A few weeks ago I won a yarn dyeing kit on Instagram from a giveaway by Fiberhuis, which was awesome because I was actually about to order a dyeing kit (from someone else) that day. Weird, right? I was super excited and when it finally came I opened it up immediately and made big plans to get started. First I needed to gather up some extra supplies such as a pot, measuring tools, salt, gloves, etc- everything just for dyeing. No mixing between cooking and crafting with the equipment. The goal was to gather as much as I could from thrift stores and yard sales, but I felt lazy and impatient so when we were at Walmart I thought "what the heck!" and I just bought everything that I could remember from my list. It wasn't too much and I have no regrets because I got to start dyeing yarn immediately after that!
Now immediately in my world means sometime in the next few days. It took me a few days just to build up the courage to get started. What colors was I going to do? Could I actually make my yarn look beautiful and awesome? Was it going to be messy? What if I failed? You know how the mind feeds off of minimal confidence and vulnerability. As soon as I got started though, it was fun. I had to read through the directions a few times beforehand and then a few times more as I was going through the process. Also, Freya was going through a clingy, whiny phase (don't tell her that I told everyone) so that added to the slowness of the dyeing process. It took me two days to dye three skeins of yarn.
The first day I dyed the cotton t-shirt yarn using the vat dyeing method, which means dyeing it in a bucket (or a pot) with no heat and adding soda ash to fix the dyes. I made Jake choose the color and effect, so a sea-foam green ombre it was! The result was great and it motivated me to keep going. And I would have kept going except for a little voice watching me from the high chair telling me she was done with it.
The next day I dyed the silk ribbon yarn and the wool yarn using the acid dyeing method, which means dyeing it in a pot over heat and adding citric acid to fix the dyes. I tried to dye the silk coral, fuchsia and red-violet in a variegated manner. The colors turned out more hot pink and grape soda purple. Not what I was after, but still lovely. (It actually turned out to be my favorite once after seeing it dried and in the daylight. I love the way the silk plays with the light.) The wool I dyed yellow with fuchsia drips all over, creating a variety of oranges, in a low immersion dye bath. I had no clue what to expect with that one. It reminds me of tie dyeing t-shirts, but tie dyeing is actually another effect so I will have to get more yarn and try that and see how the results differ. There are a lot of effects and it seems as though no matter what colors and combos are tried, it turns out awesome! Gather up your own supplies and give it a try.
Once I finished dyeing a skein I hung them up to dry on an old shower curtain rod I had hanging around. They took a few days to dry. If it had been sunny outside, I could have figured out a way to hang them up out there and they may have dried a little faster. If I still lived in Northern California and I hung them up outside, they would have dried by the end of the day for sure. When the weather cools down, I will just need to make sure that they don't take too long to dry and start molding. That would be disappointing.
Be adventurous and have fun!