Knitting Without Dog Hair Is Not an Option

Hi there - My name is Claudia. I live with my hubby and our two furry kids in Georgia, USA. Originally I am from Germany - southern belle from Bavaria replanted to the Southern US. I am very addicted to knitting - 4-5 projects going at the same time... What can I say...

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Location: Peckerwood, Georgia, United States

Monday, August 14, 2006

I Am Dyeing Over Here ;-)

Well - it happened this weekend. I embarked on my first dyeing adventure on Sunday. It was a lot of fun - I felt very creative.

It was especially fun because - since I had never dyed yarn before - I went on the internet and got tons of information, which sometimes was a bit contradictory. So I picked the tips and tricks that made the most sense to me and plunged right in.

First, I made a batch of Indigo and dyed two hanks of yarn:

Knitpicks Bare - Superwash/Nylon/Donegal Fingering Weight
(with bits of tweed)

Content: 65% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon, 10% Donegal
Amount: 462 yards/100 gram hank
Gauge: 7-8 sts=1" on #1-3 needles


Knitpicks Bare - Peruvian Wool Bulky Weight
Content: 100% Peruvian Wool
Amount: 137 yards/100 gram hank
Gauge: 3-3.75 sts=1" on #10-11 needles

I made a so-called one-day-use of the Indigo dye. You mix a gallon of cold tap water with 2 Tbsp of the pre-reduced Indigo. And that's it - you're ready to dye. You have to wet the wool first and then enter it into the dye pot. I had to be very careful because I experimented with the Indigo in our kitchen. Hubby had somewhat raised eyebrows... but he is a good sport. OK - so, I left the first hank in the Indigo dye for about 2-3 minutes.

Indigo - in the kitchen - messy...

After that I removed it quickly and squeezed out the excess dye. I put the hank into the adjacent sink to rinse it with cold water. You are not supposed to drip into the Indigo dye because the drips introduce oxygen and I guess that is bad for your dye. Sorry, I have no clue about chemisty and am not shy to admit it. I just followed the instructions and they don't tell you why either. I did the same thing with the second hank, and hung them both outside to dry. After they dried I washed them in hot soapy water and hung them up again. UGH - and of course I had to scrub the sink and the counters, but luckily we don't have a blue kitchen now. ;-)

After the Indigo dye, I experimented with some Kool Aid. Actually I used the Wal-Mart store brand, Great Value. Worked just as well. Hubby got me a very nice selection to start with: Lemonade, Cherry and Grape (and some other color, I can't remember now, I think it's Strawberry or Rasberry but, anyway, I did not use it yesterday).

So, I made two pots - one with a mix of Plum and Grape and the other one with Lemonade.

Kool Aid aka Great Value from Wal-Mart

I used 3/4 gallons of water and 1/4 gallon of vinegar. You could not smell the vinegar at all over the Kool Aid smell - too funny. And you have to match the weight of your yarn with the weight of the Kool Aid. I used four packages of Kool Aid for one hank of 100 grams of wool. I had put the yarn in a pot with hot water to soak for about 20 minutes.

Presoaking the wool

Nice spaghetti, huh? High fiber content... In the meantime I heated the dye solution to just below boiling. Here is my little dye workshop on our back porch. Hubby bought all the equipment for me - 3 hot plates and 3 huge pots and cooking spoons and and and... Such a great guy! ;-) And a great shopper, when he's in the mood.

Dyeing workshop on the porch

For these two dyes I used the following yarns:

Knitpicks Bare - Peruvian Wool Bulky Weight
Content: 100% Peruvian Wool
Amount: 137 yards/100 gram hank
Gauge: 3-3.75 sts=1" on #10-11 needles


Knitpicks Bare - Superwash/Nylon Fingering Weight
Content: 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon
Amount: 462 yards/100 gram hank
Gauge: 7-8 sts=1" on #1-3 needles

So, I put two hanks of the Bare Bulky Wool in the Cherry/Grape dye and one hank of the Bare Superwash/Nylon in the Lemonade dye. And something very intersting happened. The portion of the yarn that hit the Lemonade dye first absorbed almost all of the color immediately. So, very unintentional I got varigated yarn. Which I didn't really want this time. But, oh well.

Cherry / Grape Mix Lemonade Mix

So, while the yarn absorbed the colors, I sat on the porch and finished the Four Corner Hat.

And then I remembered that I read somewhere that you can use a turkey baster to apply colors to your yarn to create some color patterns. So, I mixed one more package of Cherry with water and vinegar and got to work with the tool on the boring yellowish yarn. HAH - and it turned into something funky. I have to come up with a name for that color.


And these are the results of my first dyeing adventures. I am pretty pleased:

Dyed Wool - hanging to dry

I'll probably make something felted with the thicker yarn and some socks with the fingering weight. I can't wait to see how the funky red/yellow/natural colored sock yarn knits up.

And of course I had to get some knitting done, too. As mentioned earlier, I finished the Four Corner Hat. It is a little big but I think it'll fit the recipient just fine:

Four Corner Hat - Finished

And I also finished the first sock of the Stitch 'N Pitch sock. No. 2 is already on the needles. Need to be on a roll here. Time is a little pressing...

Stitch'N'Pitch Sox No.1 - Finished

I was worried that the plain Stockinette Stitch would bore me out of my mind but it is actually quite relaxing - very pleasant, nothing to screw up while knitting with a group.

And here is best picture ever of the poopers - hubby and I were quite shocked that we got such a good picture with the both of them. Hermione usually has no tolerance for photos and she does not want to get caught dead with Noah. She is so funny. Not that she is mean to him, she just ignores him. Hubby and I always think they are like a married couple. He is a good fella, very patient and loving and she is just the little bitchy busy-bee. Not that this is an reflection of me and hubby. ;-) OK, I can be bitchy if I want to and you exceed your tolerance level with me... But usually I am pretty good-natured.

Hermione and Noah

Off ya go - enjoy your week!


Blogger Hockey Mom said...

Oh dear lord! How am I supposed to wait? I bought my indigo to dye some wool after I spin it up. Now, I want to go dye something!

It all looks great. I love the funky yellow/red/natural. Maybe it will look something like a peppermint sock? Hee Hee!

4:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger DianeS said...

Must get some of that instant indigo at the next Fiber Fest! Your dyed yarns look just terrific.

Our daughter's cats are quite sure that our dog is not a suitable companion, so photos with them together are extremely rare.

8:07 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Courtney said...

Wow, your dyeing experiement turned out gorgeous results! What fun! I'm amazed at how much you manage to get done--beautiful hat and sock too.

2:02 PM GMT-5  

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