Apparently dyeing yarn is all the rage now, so I ventured into my first wool dyeing project.
I measured the yardage on my homemade hank maker, then gently washed the yarn with dish soap. For each color, I mixed 1 tsp. of gel food color, ¼ c. vinegar, ¾ c. water. I dipped 150 yards of wool in 4 sections, microwaved it in a covered glass casserole dish for a few minutes until boiling, rested for a few minutes, brought it to boiling again, then kept it covered until it completely cooled. After a final rinsing and air-drying, Raven and I ooh'ed and aah'ed the rainbow yarn, but there were a few brown spots where I slipped and all the colors blended together, so I dunked the whole thing in the blue dye and started over. This peacock mix is much prettier!
Then we tried dyeing with Kool-Aid. Since it's acidic, I didn't have to use vinegar, so my kitchen smelled like artificial fruit instead of a pickle factory! I mixed 1 packet of each in ½ c. of water, but I was disappointed in the pale yellow of the lemonade, so I added a generous squirt of food color to liven it up. I wound five 32 yd hanks, painted 1 rainbow, and fully dipped the rest in each color Using the same microwave technique, I produced much of the same vibrant colors. If you're interested in trying this too....
After reading a few labels, I've learned that all these methods utilize only four dyes - Red 40, Red 3, Blue 1, and Yellow 5. Every Kool-Aid color is just different ratios of these dyes. I was disappointed in the grayish-purple product of blue and red, so I'm hoping I can find a better purple with egg dyes. When Easter is over, my friend Gina suggested stocking up the kits if they work. She is always full of good ideas!
Now I have even more yarn, yikes, but I've never tried knitting with 100% wool before. I plan on making some thick colorful socks, learning the double-circular toe-up method. I'm also daydream-designing a rainbow scarf or shawl. Eventually, I will attempt intarsia or fair isle, since colorful patterns make me very happy! Sigh... so much to learn, so much to knit, so little time.
The other day, I was digging through boxes, looking for my sewing gear (in moving over the years, I have yet to fully unpack) and found my first skein of yarn, bought for Raven's craft projects. I considered saving it as a souvenir, but it's only Red Heart, so I'm crocheting as many granny squares as possible, to make a poncho for her. When will I ever make something for ME besides a scarf? I had no idea I was this generous! As they say, it's better to give....