Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pink Lemonade

I wanted to make these:

st albans mitts 2 fl3 22 6 p

This is the St. Albans mitts from Smariek.  But I did not have the right yarn or the right color. And I didn’t want to spend a lot for just a little bit of yarn. I think I can make these with around 200 yds. I could order from KnitPicks, but why wait and pay extra for shipping?

So I decided to try dyeing my own yarn. I picked up a skein of white Red Heart sock yarn. It only cost me $4 with my 25% off coupon.  And I picked up 2 packages of Pink Lemonade

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I got the directions from Knitty.com.

The first thing to do was skein my yarn. No pics of that, but I turned my small coffee table upside down and used the legs for that. They were just the right width apart for this project. I found a knot, so I cut it out, and I have a larger skein and a smaller one.

Next, I soaked the yarn while I made the dye.

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I had my 8 yr old help mix the dye.

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I had to decide between using the stove or microwave. I decided on the microwave but had to find an appropriate dish to put the yarn in.

I only let the yarn soak for a few minutes, maybe five or so. I read somewhere that superwash grabs dye better than regular wool. In fact,  I think over at Lorna’s Laces, they do not soak their yarn at all. They put the dye directly onto the dry yarn. . 

Now, in the knitty directions, it said to mix the dye then put your yarn in and cover with water. What I should have done is mix the dye in a separate container, put they yarn in the bowl, then pour the dye over the yarn.

So only the one side got saturated with dye and grabbed it pretty quick. When I turned the yarn over, it was already too late:

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You can see the darker portions in here.

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And this is after microwaving for 3 2 minute periods and letting the yarn rest for 2 minutes in between. The water is clear-ish so all the dye had been absorbed.

I let the yarn cool and added some dish soap and gave it a gentle wash. I had to get the lemonade smell out of the yarn. I don’t think it was sticky, but I kept imagining it to be, so the washing helped. I let it dry. It took about 2 days since I had to keep moving it around so the kids wouldn’t mess with it.

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You can see the smaller skein didn’t get as much dye. But that’s ok. I’m wondering how it’s going to knit up in the mitts. The color runs from very pale pink, or pink tinted, to a nice solid pink, not too bright or too deep or too pastel.

Very interesting experiment. I used 2 packages of kool-aid. The yarn was less than 2 ounces (50 g).

I’m glad I did this experiment and that it did not cost too much. I have quite the selection of Kool-aid at my Wal-Mart so I can try out some more colors. I might try another one color batch (this time in lemon-lime) and then maybe some painting. I need to find somewhere to dry it better though.  The next batch will get more dye and I will try to spread it  evenly throughout. 

If you go to the knitty site, you can see all the colors dyed up. It’s very helpful since I did not really know how they would turn out.

4 comments:

Aunt Kathy said...

OOh I can't wait to see what they look like knitted up. I love that pink. Maybe I'll have to try too... someday

Timiae said...

Pretty! I love dyeing with Kool-Aid. I found that it takes more dye than I think that it will.

I would alternate the yarn, doing 2 rows of each (maybe using the 2 ends?) so that you don't get pooling. I don't know if it would pool anyway, but just in case (unless you like pooling).

cjsavage1996 said...

Wow the yarn looks so cool! I always wanted to try dyeing but I didnt know how so thanks for the link!

smariek said...

Very interesting. I've never tried to dye yarn. Too funny about having to move it around so the kids wouldn't mess with it. Looking forward to seeing how the mitts turn out.