Sunday, 1 April 2007

To dye for

Some while back I inherited not only my gran's old knitting machine but also a couple of huge boxes full of cones of yarn to go with it. Most of it's acrylic and her choice of colours was a bit dubious sometimes but buried among them all I found a couple of cones of 100% 4pl wool. One still in it's natural colour and one in a somewhat revolting yellow. Not that I have anything against yellow per say but there is only so much yellow a person can wear. It's not really my colour to say the least. Anyhow, to get back to the point of this post, I'd been enthusing over some Opal sock yarn that I'd been knitting up and the self striping etc when I started to take an interest in the possibility of dyeing some.

So I started looking into how it was done, cooking it on the stove, various references to crock pots (I'm guessing that's some american invention as I'd not come across it before), cooking it up for various lengths of time (hours in some cases). I mean, who has the time to actually do all that? I know I don't work atm but I do have a very inquisitive midget under foot. It's not really all that realistic is it?

I'd read a lot about using about Kool-Aid but what I had in my cupboard was food colouring and lots of it. (The benefit of being talked into icing the family's wedding cakes over the years). So, free wool, free "dye" and I even found a bottle of white vinegar in the back of the cupboard. Bonus! It would have been rude not to give it a go. Finally back on the Angel Yarns forums I came across a link to a really helpful blog Beatlewear and the rest as they say, is history.

So, I turned my cones of yarn into ready to dye skeins. Not having either a swift or a niddy noddy I had to resort to wrapping my kitchen chairs in yarn. Yes I did feel a bit mad at the time, my DS thought I was too - he even offered to help at one point which did make me panic a bit. Needless to say I packed up quickly and left the next stage for when he would definately be unavailable for assistance. I love nursery mornings! My new skeins went into a bucket of vinegar & water and were forgotten for the night.

Having packed DS off to nursery for the morning, I fished out my food colourings and began to play. I think I must have used almost every glass pot I have in the cupboard. Anyhow here it is ready to go into the microwave and my resulting laundry ;)

Finally, the finished product. Skeined and ready to go.

To say that I'm a little pleased with my first attempt would be somewhat of an understatement. I need to do more!

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