Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Snow Dyeing 100% Wool Yarn

Spring is here for most of the country, but if you are in Colorado then you got some snow last weekend.  What better time to share one of my favorite new dyeing videos, Snow Dyeing Yarn with KoolAid!  Last February we got a LOT of snow. I decided to take advantage of the snow and use it for some snow dyeing experiments. What will happen if you use melting snow as a method to apply dye from KoolAid to 100% wool yarn?

I knew this dyeing would take a long time so I started it while watching the Superbowl.  This was the first time I've ever tried dyeing with snow.  I'd seen some really fun pictures of ice dyeing (where you sprinkle the dye on top of ice cubes), and I know parents who will help their kids paint snow with food coloring so I thought it would be fun to use this as a technique to apply dye to yarn.  

I wanted to do this experiment with unspun fiber, but I didn't have any white roving in my stash that I could use.  I had some pale grey roving that would have worked, however I don't know how pale the colors will be after the dyeing is complete, and I didn't want to NOT see them at all if I end up with pastels.  I used 100 g of Bare KnitPicks Palette yarn and 6 packets of KoolAid.

An hour into the dyeing (and the Patriots are winning, wahoo!) and there has shockingly been only a tiny about of melting.  I have a feeling that this will take all night.

My bathroom smelled AMAZING as I was waiting for the snow to melt.  I'd like to do an experiment sometime where I snow dye two miniskeins of wool.  One I set with heat in the micrwoave and the other I just rinse out.  I wonder how much of this binds to the yarn without heat.

Before I went to bed there were a few specks of snow left so I decided to leave it until morning.  I filled my bucked up with more snow and left it in the back hall (below freezing).  What do you think I'm going to try next?  I am feeling so inspired and this (clean) snow will only be around for so long.

I hope that you enjoy my latest dyeing experiment!  To see details and the final reveal of the washed yarn check out the following video.  With these longer videos I try to include contents to make it easier to skip directly to the part of the video you want to see.

Video Contents (Skip ahead to the part you need!)  Apparently the links only work to take you to the correct spot if you are watching from YouTube's website but at least you have the time marks so you can skip around as needed.  
[0:00] Introduction & Setup of the Dyeing Experiment
[1:20] Putting Snow on the Yarn
[3:23] Sprinkling the KoolAid Dye on the snow
[6:21] T = 20 min
[6:52] T = 1 hour
[8:30] T = 1.5 hrs
[10:40] T = 2.5 hrs
[11:23] T = 4 hrs
[12:38] All the snow is melted! T = 5+ hrs
[12:48] The next morning, preparing the fiber for microwaving
[17:26] In the microwave
[18:02] Cooling down
[18:39] Washing the fiber 
[20:15] Final reveal of the yarn and conclusions