Friday, October 9, 2009

Dinky Dyeing

My faithful readers (thank you guys!) may realize by now that I am intent on decorating my new apartment with knit items, and this includes the Christmas tree. I found a tiny penguin pattern with six different fun outfits. These creatures will be small and they require many colors for their various hats, scarves aprons and skis (!) Rather than pay $1.99 for each color that I want, I’ve decided to dye some left over Cream palette yarn myself (not to mention I can design a colorway for a tiny tiny scarf).

I need beaks and feet (yellow-orange and darker orange-orange), colors for scarves and other accessories. This gives me the opportunity to play with the Wilton's Dyes my mom brought me (that happen to be older than I am). I’ve been dying (dyeing haha!) to try the purple dye. The article showed that the blue and pink separated in a very interesting way, I would love to get that effect myself, or else I’ll end up with true purple, which will be just as cool.

I made a bunch of small skeins about eight yards each in length of fingering weight yarn (measured by wrapping around a ruler, I’d like to try to repeat the colors if I need to. I’m a scientist, I’m used to keeping meticulous track of my protocols). The last one is only about 16 ft long, so I’ll use this to make something fun and rainbow.

The wool was pre-soaked in water. Dyes were mixed in 1 cup water and 1/2 T white vinegar. The mini-skein was added to the vinegar/dye solution, and microwaved for approximately 3 min (or until boiling). Allow the mixtures to cool slowly, then rinse with equal temp water and wash with mild soap.

Color plan

  • Red/orange - 17 yellow drops, 12 Red drops, 6 brown drops
  • Orange - 17 drops yellow, 5 drops red
  • purple - 40 drops concentrated purple dye/ paste
  • Forrest Green - 15 drops green (liquid food coloring) + 18 drops brown (concentrated paste solution) and 5 drops concentrated black solution.

Experimenting with Hot Dyeing
  • Black - 15 drops concentrated black paste solution. While the solution was hot, I added drops of other colors (red, green and blue), to see if I could get a hot dyed multi-colored effect.
  • Min-multi - in left over vinegar dye bath, bring to a boil and while hot, add about 8 drops total of different colors. This was too much dye, next time try either more wool or add fewer drops since the colors blended a lot.

I've realized now that I used as much dye here as I had to dye 50g of WoolEase... making the colors very vibrant... and I experienced no color separation (to my disappointment).

I am knitting for the 3rd annual Pine Street Inn Knit-a-Thon on November 8, 2009. Please show your support with a donation.