Saturday, May 27, 2006


OK, before we go any farther, I need your help. Here are your choices:

Both yarns are self-striping (if you want proof, keep reading), and I realize that the pictures aren't great, but you should get the idea. Keeping in mind that my Dye-o-rama pal gave me pretty much free rein on color choices . . .

Thanks for your help!

All I can say after dyeing up these two skeins is that I now have even more respect for people who dye a lot of yarn and do such an amazing job with it. Dye-o-rama has been fun, but I'm still not convinced this is really my cup of tea (or Kool-Aid, as it were). Funnily enough, though, it's not the dyeing part that was the drag--it was just dealing with all that freaking yarn. Maybe I was foolhardy to try self-striping yarn my first time out, but let's just say that midway through my first dyeing experiment, as I was untangling my fiftieth or sixtieth knot, I finally sat down and ordered a swift and ball winder. 440 yards of fingering weight yarn leaves room for a lot of error when you're winding (and re-winding and skeining and re-skeining) it by hand.

For each of the two skeins, I used Knitpicks Color-your-own fingering weight yarn (now out of stock until the end of June!). I first figured out the (extremely simple) stripe sequence; I just wanted stripes of two colors, roughly equal in size, so the math wasn't too hard. Then I wound out my long skeins, tied them off appropriately, and gave each whole skein a base color in Kool-Aid. For the blue-green yarn, I used the immersion-dyeing method and one packet of lemon-lime, which resulted in a very pale green. For the purple-mauve yarn, I used two packages of grape and one of black cherry--the result was a darker purple than I would have imagined.

After letting the yarn dry, I then used Paas Easter Egg dyes to make the stripes. For the blue-green yarn, I overdyed with blue and green dyes on each of the sections I had previously marked out for the stripes. The result was a brighter green and a subtle blue-green, which really did knit up in stripes (I checked):

Likewise, for the purple-mauve, I overdyed in two sections, using the red and purple Paas tablets. To be honest with you, I hated the way this looked when I pulled it out of the pot. It all just looked sort of uniformly brown and drab. Although I was tempted just to throw away the dripping wet skein, I hung it up anyway, and it did grow on me as it dried. The colors lightened as the yarn dried and the color changes between the two colors are pretty subtle, but still nice.

Anyway, this was an interesting project. Like I said, I'm not entirely sold on the whole dyeing thing, and I sure as heck won't be devoting extensive amounts of my leisure time to trying something that so many other people do so much better. I still have one more skein of Knitpicks yarn left, though, so I will definitely try some more colors just for fun--and if not, I have a heck of a lot of Kool-Aid to drink!


Anonymous jessica~ said...

Both skeins are so pretty! I found dyeing self-striping yarn to be very time consuming but I really enjoy hand painting. I voted for the second skein although they are both beautiful!

8:52 PM  
Blogger Isabella said...

Both are lovely! I voted for the pink also.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Hey Norah--I was in the wtf group myself. After that first round of dyeing I wasn't sure that this was for me. I started first with worsted weight yarn to practice, and when I started using it for projects I became hooked.

I'm not sure this is something that I will do a lot of in the future. It is a good feeling though when you start using the yarn and you, I created this.

Great job!


9:23 PM  
Blogger Crazy About Sox said...

They both look great! The pink and purple one almost looks like what i sent to my dye pal, but if it were me i'd love to get the green and blue...

9:53 PM  
Blogger Mary G said...

I'm with "Crazy about Sox" -- the green/blue is beautiful -- it'd make cool asexual baby sox or outfit!

Great job on the dying. I'd be too upset and just toss the whole thing....(and order some more expensive, already dyed yarn and feel only slightly guilty as I knit away on it)!

6:24 AM  
Blogger DianeM said...

I love them both too! I dyed my fist stripy skein last week and was surprised at how much mess it created - I was so worried about staining my benchtops. I have a lot of respect for people who dye for a living.

2:04 AM  

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