Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dye Your Own Wool.

I have a project in mind. BUT I can not find yellow and dark orange wool in a 4ply fingering. I also need it to be a friendly, wearable and affordable yarn. So I turned to my good old stand by sock yarn. I was a little concerned about the cotton content of this yarn but it dyed up beautifully!
Regia Cotton Sock Yarn 4ply 41% wool, 34% cotton, 25% polyamid. "Hank" up one ball of yarn at a time and tie loosely in 3-4 places.

I was actually looking for Kool Aid but summer is over and I couldn't find the colours I wanted. One little bottle of yellow food colouring should do the job. Looks like a mason jar of "you know what." Soak the yarn in warm water and squeeze out excess ....
..Stuff the hank into the jar and pop it into the microwave on high for 2-3 min....

..... decided it wasn't yellow enough so I drained off the "juice" and added another bottle of yellow....repeat the step above...back into the microwave for another 2-3 min....ouch hot! Careful!
Use tongs to remove the "hot" hank and let it drain in the sink..... then soak it in clean water and a generous splash of white vinegar. The vinegar is a mordant to "set" the colour. I added about 20 drops of red to the left over yellow.....

......added another 20 drops then said Oh to heck with it and added 3/4 of a bottle. Added second hank of wet wool and repeated all steps as above.
While this bottle of orange was in the microwave I finished off the yellow hank. Squeezed out the vinegar water and washed the hank gently in soap and water. Rinse in pots of water till water runs clear. Squeeze wet yarn and drape over a hanger to dry. Check periodically and re arrange the hanks till dry.
Finished! Perfect just the colours I was looking for!
Tips to remember:
Dye the yarn darker than you want it will lighten up a bit when it dries.
Don't forget the vinegar or the colour will run.
Keep a mixing bowl with soap and water and a little bleach handy to dip your stained fingers into or you will look mighty funny at work tomorrow.
You're going to need a good hand lotion after this.

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