Monday, June 5, 2017

Dyeing Yarn with Dye Tablets Inserted into a Pre-wound Yarn Cake

Always add more vinegar, Rebecca.  Just add more vinegar.  If the dye isn't absorbing as fast as you like, ADD MORE VINEGAR!

I love dyeing yarn with Easter egg dye tablets.  These concentrated dry balls of yarn are perfect for space dyeing.  I enjoy dyeing wound cakes of yarn (created with a ball winder) because you end up with stunning asymmetrical colorways.  For this dyeing experiment, I used all 9 colors from a deluxe egg dyeing kit (PAAS brand) and inserted them into pre wound 100g of KnitPicks Stroll bare fingering weight yarn.  The yarn is a wool nylon (75/25) blend and dyes BEAUTIFULLY.

One of my favorite parts of space dyeing is watching the colors spread out through the yarn and into the dyebath.  My pot contained 8 cups of water and 3 T of white vinegar.  I added some more later on in the video, but I wish that I had started out with a bit more vinegar.  

The finished dyed cake had some stunning colors on either side.  On the top you saw blue and green, but on the bottom you saw concentrated specks of a deep blue, bright green, red, and orange.  

I took dozens of pictures as I unwound the yarn.  I feel like every few yards there was a new surprise peaking out.

After the mottled green was gone, you can see how localized the interior dye colors remained!

Sometimes it was hard to tell if we saw some colors breaking or just blending around the edges.  

If I were to do this dyeing experiment again, I would increase the amount of vinegar in the pot (maybe 5-6T) and I would let the yarn remain in the pot longer to cool.  It can take a while for these dye tablets to dissolve so I want to give them a chance to get there!

Want to see the final skein?  Watch the video to find out!

And remember, if the dye isn't sticking the way you want, ADD MORE VINEGAR!  Some dye was coming out as I was unwinding, but remained after the wash step.  If you're concerned that the dye isn't bound well after the fact, soak you skein in some water with vinegar and then microwave for a couple of minutes.  

I don't think that I need to be limited to egg dye tablets for this kind of technique.  Now that I know that there are all kinds of dry food coloring out there (that aren't just KoolAid products), I am excited to explore other methods of cake dyeing.