Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm dyein' down here

Yesterday afternoon, I dyed the samples for the Graduated Color Band Dyeing Workshop that I'm teaching at SAFF (as always- link to the right of this page). This process was developed for my book, Yarns to Dye For, which was published by Interweave a few years ago, and then promptly disappeared from this dimension. I don't know how many copies sold, but it wasn't many (I don't think it even went into a second printing).

The technique involves dyeing yarn Noro-Style, with colors that gradually change throughout the ball. It's fun, but it's also wet and messy, and if you want to make mittens (or sleeves, or socks, or anything involving pairs), you have to wind 2 separate balls of yarn and dye them at the same time. For my class samples, I dyed 2 mitten balls and 1 hat ball (2-220 yd skeins of worsted weight yarn, total), in each of the two colorways that will be offerred: purple/green/blue and yellow/brown/orange. Again, I was very pleased with how well the dye struck (and stayed) using citric acid rather than vinegar. The colors are lovely, with absolutely no bleeding in the rinse, and my house does not smell like a pickle factory that has been invaded by wet sheep.

I plan to knit sample mittens today, and then get to work on both of the dye class handouts. Students will have the option of dyeing their yarn (provided) in one large ball for a hat, or in 2 smaller balls for mittens. Patterns for both will also be included.

The pictures show the progress, as the yarn balls are dyed, with the yarn totally dyed and sitting in rinse water (note the strand of yarn hanging outside the buckets- that's really important...), re-skeined (that's the wet part), and drying.

October will be here before we know it. I am so excited.


Mary Keenan said...

Man, I wish I was taking this workshop!!

Tina M. said...

I'll have you know I own Yarns to Dye For, and it was the very first dyeing book I ever bought! While some of it was more work than I could see myself doing, the wealth of information and exceedingly well thought layout is a true pleasure to read. I really enjoyed it, and I'm not just saying that. :)

Ruth in So. MD said...

Where do you get the citric acid? My family all love the smell of dyeing yarn. As in, "What's that awful smell?" They especially love it when I dye in the crockpot and they're tricked into thinking I'm actually cooking supper. Ha!

Kathleen Taylor said...

Maire- I wish you were too.
Tina M: thank you so much
Ruth: I got the citric acid several years ago from Ebay, when I was making soaps and bath salts. It was pretty cheap, if I remember correctly. I bought about 10lbs, and remembered I had it when I dug out the dyes for the new workshops. I am so glad I did.

FiberGeek said...

I have your Yarns to Dye for Book and don't remember this technique - so I am gonna have to get my book out. I definitely want to try this since I can not go to SAFF. I thought it was a wonderful book BTW. Those that did not get it will be sorry.