"Dyetary" Fiber

Dyeing...hmmm...yes please. Slap some gloves on me and plant me in front of a dye pot! Ahhh, something I've always wanted so badly to attempt...well, I finally did, I threw caution to the wind and just went for it and looooooooved it! Holy cow! There's some crazy gratification in making something of such beauty. It's all too right...I found my 18 quart enamel covered turkey roaster snoozing in the garage. (a sign?) When the oven in our last home stopped working the Rival rescued our holiday feast. I'm "dyeing" to give it a new purpose! (Come on, you had to know that would get squeezed in at least once. Hehe!) That will be an excellent resource for some big dye lots. I'm getting ahead of myself being caught up in the newly discovered love. This was my first encounter with dyeing fiber, so it was nothing fancy. I pulled together some of my leftover Cadmium and had a little fiber fiesta in the kitchen. (and I still have a hank to spare) So, being a complete noob to this craft, I figured this was a good place to dabble before I go all out experimenting in immersion dyeing with the good stuff. That's quite possibly the next step for me. (hopefully soon) For now, good old Easter Paas tablets made for a pleasant first time! After much reading, I tried 2 separate methods...the stovetop and the microwave.

These little tablets, being unmarked leave you guessing which one is which color. I let that be part of the fun. Wing it and see what happens...it's just Paas, live a little! ;) I prepped the yarn in a stainless stockpot with a dab of dishsoap and a cool bath to make the yarn more receptive to taking the dye. While that was soaking I put a couple bowls down and futzed with the "surprise" tabs...pairing some and doing a color test with some scraps before dunking the bulk of it. I couldn't decide between an orangy red or a blue/green. Being indecisive, I chose to try both. About 30 mins had now passed, so I checked the yarn bath & there was a noticeable difference in it. You can see how it opens itself up a bit...that signaled to me that it was ready for feeding in the dye bath. Fun time!
I did these simultaneously, but for lack of confusion I'll show them individually.

First was the blue/purple dye which resulted in this earthy green mesh of colors (mmm, I LOVE this one - simply can't wait to use her).  I didn't go nuts with measurements as I don't intend on using Paas regularly. Vinegar, water, heat, a lot of resisting agitation (it's hard to fight the urge to swish and swirl), but not wanting a felted mess I respected her wooly ways. I started with cold water/vinegar in the stockpot, added my dye concoction and heated @ medium heat...bringing the temperature of the dye bath almost to a boil, but not boiling, put her top on and let her set for about an hour. Then I removed the lid and let the yarn naturally cool to room temperature, as not to shock the fiber. (again...with wool, I don't want it to felt.) Next up was a thorough, yet gentle rinse in room temp water (simply matching the temp of the yarn), a tender wringing and outside for a lounge at the backyard bistro set in the warm California sunshine. Dry time was minimal thanks to the abundant sunbeams!

Okay, the dye for this batch was an orangy/red tomato color ...yeah, not my favorite shade of red - makes me feel like busting out a safety vest, (It's electric!) but I figure it'll make for a festive little something or other this coming Halloween...there's not much of it anyway, I thought it would be interesting to try as a first timer, and it was. This very loud color was done in the ol' nuker. Easy to do, absolutely! Nuking a dye bath and letting it set...doesn't get easier than that. Having used the stovetop also, I'm gonna have to say that's my preference. There is more heat control on the range in my opinion...but that's just me. All in all both methods produced awesome results that left me wishing Knit Picks had a location next door. As if I have to say it - I had a ridiculous amount of fun with this! If you've never done it but pondered the idea, do a little reading on the internet (with this kitchen friendly type of dye it's much easier than you'd think) and have yourself a blast! I'm personally looking forward to getting a little messier working with the Jaquard acid dyes and building a very colorful future ahead! Even Daphne gave it 2 paws up! =)