Saturday, 29 September 2007

McKnitty's guide to dyeing

Before I start with my guide to dyeing sock yarn let me set the scene. I am having a new floor put in and I am living in chaos. There is stuff everywhere and the sofa from the front room is in the hallway on its side. I am doing all I can to stay out of the house because it is too stressful to be here. Only Granby seems happy at the state of affairs because he has bagged a duvet and is nice and warm. Unfortunately Ezzie's mum is in hospital at the moment, so we also have Pippa (her dog) in the mix as well. It's not ideal for yarn dyeing, but if I can dye yarn in these conditions, anyone can!

But, as dutifully promised, here is my guide to dyeing sock yarn.

1. Get your stuff together. You will need a skein of yarn, Kool Aid, water, jug, a bowl, a microwave and rubber gloves. Whatever you do, don't forget to wear those babies!

2. Mix your KoolAid with water until you get the desired colour. I know that some people are really scientific about this and say so much powder to so much water. I don't have any of that. I let my eyes be the judge.

3. Soak the amount of yarn into the dye. Take care to soak all the area and not leave patches of white. Then put the yarn in the microwave for two minutes. Leave it a couple of minutes, then blast it again for another two minutes. When the colour has left the water, you're ready to repeat the process with your next colour.

4. When you have dyed your yarn and you're satisfied with it leave it to cool down. Then rinse it thoroughly in cold water. Your yarn will be quite hot from its time in the microwave so don't rinse it straight away as this could cause it to felt.

5. Then you just leave it to dry and give your one-off skein a name. This yarn is called 'Saddo sock yarn' because it is for Ezzie to cheer him up with his Seasonal Affected Disorder. He suffers terribly in the winter with this. Hopefully these socks will give him something bright during the darkness.

You might have noticed the turkey baster in my photos. You can use this if you want to add splashes of colour here and there. I did that last time and it's nice but the splashes can turn into purple (which I wanted) or brown (which I didn't) I'm quite happy with this lot, so I'm not going to bother today. Believe me it is good fun and doesn't take long.

I hope that answers any questions Wheezy. Let me know how you get on!


Knot Another Knitter said...

Ooooh I so need to dye yarn now. Dammit, you've started a new obsession off :)

Anonymous said...

Firstly, thank you for making me feel so guilty because you have an extra animal in the house, an inlaw in the hoppy and a half finished house. Secondly, thank you very much for making it look so easy and because Holly is bored and James is camping with Cubs, she can help me dye my yarn - see, you have cheered up two bored girls now!! I thought you were naming the yarn saddo after me! Glad you set that statement straight.....Back in a bit. Off to get the camera and equipment. One last look first though. Oh, nearly forgot - Thank You!

McKnitty said...

Wheezy - Didn't want you to feel guilty, just wanted to show you that it's easy in trying circumstances. Oops!

Can't wait to see your photos. I know Holly will love it. It's a perfect activity for a miserable Saturday afternoon.

KAK - get dyeing! It's great fun and (don't tell Wheezy) I wanted an excuse to start without Shona anyway!

Anonymous said...

Hey - guess what? We've done it! It was so good. I only got the 6 packets though - need more liveaid!!! It was a joint effort and there are pictures to come on the blog soon. You are forgiven for all your words. Say 6 wool mary's......... It is soaking in the bowl at the minute. I'm going to hang it from one of my knockers now. Thank you once more. You were just as patient as Mrs. W4B's!

Caroline M said...

I can see there's going to be a run on Koolaid and plain yarn now. It looks lovely (and the leftovers would look lovely against black or charcoal)