Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Overdyeing 101....

.....Or: How to make a complete mess of your kitchen in three easy steps!

I was supposed to go on a field trip to the pumpkin patch with my son today. Due to the inclement weather, I suddenly had a morning free. What better time than this to try overdyeing two balls of sock yarn!

Let me start this all by saying, I have never dyed anything in my life - except for tie-dyeing in Girl Scouts, but that hardly counts. I read an article on Knitty.com about how to use Kool-Aide to die yarn. I purchased some close-out sock yarn on Knit Picks a few months ago. I know you can't tell colors well on a computer screen, but this blue yarn was MUCH brighter than I expected. Today was the perfect day to change that!

The first step is to sock the yarn in some luke-warm water. Here is my obnoxiously blue yarn in it's first bath:

I opened my 4 packs of Black Cherry Kool-Aide for dying and added them to my pot. Then I started to heat the yarn/dye mix. I knew I was cheating my leaving the yarn in balls, but I was WAY too lazy to change them into a more dye friendly form. I started to mix the yarn as directly. I noticed that the color was getting very dark on the outside, but I was still seeing large portions of bright blue yarn. So I started to "open" the balls up a bit so the dye could get to the center sections. I think that was the last smart thought I had.

It didn't take long until I realized I had a huge mess on my hands. So I decided to just keep going. I figured the worst thing that could happen would be for me to throw away a huge heap of yarn that I paid about $2.50 for. So this is what I was left with. I kind of liked the colors, but man-oh-man was this a huge pile of yarn!

It took me about 2 1/2 hours to untangle all of this yarn. Yes - I did cut it. I think it would have been impossible not to. I did end up throwing a bit away too. The last portions of the second ball I wound were just too tangled. I plan on knitting these with the inside sections first so all the lovely colors will be showing since the outside sections are just too dark - and I only need about 150-180 yards per sock and each ball has 230 yards. All in all, I think this will make a lovely pair of socks.

And yes - my hands are stained and the yarn smells like Kool-Aide!


hakucho said...

When I saw your second photo I didn't think you'd have a good outcome, but I was wrong...your overdyed yarn looks great! Can't wait to see your socks :)

Dawn Mercedes said...

hey...I wanna see pix of your hands...OR the look on your face as things got more complicated! haha that would ahve been funny!

Keep on knitting!