Dyeing away

Guess what? I found one skein in natural. Yeay!!! So I’ve been thinking what to do with it colourwise and thought I’d make it a two-step dye. 

First I’ve dyed it in Jeaba cold colours transparent with a tiny bit of cerise. I eorked in the dye until it covered the whole skein. Very little dye in fact so it barely soaked the whole skein. Then I added a few drops of cerise just before finishing. It’s wonderful already! Reminds me of my orchids. 

   
   

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Adding color

Sometimes dying doesn’t become what you want it to. I fought the urge to keep the yarn as it was anyway. It wasn’t ugly or anything, just didn’t feel like it was for me. I tried the food colors which turned into a minthy green. When feeling it wasn’t my cup if tea I tried to darken it with Jacquard’s Acid Dye Teal… But the yarn didn’t want to suck too much of the dye up. So the result was a little darker minty green. Darn it!

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So I decided to have a go with my cold colors (Jeaba) to see if I could make something better! I added dark greens, purple and blue to it.

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And tada! I’m soo pleased! I shall name it Star Whale.

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A moss green west goes teal

Remember that moss green west I knitted with the coconut shell buttons? I don’t blame you if you don’t. It was ages ago. It was knitted in a madelinetosh that I dyed with mushrooms and well, I’ve heard that dying with mushrooms doesn’t hold the color too well. It had turned more towards a dirty brown and yellowy shade.

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I decided to try the Jacquard’s Acid Dye Teal that Tove brought me back from the States.

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The really cool part is how in some places the moss green still comes through. It gives the west more life. I’ve already used it twice since re-dying it. Love it!

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Dyeing with cold colors (Jeaba)

Dyeing with cold colors like Jeaba (which is the ones we tried) is more like painting your yarn. The colors are liquids that you blend as you like. There are yellow, blue, red, pink and purple available. Additionally there’s a transparent and a black. The transparent is used to make your color blends lighter and the black to make the blends darker.

Depending on how you apply the colors you will also affect the shading. If you work in just a little of your color blend to the skein you get lighter shades and if you use more color you get more vibrant shades.

I usually prepare some plastic food wrap and place the dry skein on it. The color blends I put in bowls next to me. Then I apply a little at the time working my way around the skein. Once I’m satisfied I wrap the plastic around the skein and let it rest over night.

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Then I wash the skein thoroughly in cold water and hang it to dry.

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My cold colors: The green blend and the violet and blue blend.

Tove's cold colors

Tove’s cold colors.

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Jacquard acid dyeing 

I bought these dyes in California last summer but hasn’t tried them until now. Out of the four colours I bought, we tried three: Periwinkle, Deep Orange and Vermillion. 

   
    
 
We started with Periwinkle, which came out a deep purpley blue that reminded us of the Tardis. We did two 100g skeins at the same time and ended up having to add more dye twice to avoid undyed bits remaining. 

   
 
These rather creepy looking dye baths are Deep Orange and Vermillion respectively. I ended up adding quite a bit of Vermillion to my orange since it was bright bright BRIGHT orange. I also had a partial sock yarn skein I dunked in this bath once this skein was all done. 

Finally, in the morning when I realised I had dyed my merino silk in crazy colours using Kool Aid… I overdyed it with Periwinkle.

Here are my skeins:

 The two on the left are from the same dye bath! Crazy to see what the different fibre does.  The two blue ones are from different dye baths. I actually really love how the red from the crazy Kool Aid experiment came through the Periwinkle: 

  

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Color weekend!!!

Naa, we didn’t throw our own Holi exactly, even if you might think we did looking at the colorful limbs and tables and what not… (I decided to wear black for the occasion which seems like one of my brighter moments).

We spent a whole afternoon, and some bits of the following morning (and I’m sure Tove can explain all about that extra dying in the morning…), dying yarn. This was a bit of a try-out-different-ways-of-dying. So we tried cold colors (Jeaba), Jacquard Acid, Cool Aid and food colors. We will talk more about the different ways of dying yarn in a couple of coming blog posts.

The result was however quite stunning! Some crazy, but most really colorful and sooo beautiful! (And just because I think you love pictures as much as we do I’ve added a lot of them!)

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Forgetting that dye

I dyed a Madelinetosh Merino Light earlier this year that came out a bit too crazy for my tast. Too much contrast and too many shades. I have since then planned to improve it and did so this last Wednesday. However my memory is a bit poor at the moment (or perhaps my mind is fully occupied with a whole bunch of other things to remember…)
Anyway, I forgot about it and realized yesterday (half a week later) that I had an ongoing dye sitting in the bathroom waiting to be rinsed. Ooops!

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The pictures come out a little light. The yarn is actually quite dark with a hint of petrol and purple in it.

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Self-striping, getting there

Okay, so I did a little brief reading on how to dye self-striping sock yarn. Turns out experienced self-striping indie dyers use a warping board. A while ago my new toy arrived and a few days ago a lovely sock yarn in superwash merino from Sunrise Fibers.
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Now I just have to wait for these super warm (desert climate) days to pass so my brain works again.

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Kool-Aid adventures #2

I tried dyeing with Kool-Aid for the first time a couple of years ago. I still have the skein, and probably the pictures (which I never posted on my old blog) from the process too, but it’s a bit of a green-blue-yellow mess that I’m not too proud of, so I doubt it’ll be making a Toshwood appearance.

Yesterday I felt the urge to have another go. For anyone not familiar with Kool-Aid (cue all Americans shouting WHAAAAAAT right now), it’s a drink mix powder that comes in little packets which you mix with water and sugar to get a violently coloured, super sweet, artificially tasting drink. Mmm. Not a big fan. The violently coloured part is what makes it work for dyeing, though. I won’t go into detail because there are tons of articles online (Knitty has a good one here), but basically all you need is Kool-Aid, yarn, and hot water.

I wanted to try making a gradient yarn and followed these instructions.

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I used two skeins of Knit Picks Bare worsted weight, and eight packets of Kool-Aid: two each of Pink Lemonade, Black Cherry, and Grape, and one each of Berry Blue and Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade.

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Attempting to soak the cake. Turns out it floats. Next time I will separate the cake BEFORE soaking it. Wet yarn cakes are really hard to pull apart; who’d’a thunk.

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Yarn ready, Kool-Aid ready…

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… hot water added…

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… yarn added! I had some issues with white patches on especially the blue (another reason to pull the cake apart sooner) and had to poke at it a bit with a spoon, but mostly I just let them sit for five minutes until the dye was soaked up and the water was somewhat clear.

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Yarn soup for dinner!

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The other skein soaking up the dye. Reds seem to be easier than blues. (However, I DON’T recommend handling the grape stuff with your bare hands. It resulted in nails that looked like I’d been dead in a river for a week. I had to bleach my hands.)

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I would love to lie and say that the skeining was smooth and easy. It took two people about two hours. Holy tangles, Batman.

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The finished skeins drying in the bathroom. I’m quite pleased with how they turned out, even if everything didn’t go exactly to plan!

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