to follow this tutorial on dyeing gradient yarns, dyeing one end of the skein pink and one end blue, with some lovely purple in the middle.
I started by winding my yarn into two 50 g balls - I'm planning on knitting socks with it, and I wanted two socks the same, rather than a gradient spread over two socks - then soaked my yarn in cold water while I dissolved four sachets of pink Kool Aid (Pink Lemonade) in a really big pan. Once the balls were wet all the way through I transferred them to the pan and simmered them gently for half an hour, taking care not to let the water boil. I moved the balls of yarn around occasionally, making sure I was gentle with them so they didn't unravel or felt. After 30 minutes there was still lots of dye left in the pan, so I continued to simmer the yarn for another 30 minutes, which is much longer than I was expecting the process to take, part of me thought it might be pretty much instant (I have no idea why!).
Once the yarn had simmered for an hour, I removed it from the pan, allowed it to cool for a bit, then rinsed it. And no dye came off! My yarn was fast.
I wound the rinsed yarn round a box lid, which was easier said than done - I spent rather a lot of time untangling knots. At this stage the yarn was a little flamingo-like for my liking - the dye hadn't penetrated as far as I wanted, so rather than rewind the yarn in reverse as I had planned, I decided to make it into a skein and overdye it in blue instead and see what happened.
I mixed four sachets of blue Kool Aid (Blue Raspberry Lemonade, which smelt revolting!) into the freshly washed pan and threw the yarn in. I simmered the mixture for 30 minutes, deliberately not stirring it as I wanted a variegated effect and waited to see what would happen.
At the end of the 30 minutes all the dye had been sucked up by the yarn, so I fished the yarn out and rinsed it in cold water. I carefully squeezed the excess water out and lay the yarn out to dry. And I love it. I spent most of Sunday evening staring at it and appreciating all its little nuances. I can't wait to get it knitted up. Or to dye some more yarn!
|My first ever hand dyed yarn
And that's one thing crossed off my list of 32 things.