Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My own hand-dyed!

I'll continue to distract you from the fact that I haven't gotten much done here with more photos from Germany in a moment. However, the Saturday I got back, Veronica had a dying workshop at Fringe. I got to make my own hand-dyed yarn!
Everything was all set up for us when we got there. We had a ton of Kool-Aid colors to choose from, and all the necessary equipment, including squeeze bottles, trays, a microwave, buckets to rinse things in, and most importantly, yarn. We each got one skein of superwash wool, one of a dark and light alpaca, and one plain old Lamb's Pride worsted.
I knew what colors I wanted to make for myself going in, red, orange and pink. I really don't think that combination appears enough. I went for that right away with the superwash. Here it is looking like a plate of colored spaghetti. The superwash wool sucks up the dye the second you apply it, which can be great if you don't want your colors to run at all.
It turns out dyeing the yarn is really fun and easy. You soak it some water with a little bit of dishwashing liquid to help the yarn soak all the way through faster (ah, surface tension). Then you put it on something microwaveable (we had airline food trays) and stick in the microwave until it's really hot and the water coming out is clear. It took about 5-6 minutes for these skeins. It made the microwave pretty messy, but it was only Kool-Aid, and wiped right up. Here's the alpaca in its spaghetti form.
Then you rinse it in cool water till it runs completely clear, wring it carefully and hang it up to dry. It's bound to get tangled, so Veronica did this magical trick where she put it on her arms and snapped it back and forth a bit. I'm not really sure how it worked for her, because it certainly didn't work for me, but she is the pro. (Really, go look at her yarns.) Here's the Lamb's Pride in blue and purple.
So here are all my pretty yarns hanging out to dry. I'm really happy with the way they turned out. I don't really have the space to do this at home, but it was so fun, I would take the class again. I'm trying to pester Veronica into having an open dye time at the shop as well. I also really hope she offers the next level of dyes, the non-food safe kind. I would definitely take that class too. And now that I've started spinning, it turns out the process is exactly the same for roving, too.

Here are everyone's yarns all together, Valerie's on the left, Salena's in the middle, and mine on the right. We made some really different choices, but they all came out beautifully.

Here are my yarns in yummy cake form, just waiting to be knit. Well, they're going to have to join the line. There are an awful lot of things waiting to be knit around here.


abe/happy said...

they do look great - very bright.
well done

Selena said...

Hey Sarah,

The yarns look great! You described the process really well. I had so much fun in the class. I can't wait to try it at home.

KnittnLissa said...

Dag, them's gorgeous! You and I have the same taste in colors, so if a short tubby redhead ever approaches you, points in the opposite direction, and yells, "LOOK!" don't do it - it'll be me, trying to steal your yarn...

Sarah said...

Hey look, I can comment on myself. Since I have no other way to reply to knittnlissa, I just have to say, that was hysterical. But, all jokes aside, if you do try to steal my yarn, I will take you down. Don't mess with the yarn, man.