Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dyeing Cakes

It is time for some more fun dyeing tutorials! I saw a fun thread on Ravelry by a woman who decided to dye a whole cake of yarn, rather than winding it into a skein. I just had to give it a try! The result was a beautiful asymmetric skein of variegated yarn.

Rather than being a slow transition of color, there is a high amount of variegation along the skein, but with gradual shifts of the colors that are within the smaller sections. The yarn above, which I named Rocky Shores, is a brownish grey that transitions to a series of blues. I plan on using this yarn for a shawl, which I think would highlight the color changes well.

I use to have a big issue with asymmetric yarns. If I wasn't going to make a hat or scarf, what could I make out of them that would please my eye? If the colorway is super asymmetric, then socks or mittens won't match at all. I took the cake dyeing technique a step further and wound two strands into a cake of yarn. This technique is similar to how a sock blank (knit tube) would typically have two strands knit into it. Now I can end up with symmetric (or identical if you cut the yarn) skeins! The pictures below show the color progression as the cake gets wound into two skeins.

The deep vibrant purple on these skeins is only concentrated for a fraction of the yardage. I imagine starting with the darkest color and doing some kind of toe up socks. There still might be pooling differences, but these socks will look like a matched pair.

A full written tutorial of this technique will be up on AllFreeKnitting in the coming weeks.