Knitting the Light Fantastic

Knitting, spinning, dyeing and other crafty goodness

Color Works

Posted by notthatkat on August 10, 2007

As I’ve said before, I have been wanting to work on techniques and methods of dyeing yarn and fiber. I’ve played around a bit, but not enough to consider myself proficient or comfortable with it. Last night, I pulled out the dyes and some natural colored sock yarn and got creative. I am rather pleased with the results. Both skeins were the same yarn, and I used the same colors to dye both, but the results are vastly different.

Hand Dyed Yarn - bright

For the first skein, I wound the yarn of on my ghetto warping board. I painted each of the sections with a different color. I wrapped each section in cling wrap separately to avoid color bleed except where the colors met. A quick trip through the microwave to heat set and then let cool. The dyes struck very well, and there was very little color in the water when I unwrapped or in the rinse water.

Hand Dyed Yarn - bright

I reskeined at lunch and it looks even better with all the colors mixed up. I now understand why so many independent dyers worry about whether to reskein or not, although if it had been in a form I could put on a swift, I probably would have gone directly to center pull ball.

Hand Dyed Yarn - muted

For the second skein, I went a completely different route. First off I dyed the entire skein light grey by immersion dyeing. Then I applied the other colors (diluted a bit to tone them down) directly to specific areas of the yarn once the temperature of my dye vat reached strike temperature and the grey dye was exhausted. It sat in the dye vat overnight and was rinsed out this morning before work. Again, there was no significant bleeding in the rinse.

Hand Dyed Yarn - muted

This picture is a better representation of the colors – It’s not as blue toned as the first photo looks. This was totally experimental, and I wasn’t sure how I would like the result, but in the end, I think it came out great.

The proof for both yarns will be in how they knit up, but in skein form, I am thrilled with both yarns. I’m looking forward to refining both techniques. Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll have time to play with the dyes again until after con time. But I also want to add some additional colors to what I already have on hand, so hopefully I will have a bigger palette to play with in the future.

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One Response to “Color Works”

  1. sockergirl said

    Nice colors! The diluted skien came out really nice! dye on (?) you know what I mean. :)

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