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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Adventures in Yarn Dyeing: The Second Time

Happy Thursday :) As promised, a new post of my yarn dyeing adventures.

These were dyed on April 9, 2017.

Ever since my first solo adventure, I was itching to try it again so I actually went through my stash (made much easier by January's Organization of the Stash) and started pulling out skeins that were either "natural" or otherwise dyeable. I came up with several but I started with these three.

A skein of Knit Picks Palette Fingering that was meant to be dyed. I picked this up in a destash quite awhile ago, before I was even pondering dyeing...and the thought I had? I can dye it someday.

Yeah, I knew it was going to happen even then.

A skein of Malabrigo Rios. I never really had any concrete plans for this yarn and I know Malabrigo is a good base.

A skein of Nashua Creative Focus Superwash. I actually had this hanging out in my destash but it's been there awhile so I thought I'd try dyeing it.

This dyeing adventure started out the same: mix the dye. I wound up making the four basic colors: red, blue, yellow, and black. I knew one of the worsted skeins was going to have green so I mixed some blue and yellow to get a perfect Slytherin green (don't ask me how it happened because I'm not entirely sure - I mixed until I liked it). I also knew I wanted one to have purple so I mixed the blue and red until I liked it. It's more on the blue end but that doesn't bother me. I still had leftover of the three primaries, luckily.

I started out with the Nashua and wound up with this:

Once it was finished and rehanked, it looked like this:

Since I had to wind this onto the niddy-noddy myself, I know it's not too terribly tangled. It hasn't told me what it wants to be yet but it's leaning toward a hat.

The Malabrigo decided it wanted to be similar to the Nashua but it wanted purple as well.

I had it laid out like this and it was dyed that way (well, mostly that way - you can see some purple on the green side in a few places):

When it was hanked up again, it looked like this:

This skein may be wildly tangled. All I did with it was get it out of the above shape, added a few extra ties, and soaked/dyed it that way. I won't know until I either try to wind it or if I decide to reskein it. It should be okay. I usually don't have trouble with Malabrigo being tangled when I wind it.

The last skein, however........

When I took the label off, I expected it to be tied at the middle around each side and I could just dangle it like any other skein of yarn. Oh I was so wrong. I have no idea how they skeined this yarn so, I just took it out, soaked it as it was tied, and dyed it as it was tied.

It's difficult to see in the above photo so this one gives you a better idea:

It looked like it had been a long loop that had somehow been made into three loops on each side. So, I dyed one side with the black and did a rainbow on the other side.

This one had to be hand wound after it was dry because I had no idea how it was even attached and I didn't dare try to lay it out in a loop of some sort. It turned out to be somewhat correct in how it was dyed. Sort of. I still had to do some work to wind it, though. It basically worked kind of in a figure eight pattern. So, if you start with the end of the purple, it would go over to the black, pick up about three loops of black, then weave back over to the rainbow side and do about three passes of the rainbow (starting with the red) and once you got to the purple, it would swing back over. The only way I can describe the shape is it was like a 3D hour glass shape.

I had a slight mishap at the very end of the skein where there were fuzz barfs and the only way to get them apart was to cut it....but I cut the wrong part. Luckily, it was at the end so there's only that teeny ball that suffered.

It looks much too pastel in the above photo. The black turned into a grey, which was fine, and all the rainbow colors because a bit more muted and faded a bit. I'm okay with that.

I don't know that I'll ever be able to recreate that experiment. Maybe. I could try it someday.

I got everything wrapped up and I did the steamer outside this time. Last time the house smelled like wet wool and vinegar. It wasn't a pleasant smell. So, outside with it. I let it steam for about an hour, switching the containers halfway.

A few things I did differently this time:

1. I worked on plastic bags that I had taped down (white, so I could see splatters better) and wrapped the yarn separately into saran wrap.

2. I dunked the skeins in the vinegar water rinse in a somewhat more logical order: first the Nashua (green only), then the Malabrigo (green and purple), and then the Knit Picks (rainbow). I knew the black was going to slough off quite a bit and I didn't want to cross-contaminate the other two skeins. Neither the green or purple bled when I rinsed, which was lovely.

3. I mixed the dye right into the squeeze bottles and adjusted using the bottles. I don't know that I'll do it again that way but it worked.

4. I kept my gloves on and my hands didn't get as much dye on them.

Since I finished these, I've taken a little dyeing break. I have more yarn I can dye (I found a couple skeins of Malabrigo Twist and I have a bunch of end cones of Bugga and Traveller from the Sanguine Gryphon (which was split into Cephalopod Yarns and the Verdant Gryphon). They run about 250 yds of fingering weight so I could try matchy matchy skeins. Or not.

Anyway, that's all I have for you today :)

Oh, I've since caked the Knit Picks and it might be a self-stripe of some sort. We'll see when I get around to knitting it.


  1. I love all three colors and am really enjoying your adventures in dyeing :)

  2. The last skein turned out really fun, almost like a cotton candy unicorn.

  3. whoa, so cool! although that tangled rainbow skein must have token forever to wind into a ball.