Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dyeing Sock Yarn

The wind was blowing, the sky was a milky gray like the hair on the neighbors old cat. What else is a person to do but grab a couple of large pots and her dyes and head to the kitchen. Nothing lifts the spirits like turning a dull dark dank windy day into a bright pink, red, or purple day.

Needing some sock yarn to start another pair, I went to 'the stash' and found 6 skeins of some marvelous natural colored sock yarn I got from a fellow Weaving Diva. The 60% alpaca, 15% merino, 10% silk and 15% nylon make this feel like a soft puppy. She had this blended special from her flock, herd, gaggle!?

Filling the pot about half full of water, I heated it to boiling then added some vinegar. Lowered the heat to reduce the bubbles to a small roar, I placed one skein in the pot, sprinkled the dry powered dye on top of the skein, then put in another skein and sprinkled another color, then another skein and another color... I repeat this until I have all the skeins in the pot. I do 'poke' the yarn down into the liquid very carefully. I turn off the fire and let it simmer until all the dye is soaked up by the yarn.  I might peek to make sure that everything is getting some of the dye. Just do it slowly. At this point, you don't want to agitate the wool.

This pan I place on the burner with the water- vinegar and drizzle the dry powder dye in selected areas. The purple went on one side of the pan, yellow on the other. This pan will only hold two skeins at at time. I must wait until it is completely cool before I remove it from the stove.
  This is the pot I layer the skeins into. Adding the dyes and skeins layer by layer. I usually take it off the stove and let it sit on the counter until the yarn has soaked up all the dye.  
This shows the dark gloomy sky and the wind. I think all the bird seed had blown away too!

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