Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hazards of kitchen dyeing, or: bundles of sunshine

If you dye yarn in your kitchen and you have housemates, chances are un-crafty housemates will think you are crazy. They might be right.

While I was soaking some white sock yarn in a big pot on the stove, this conversation transpired:

Housemate: I'm going to get some dinner.
Me: Okay, enjoy.
Housemate: Good luck with...er *eyes pot suspiciously* whatever it is you're... uh.. making.

I later found out she thought I was making an obscene amount of noodles. Indeed, white sock yarn in a pot might look a little like a crapload of vermicelli. Then she returned to find the big pot still full of "noodles," only now they were a vibrant shade of yellow... Good times.

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Now I have bundles of sunshine and they make me super happy.

The yarn is Elann Sock It To Me 4 ply - a yarn so incredibly cheap, yet fairly highly rated, that I wondered how I'd never come across it before. This was my first Elann ordering experience, and it will not be the last. In a fit of madness I ordered 6 balls, which is enough for 3 pairs of socks. Plus shipping, it came out to just under $20 - the average cost for a hank of reputable sock yarn. At this rate, handknit socks are practically affordable. ;)

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Now, I don't know how it will wear, although ravelry users suggest it's pretty good for the price. It's not the softest 4-ply ever - I won't be making any scarves out of it. But it dyed up pretty well, and I'm totally excited about dyeing more. (In truth, I dyed more today: pics forthcoming).

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I used Wiltons icing dye in Golden Yellow. I didn't keep track of how much, to be honest. I kept adding until I felt like it was enough. This was also an experiment in using lemon juice as the acid. I've used vinegar before to set food colouring dye, and it has worked okay, but my current house has terrible ventilation, and my bedroom is right off the kitchen, and I hate hate hate the smell of vinegar... so I wasn't willing to try that in this house. I started out with the juice of half a lemon, and by the end I'd added the other half as well, so I hope that was enough. Apparently lemon juice is slightly more acidic than vinegar anyway, which suggests that I wouldn't need as much; I never measured the vinegar I used to use, so this comparison is meaningless to me.

Anyway. Fun experiment. Next time: green that may be slightly more neon than I intended...

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