Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Self-Striping Yarn

Here is my Sunday Night Kool-Aid sock:

I'm loving it! Two of you asked yesterday how to dye self-striping yarn. I followed Eunny Jang's instructions to figure out the stripes. For me, I calculated using 2.25mm needles and a 60 stitch sock, and one round came out to 26". So for the Sunday Night sock, that made a skein of 364", with 4 sections of: 156" turquoise (6 rows), 52" light green (2 rows), 104" grass green (4 rows), 52" light green (2 rows).

As for the dyeing itself, I had to come up with something new. The whole jars on the stove thing seemed too messy for me; putting the yarn in a dish and dumping in colour seemed too random. I tried the hand-painting baster method (that was the Friday Night sock), and it was very hard to color the whole section evenly and took lots of time.

What I came up with was quick and easy. (Sorry I don't have pics; maybe I'll take some the next time). PLEASE NOTE: I used superwash yarn! Merino may felt.

1. Soak your yarn in warm water and a "glug" of vinegar. Don't skimp on this step; dry yarn won't soak up dye.

2. Cover your table with something to keep it clean (I just used a cut grocery bag).

3. You will need a glass bowl that holds about 3-4 cups of water, a glass dish to cook the yarn in the microwave, a spoon to mix the dye and of course your Kool-Aid. Oh, and gloves would be a smart idea. Ask me how I know :)

4. Squeeze out the water from your yarn, and put it in the microwave dish.

5. Mix up your first colour in the bowl, and fill the bowl near the top with warm to hot water. Leave some room so that your yarn doesn't overflow the dye. I found that the amount of water you used didn't affect the intensity of the colour too much.

6. Grasp your yarn so that one whole section is hanging out of your hand. You should be holding it just above where you tied off your sections. Place that section into the bowl of dye, right up to your marker. Quickly use your other hand to squeeze the dye through the yarn so that it dyes evenly. The yarn takes up the dye almost right away, and your water should turn milky or clear with almost no colour left in it. Lift out your yarn, while squeezing out the water.

7. Repeat this with the other sections, making sure you don't have any dye on your gloves before picking up the yarn. Be mindful of where your sections meet to that you don't have uncoloured gaps. Don't worry about the different coloured yarn touching each other; the dye won't transfer.

8. Microwave your yarn for 2 minutes. Let it rest for a few minutes, then cook for another 2 minutes. Let cool.

9. Rinse out your yarn and hang to dry.

10. Enjoy your self-striping yarn!!

That wasn't hard, right? Now you try!


Angela said...

I definitely will be trying that.

Sounds time-consuming, but so worth it.


Monika said...

That's exactly how I do my dying, but I'm more random with the colors. I'd like to get it nicely striped like yours, but that's too much trouble. Maybe the next time I feel the need to dye yarn.

Anni said...

I just love those socks. the colours are fantastic and the way the striping worked out is so kool.

Jakki said...

I REALLY like the blue-green striped yarn. I've got the yarn to dye - just need to make a plan. Like your idea of a pattern first & calculate for stripes (as opposed to random color changes.)