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DYEING yarn

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.

While waiting for yarn to soak up the dye, I decided to set my yarn that I had spun and let them all dry together.

Be adventurous and have fun!

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