Saturday, September 29, 2018

Clair Continues With Gradient Dyeing Experiments

Hand spun, hand dyed: All colors dyed with food coloring except for the blue, which was done with acid dye.

Completed shawlette

Detail of color changes

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Clair Knits a Birthday Shawlette for Jean

She likes it! Jean chose the perfect outfit and jewelry to go with her new shawlette, which was knit from Mineville Wool Project sock yarn in the colorway Solar Flare. The pattern: Easy Peazy Scarf/Shawlette.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Val's Latest Blankets, and Her Constant Companion, Jenny

Jenny Blue is a quiet, gentle, and important presence in our knitting group...

... and so is Val, who produces blankets with great speed and creativity.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Clair Tries Overdyeing Yarn With Kool-Aid

This is a really fun and easy project. The hardest part was finding a good selection of Kool-Aid colors (oops, I mean flavors!). For Las Cruces folks, I found mine at Save Mart on Valley @ 3 for 99 cents. 

Use a natural fiber yarn and wear gloves to avoid burnt or colored fingers. 

Tie the yarn skein loosely and let soak in plain lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes. Gently squeeze out excess water.

If you have a vegetable garden and it is summertime, everything starts to look like a zucchini!

Dissolve Kool-Aid in a cup of warm water. I started with 2 packets of Very Berry (bright blue) for 2 ounces of yarn, but added a third packet later. 

Pour the dye mixture into a microwaveable bowl, add enough lukewarm water so that your yarn will be covered. Gently add the yarn and swish it very carefully (never agitate wool yarn unless you want felt).

Cover the bowl and microwave for two minutes. Let the yarn rest for 10 minutes. Repeat this cycle until the water is almost clear.

I found that after the first cycle, most of the color had been absorbed by the yarn. Because I wanted a deeper shade I added another packet of Kool-Aid dissolved in hot water and carefully poured it into the bowl after lifting the yarn out. The bowl went back into the microwave for a second cycle of 2 minutes. I removed the bowl from the microwave, took the lid off, and let the yarn cool in the water. 

When the yarn is cool, gently squeeze out the water, then wash it in warm sudsy water, rinse, and hang up to dry. 

Here is the result. Instead of a khaki and screaming green yarn I now have a deep teal variegated yarn which I like very much.