Saturday, June 28, 2008

The day I microwaved the yarn

I've been wanting to make use of my Ashford acid dyes for ages. Unfortunately my last minute rushed research suggested one shouldn't use your normal kitchen utensils, surfaces or microwave to dye with acid dyes and because the powder is toxic , a mask is a good idea.

Hmmm I had to admit to being just a little unprepared (and with 2 small 'helpers' at home the idea of toxic powder in bright "child magnet" colours was suddenly less appealing). So I decided to dye using KoolAid the lovely Sonia included in my recent yarn package from the US. I had a read of this tutorial which helped a lot.

Here is the sweetp version of yarn dyeing in all its inprecise glory

First up I picked the yarn to dye. Patons Patonyle sock yarn. Yesireee folks I'm gonna try socks!! (sometime) Boring cream socks just wouldn't do

Next I made my ball of yarn a skein of yarn. I was hoping for self striping so my handy chairs were quite a distance apart.
Small helper is an optional extra

I soaked the yarn for awhile in warm-ish water and some vinegar (precise huh?!). Luckily I didn't forget to tie up my yarn BEFORE I took it off the chairs. Some nice acrylic that wouldnt dye so I could find it later. One colour for ties that are keeping the skein together and another colour tie for where I have guestimated the colour changes to start.

Next I prepared my very expensive yarn dyeing equipment and made up my very expensive dye solutions. I'm using KoolAid which isn't available in NZ but if you have a friend in the US maybe you can ask them nicely to send you some. I also hear you can use Raro which I'm going to try sometime .

I was wanting red pink purple blue (or something like that).....the blue packet turned out to be tropical (=orange) so last minute colourway change to red purple orangey lol. No worries.

2 packets of red KA/1 packet of purple/1 packet of red/1 packet red&1packet tropical. I dissolved the packets in a 'jar full' of hot water then added my yarn


Next time I might remember to leave a bit more room in the jars for the yarn!! These jars were a good size for 50g of yarn. That much KoolAid is alot for just 50g but I wanted deeper colours so went for overkill.

Then I put the jars full of yarn in the microwave for a couple of 2min bursts. I think I did 6min total

I gave the yarn a bit of a stir with a utensil I didn't mind turning orange and could see it was going the required cloudy/milky colour

When the colour was all gone I knew I was all done

I gave the yarn a bit of a soak and wash in the tub then a spin in the washing machine. The yarn was in a mesh washing bag so it didn't get all tangled up. Then I hung it outside to dry...

Voila! Hand dyed sock yarn

It's pretty bright but I like it! This yarn has some nylon content so it is a little streaky (I don't mind ). KA only works on animal fibres (wool & silk)


It ended up 3/4 red-ish and 1/4 purple so will probably make for some "interesting" socks. The red part goes from deep red to orange red

And here it is all balled up and ready to knit. Better go pick myself a very plain sock pattern I think!


Ok I am a dummy. I assumed since they sold SOCK yarn in 50g balls that would be enough for a PAIR of socks...50g isn't enough for a pair of socks it is? Could I get a pair of ankle socks for me out of it? Or am I going to have to make toddler size socks with this? ARGGHHHH!


Sharonnz said...

Purty! I got a pair of socks out of one ball for M8 - you'll prolly have to do ankles for you.

Sharonnz said...

What about these?

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous!! I your house smelled so yummy about that. Can wait to see what you knit up G!

nova_j said...

lol i'm hoping i can, since i won *one* ball of tofutsies yarn! ;)

i hope you've ceased all other WIPs so we can see how the stripes turn out!! :D

Anonymous said...

lol about the 50g comment! It will make cute kiddy socks - I can't wait to see how it knits up!

Thanks for the detailed post, I want to give this a go myself, so it's great to see how you did it.

sweetp said...

Yes my house smelled wonderfully fruity!!
Those anklets look good, thanks Sharon.

amanda said...

I keep telling myself I'm not interesting in dyeing my own yarn, and now you've got me wanting to have a meddle!