Posted by: SisuGirl | March 4, 2007

The Joy of dyeing

OK, this is quite picture heavy but I just had to share my adventure!

3/1 3pm

Well, here I am with my 10 skeins of Bare Superwash Worsted from KP’s, 5 jars of Jacquard Dye, also from KP’s. Mariah Stage 1 (Yes, its the same pic from yesterday)

I dug around and found the pot that I was searching for on campus and unfortunatly, it is too small. 10 skeins just dont fit well enough to be able to “swim freely” like every page of instructions has told me. Mariah Stage 2aMariah Stage 2b These pics make me think of spaghetti 🙂 You can see how full the pot is and I think that I would have been scared to play around with almost boiling water and that little bit of room. The up side to this is that I DO have a washing machine that is available during the day and the insrtuctions on how to dye that way make the amount of dye that I bought make much more sense. On this website it says to use “up to 3oz” of dye per pound of fabric to get the deepest colour saturation. I hope that I have enough dye to get a rich colour because, though it would be easy to do again, I dont want to have to wait for shipping if I have to order more.

I was so excited to get started and last night, I barely slept and then when I did, I dreamt about dyeing! I was rudely awakened this morning by my mobile ringing and it just happened to be the school…needing a last moment sub. I knew from past refusals that if I didnt take the job P would have to do it on his day off and without pay. I, on the other hand, would get paid and I know that the money would be quite helpful in the bank. So the yarn had to wait, darn it.

4pm: Picture me wading though 2 feet of snow with that huge pot. I, of course, drained most of it but highly soggy yarn is so flippin’ heavy. I got into the laundry room and got started! I set the washer to extra-small, Hot/Cold and emptied 3 of the 5 jars of dye into the filling washer. I wrung out each of the skeins and fluffed them and hung them on my arm. Every picture that I have seen regarding dyeing show people putting the skeins in all at the same time. So thats what I did 🙂 The colour in the washer was so deep red it was like wine. The yarn soaked up so much of the colour, I was really amazed.Mariah Stage 3a Within 2 minutes, this is what I had:Mariah Stage 3b Ok, now here is where it gets dumb. Rather, this is where I get dumb. ALL the instructions that I read about washing machine dyeing said to agitate and then add the vineger then agitate again. ALL of them. No one gave me any other instructions. I didnt think and stupid me follows the instructions to the “T”. This is what I got:Mariah Stage 3cMariah Stage 3d Foolish me. Because I was thinking so clearly, this is what my room looked like:Mariah Stage 4aMariah Stage 4b I have to re-skein everything. 10 skeins at 220 yds each equals 2,200 yards…and 2 full days of standing, trying to untangle my huge mistake.

I started the day with 5 skeins looking like like:Mariah Stage 5a and greatfully, I finished at 9pm. P called to see if I wanted to get a drink and I was totally in the mood to celebrate my 2,200 yards. Its all dry now and looks so beautiful and the colour is perfectly red. I couldnt have asked for a better saturation or even tone. Of course, as I want to show it off, I cant really get the “perfect” picture. This one, though it is only the tie-it-together strand is the best picture of the ‘trueness’ of the red.Mariah Stage 5b

In hindsight, I thinkthat I wouldnt turn the agitate on. *sigh* Oh well, live and learn, eh? I am going to spend the next few, erm, days, winding this 2,200 yards into balls. I have wound one ball, knit a swatch and already have gotten 2″ into the sleeve. There would be pictures but those celebration beers have had an impact on my head and I dont really want to more enough to grab the camera and I had to put down the sleeve…to blog of course! I couldnt be happier with the colour and the yarn is so soft and bouncy. It has held up well over the dyeing and rinsing and squeezing etc. and is knitting up beautifully. My test swatch was nice and even and I got gauge with my KPO’s #7’s so again, that makes me happy. I cant wait to keep going on this and I just know that Mariah is going to be a fun knit. I love cables!!



  1. Wow! Looks like quite a job! The yarn is beautiful! I can’t wait to see a picture of it knitted.

  2. Wow, you’re very brave! Did the insides of your washer turn red?

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