Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dyeing skillz - I haz them!

Check it out - I haz dyed!

I lucked into a fat sale on a Louet sock-dyeing kit while I was shopping down on the coast. It makes dyeing easy-peasy, although I would never pay the $49.00 list price for this thing. You get three 50-gram skeins of GEMS fingering weight yarn, three little 10-gram jars of pre-measured dye crystals, one squeeze bottle, a sample of SOAK wool wash, the instructions, and a pattern for ribbed socks.

Basically, you soak the skeins, squish out the excess water, lay them out on a plastic covered surface, mix 6 ounces of boiling water with each of the dyes, put them in the squeeze bottle, and go to town. The instructions tell you to do one dye at a time, wash out the bottle, fill with the next dye, and so on. This is stupid, IMO. If I'd paid the full price for this thing, I'd bloody well expect the company to cough up a squeeze bottle for each color. Also, the bottle holds FOUR ounces of liquid, not the six as you are instructed to mix with the dye.

Because I have no patience, and because I'd already anticipated needing extra squeeze bottles, I'd grabbed a couple at the Dollar Store. I ended up snatching a liquid dish detergent bottle out of the recycling bin when I discovered that the supplied bottle held only 4 ounces of liquid.

So the dyeing began. The kit was labeled Brown, and contained Gaywool Dye in Tomato/Wattle Bark (a red color), Watercrest (a purply color), and Logwood (a brown). You can look at the photos and guess which color got used up the quickest. I squeezed and dribbled dye all over the skeins until I was happy with the results. This, by the way, is big fun - but you really do need to protect your work surface with plastic. Rubber gloves, an apron, a couple of wet paper towels (for quickly wiping up wet splatters) and a big roll of paper towels nearby will also benefit you greatly.

After applying the dye, I followed the instructions and wrapped each skein in two layers of plastic wrap (tip: Don't use the cheap stuff like I did; you need some decent wrap for this), put them inside a freezer bag, put that inside another freezer bag (don't seal the bags), and nuked them in the microwave for a total of eight minutes. You then have a really hot steamy package of yarn. I seared my fingertips a bit getting the skeins out to hang them in the shower to dry, but I to not appear to be permanently damaged. The next day, I rinsed the skeins and hung them out to dry in the shade.

I don't know when I'll get to start knitting with this yarn, but I am pleased with my results.

And I am very afraid that dyeing shall become yet another addiction.

Edit: fix typo


  1. I love those reds! Very pretty yarn, can't wait to see what you'll make with it.

  2. Thanks!! Now I have this overwhelming urge to dye everything!

  3. Ooohh. Now you can use that dye in the barn.....

  4. I know - I've got to get into that stuff and see what's there. I don't even know what I have!!

  5. Haz dyed and gone to the heavens with those stunning colors! Good job woman!

  6. Addictions? Already have more than my fair keep some.