Monday, July 15, 2019

Can you dye yarn with Skittles Candy?


You thought I was done with rainbows for a while?  Well Paradise Fibers had other ideas!  In the July 2019 Fiber of the Month Club Box they gave my "Dyeing Yarn with Leftover Halloween Candy" a shout out in the newsletter:


I have dyed a LOT of yarn with candy, but I haven't used skittles since the original video back in November 2017.  Dyeing with candy is very similar to dyeing with food coloring.  However, since it takes a while for the artificial food coloring in the candy to dissolve, you can get some beautiful pockets of color in a very fun and random fashion.  


Here are some  of my tips and recommendations for dyeing yarn with candy:
  1. You need a protein based yarn.  Wool, Alpaca, Silk, and Cashmere are all protein based fibers.  Plant based fibers are cellulose based and won't absorb food coloring in the same way.  Blends will work great, as long as there is some protein fiber content in there.  
  2. Waxy candy (like Skittles) can leave residue on fiber.  I prefer to use more chalky candys like Sweetarts and Candy Hearts since the washing is significantly easier in the end.
  3. Dyeing with candy requires a lot of washing.  I recommend spinning your fiber into yarn before dyeing it with candy.  I will remove the fiber directly from the warm dyebath into a warm rinse bath to help keep any of the dissolved candy from solidifying on the fiber.  
  4. With Skittles, remove the colorless insides as soon as the colorful outer shell has dissolved.  There is no food coloring on the inside of Skittles so you can save yourself some washing later on by picking out the candy from your dyebath. 
  5. Start small. If you're feeling nervous, start with a miniskein or just a few grams of fiber to see if you like the effect.  You can always scale up and dye more fiber later! 

After the Paradise Fibers shout out, I decided to try dyeing some fiber and yarn with just Skittles in a YouTube livestream since I had never tried this candy on its own before.  I did three different tests 8 g of the 50/50 Cashmere / Rose Fiber from Paradise Fibers, 100 g of KnitPicks Hawthorne High Twist Sock Yarn (80% Superwash Peruvian Highland Wool/ 20% Polyamide), and 100 g of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Roving (100% Peruvian Highland Wool). 

50/50 Rose /Cashmere Fiber
I was very conservative on the luxury rose/cashmere fiber.  I used the small packet of skittles that came in the kit plus a couple more pieces of candy.  As soon as the outer shell dissolved, I removed the inner portion and transferred the fiber into some warm tap water to help rinse out all of the dissolved candy.  


Hawthorne Yarn (left) WOTA Roving (Right) before and after the candy dissolved.  

With the superwash yarn and the wool roving, I decided to take a greater risk.  I dumped a lot of skittles on top of the fiber and let it dissolve completely.  I washed the fiber thoroughly, but I was much more gentle on the roving than I was on the sock yarn.  The Rose/Cashmere fiber came out really beautiful - I even spun it in the recap!  The yarn turned out really well, too.  The wool roving... it is definitely waxy.  I was hesitant to wash it aggressively because I didn't want to felt the fiber.  I think that after I spin the roving I will try washing it in hot water to see if I can get the wax to melt back off.  The yarn still won't be superwash, but it will be safer than washing the unspun fiber aggressively.  


Can you dye yarn with Skittles?  100% yes!  It is so much fun... and it smells really good, too.  My official recommendation is to do this technique on yarn versus unspun fiber, but I have a feeling that I'm going to play around with my favorite candy hearts on some roving in the coming months. 

Watch the livestream recap to learn more about the whole project:



Dyeing aside, the Rose/Cashmere fiber is a stunning blend.  The yarn was silky and it practically spun itself.  I cannot wait to spin up the rest of the fiber that came in the Fiber of the Month Club box.  Part of me is debating dyeing the rest (with acid or fiber reactive dyes) or leaving it in its natural color.  I truly cannot decide!  

Paradise Fibers put a beautiful box together each month for the Fiber of the Month Club. (Affiliate Link)  In addition to the rainbow dyeing project, this Wizard of Oz themed box has a rainbow of Corriedale fiber, a yellow brick road (Lego) stitch marker, and the "Wizard of Ewez" vinyl sticker.  Each month Paradise Fibers makes me smile with the creativity and care they put into these packages.  I truly look forward to them because I cannot wait to see what they will come up with for next month!


I'm not sure if there are any more July 2019 Fiber of the Month Club boxes left, but it never hurts to reach out to Paradise Fibers to ask! 

If you missed the unboxing where I first saw the newsletter, you really want to watch the replay (My reaction to the shoutout is at 13:18):

 

Thank you so much, Paradise Fibers, for the shout out!

This post is not sponsored.  Paradise Fibers sends me their Fiber of the Month Club for free each month to unbox and review.  I am a member of their affiliate program which means that I earn commission on purchased made after clicking on my link.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

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