Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cooking up some yarn.

I made another dyeing attempt this week on my (much-needed) day off. I've been kind of obsessed with dip dyeing lately, but wanted to find a set up that was easy to clean up and easy to keep the dog away from. When the solution popped into my head, it was so simple I couldn't believe I didn't think of it sooner.

Enter the grill.

Using the gas grill on my patio gave me an option that let me keep Gus inside and avoid potentially ruining my kitchen. During the process I put a tray on the main grill surface to keep the burners from getting spilled on and give me an additional place to set things. I probably could have just as easily left the main part closed, but I kept bumping the side of the cover so I had to get it out of my way.

Here's where I felt pretty cool. I screwed in a plant hook I picked up at Home Depot and added a 36" extender chain that can be taken off when not in use. I think the two together cost a whopping $4.00.
Hanging the yarn from a clothes hanger, I was able to move it up the chain to change the dye strength.

I grabbed my dyes (Louet Indigo and Saltbush, in the interest of full disclosure) a couple of skeins of white/natural stuff out of the yarn stash, two of Naturally Yarns Harmony and one of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky, and did a test run.

I need to work on getting my dye ratios worked out, because I didn't get the brightness of color I was looking for, but otherwise the endeavor was successful. After dropping the hank into the dye bath and very gently stirring with a wooden spoon, I hooked one end around the hanger and hung it up, raising it a couple of links every few minutes.

The result is a very subtle variegation that shifts almost imperceptibly from very light to a medium tone, leaving me with two skeins almost the color of faded denim and one muted lavendery-but-not sort of purple.
I think the lack of serious color saturation has more to do with the fact that I'm using yarn that's been previously treated for this little test project. I threw in a small sample from a different type of yarn and it turned SUPER dark. So we'll see how it goes with some dye-your-own product the next time around. Either way, I'm incredibly happy with how easy everything was to set up/take down. I was able to clean everything up in ten minutes flat!
Alrighty, off to swatch and see how my newly colored fibers knit up!

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Very clever! The yarn turned out gorgeous - love the colors.