Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Squarejane Dyes

Don't fret... i said DYES not dies.  All 3 of my readers can rest assured that i am far too stubborn to die anytime soon. I plan on being an old crotchety lady for a long long time.

I love to knit.  I love to knit socks in particular.  One of my favorite sock patterns to knit is Skew which is knit on a diagonal. Here are a pair of Skew socks i knit before in Zitron Trekking XXL (one of my favorite sock yarns for it's fun colorways and durability).  This colorway is Prism.

It's like Dr. Seuss designed them in Froot Loops colors, what's not to love?

  Anyway... i decided i wanted to knit another pair of Skew socks but i just couldn't find some fun self striping sock yarn close to my rural BC home.  Sure i could wait to order some online but i decided that i had long wanted to foray into dyeing my own self striping yarn.

I started off with some Zitron Trekking Natura undyed.  I wound each section for each stripe around my hand 30 times and then tied off gently with some scrap wool in a different weight.  This took some time.  As i did this, i placed each tied loop of yarn in a bowl... bowl A, bowl B or bowl C to create a pattern.

When done, i carried the bowls to the kitchen and added boiling water with a few drops of vinegar, then poured my various powdered dyes directly onto the yarns.  I didn't want solid colors but more variegated within the colors.  I chose a red to plum to purple, an ice blue to deep sky blue and a pale green to apple green to dark forest green. 

After 15 mins and with much care, i took the yarns out of their baths but kept them in their respective piles, A or B or C and squeezed excess dye from the yarns.  I wrapped each pile in it's own plastic wrap and placed it all in a glass dish.  I microwaved on high for 2 minutes, took the dish out and let sit for 10 mins.  Then i opened the wrap and let them all cool.  When cooled, i washed each section by hand in cool water and rinsed until clear.  It was torture waiting for it to dry.  I ran into some tangling issues (i really need a swift and ball winder!) I had to toss out a portion of the yarn due to bad tangles but in the end, the yarn turned out quite pretty.

Here are my new Skew socks in progress...

and here they are all done:

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