Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gradual Rainbow

I had two 400 yard skeins of Sheila's Sock Yarn from left, so I began by reducing them to 8 skeins of 100 yards each to make my gradations. The plan was for each skein to be dyed in blends of three colors, adjacent on the color wheel. That way I could knit a section of one set of colors, and then join the yarn of the next set of color for a smooth transition. Transitions works best if the yarn is spun that way, but this way will have to do. I am NOT getting into spinning.
After giving each individual skein about a half minute in the microwave, I returned four at a time to the microwave for an additional jolt before washout. I think the increased vinegar in my dyemix  made a big difference, more than the heat. I saw that the skein exuded clear water before it even went into the microwave. (50/50 water and vinegar)

I kept watering down my dye mixture with vinegar-water until they were nearly pastel. I am full up with deep dark jewel tones and need the lighter values. Here the dyed skeins are drying in the sun. It took just minutes and they were dry, since we had a nice warm breeze.

The finished product. I have the previously dyed cakes here to fill in the gaps in the color, especially the red and green. My plan for this yarn was to use it in socks but then they would be hidden in shoes and under the pant leg, so I may have to come up with a better idea.

A reader asked if I can use my regular family microwave. Yes. I dye in covered containers like this Gladware piece. The yarn doesn't come to a boil, so no fumes are produced. It's pretty darn safe.

A reader asked how to make the yarn cakes. One needs a ball winder.
Yarn Ball WinderSee this site.
Last night was the last session of my knit class and here are the darling Baby Surprise Jackets knit by my students.  Too cute! The table is not wet, that is a decorative surface.

On our late afternoon walk Chumley picked a decaying pepper from the garden and carried it off. To our surprise, a moth flew out of it and here he is reaching to catch it. Then he had to go home and have a good drink to wash the taste out of his mouth.

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  1. Can you do the same type of dyeing with citric acid instead of vinegar?

  2. What pretty yarn. Chumley seems such a delight.

  3. Evil enabler. I wasn't going to dye today, but this is tempting me mightily.
    Chumley is adorable.

  4. Do you use a "dedicated" microwave for your dyeing? I'm wondering if you can dye in the kitchen microwave. Thank you

  5. Anonymous1:52 PM

    Where is Popeye these days?

  6. I like your blog, is interesting.

  7. Chumley's tail looks like a handle in the "stretch" pose :)

  8. Thanks for this post.
    I got a lot out of the info


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