Thursday, 8 January 2015

Dying Yarn with Food Dye

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a pleasant start to 2015 and haven't strayed too far from your resolutions (if you've made any).  My resolution for this year is to post here more frequently, we'll see how that goes. I'm really bad at motivating myself to write, also I have homework that gets in the way.

Today I wanted to share with you a project that I tried and I think turned out really well.  It's this dying technique I learnt about from watching a video by ChemKnits ( Link to the Breaking Delphinium Blue video here). I liked ChemKnits video's I think she's supper knowledgeable and I found them very relaxing to watch as I did homework. Its taking white yarn and dying it with food dye and the colours in the dye will break apart and create different colours throughout the yarn.  I fell in love with the colour food dye she was using so I went out and both the same one, Delphinium Blue is a really pretty colour and its made from blues and purples so it breaks when you dye it and I love the final result.

Here's my yarn 

So I got my yarn at a farmers market over the summer.  It a goat cheese farmer called Milkhouse Farm & Dairy  (their website here) but he also sold yarns and blankets.  He knew I was a knitter because "only knitters buy yarn in August, in 30 degree [Celsius] heat".  He wasn't wrong, it turns out that he was a crocheter so we had a nice chat.  So I got this 2 ply 100% sport weight wool and didn't do anything with it for the longest time.  I knew I wanted to dye it but didn't have any of the materials to do it.  Also it was the summer and I really didn't want to heat up my house more then necessary by boiling a bunch of water.

So this is my experience of dying yarn with food coloring.

-One skein wool
-Food colouring paste (I got mine from Bulk Barn)
-Pot of water

I got a pot of water with some vinegar added in. It better to add to little than too much when it comes to the vinegar.   I probably could have added a little less vinegar but it still worked.  The vinegar is the acid that will help the dye bind to the yarn. I stirred in some of the dye until it was a really dark blue colour.  It was two big dalopes.  If you really want to keep your hands clean wear gloves but I didn't so my hands got a little dirty.  Which washed away about a day later.  

I brought it to a boil and lowered it to a slow simmer before adding the yarn in.  Some websites that I read while researching this method say to wet the water first and to wash it but I forgot...  So I just tossed the skein in dry. I made sure it was completely submerged and covered it as it simmered.  I checked on it every ten minutes until the water is clear.  I made sure I didn't mixed it to much to ensure it didn't felt during this process.

Me at the stove adding the yarn in

Once the water was clear, I recommend using a metal spoon when doing this so you can see the colour of the water better, I turned off the stove and let it cool down until I should pick it up with my hands.  I ran it under some water to make sure there wasn't any dye that wasn't absorbed into the yarn.  I hung the skein on a hanger and hung an other one off the bottom to make sure it it didn't curl up.  I put it my bathroom to dry so if it dripped it would just go down the drain.

I love how it looks!  The colours are so nice and photos don't quite capture it. I haven't picked any projects to use it in yet.  I have some other projects lined up for other people so I'll get to it eventually.  Maybe that will be part of my resolution for 2015.  Let me know what you think down below.

That is all for now,

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