Wednesday, 27 February 2008

My first attempt at dying

Originally uploaded by cob_web

I went a bit mad, I admit! The lovely forchette (on Ravelry and the CowShed) sent me some white sock yarn and some "easter egg dyes". These I presume are a bit like food colouring, but they come in tablets.

So I made the balls into skeins (not realising that 50g aint enough for a pair of socks and I'd have to dye the two the same, so they are different sizes). This bit is boring and tediuos and results in a painful arm.

Then you soak the yarn in luke-warm water for half an hour to open up the fibres. Meanwhile I prepared the dyes. I used 2 tablets of each colour and dissoved them in 250ml boiling water with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Obviosuly you let them cool before sticking your yarn in.

I laid out a bin liner and sqeezed most of the water out of the yarn and laid the skeins out. I put the smaller one inside the bigger one so they are vaguely similar. I had in mind a lovely subtle blue and purple colour scheme, but the colours you get are red, blue, green, orange and yellow. I wasn't quite sure if mixing the red and blue would create purple or not. So erm, I couldn't resist using ALL the colours.

I had bought a turkey baster for 90p in Sainsbury's, but it was rubbish and I had to stick my finger over the end or the dye came striaght out again.

Still, it was pretty easy and less messy than I expected as the yarn sucked up most of the liquid like a sponge.

Once I was happy I squeezed out most of the water (the dye sticks to the yarn and leaves a mostly clear water) and put the yarn in a deep baking tray, covered this in foil and baked in the oven for an hour at 80 degrees C. That bit would be much easier if you have a microwave.

After the heating, I squeezed out more water and hung them to dry overnight in the airing cupboard. The next day I rinsed them out, using a small amount of baby shampoo. Then they were left to dry again for 2 days.

Easy really! I think I am addicted though....


Aberdonian said...

I think they are really lovely!

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful colours! And it will be really interesting to see how it knits up.

Janey said...

Those colours are fabulous - so bright! Can't wait to see it knitted up!