Monday, June 8, 2009

Into the Dye Pot

Remember this?

Yeah, that yarn there on the right? The bright purple and tan yarn? (All together now: Eww!) I got the yarn as payment from J. Knits for some swatches I made for them a few months back. I ordered up two skeins of their Superwash Me Light Sock yarn to use to make a Tempest cardigan. The colorway photo on their (old) website made it look as though the skein was actually purple and dark gray. Not tan. (Ew!) There was no way in bleep I was going to put those two skeins together in one sweater!

To be clear: this yarn is lovely yarn. Soft, pretty, generous yardage. It will make a really really nice sweater. Just not in those colors. So I did what any self-respecting do-it-yourselfer would do: I got myself some black acid dye and a skein of cheap, bare yarn and went to practice.

I was stalled out for a while because I didn't have any suitable pots for dyeing. The local thrift shops were fresh out of pots, and even though The Brain brought home a ginormous beaker from his lab, it wasn't quite big enough. I finally bit the bullet and picked up an enameled pot from Target and went to work. I followed the exact directions with my first practice skein and ended up with DARK, DARK BLACK yarn. My goal was to turn the tan into a dark gray and tone down the bright purple a bit, not cover everything in black. So on my second practice skein I cut the amount of dye in half. It came out mostly black with a few light spots.

By this point I was getting impatient so I just threw caution to the wind and cut the amount of dye in half again, then threw my precious purple and tan (ew!) yarn into the pot. It came out looking quite nice, if I do say so myself. The tan had turned a light gray, and the purple was more subdued but kind of splotchy. I dyed it again, and this time it came out just right. Yay me!

When you place the two yarns next to each other, you can still see that the purple/gray yarn definitely has more of a warm tone than the gray/black yarn. I'm hoping it won't look funny when it's knitted up into stripes, but I'll take my chances. The difference aren't quite so drastic in real life. I think this may be my next project, after I finish up my sweater coat. It's not old stash yarn, but I deserve a break from that for a while, right? I also have the next installment of the Year of Lace coming up in a few weeks, so I will at least have some summer-appropriate knitting to do. :)


Anonymous said...

Bravo! Can't wait to see how this knits up. Way to bite that bullet.

Yarndude said...

:( My comment disappeared. Let me try again.

Yes, you definitely deserve a break from knitting with stash yarn. What a nice dye job, too! And my, what a perfectly white background you have on the one picture, how did you ever manage that? :P

Dana KBS said...

I like the way the colors turned reminds me of the dye jobs on the STR Raven yarns or of Dream in Color's black yarns. Neato! Dana

leann said...

It turned out great!!!

Team Knit ! said...

it think the end result is great!! What a perfect solution for a yarn colourway that didn't work. I'll have to work up the guts to try that one day, too!

- Julie

Hilary said...

Wow, nice dye job! I think those two yarns are going to look very cool together when you make Tempest.

Jacey said...

The dye job is fantastic! By the way, I can't believe you've knit over 13,000 yards this year. Amazing.