Thursday, March 29, 2012

Snow Dye Day!

I've been contemplating doing this ever since I saw the post of another blogger who did it. What to do if life gives you snow rather than lemons? Dye your yarn with it!

Here are the materials: KnitPicks Bare Superwash DK Wool and some dye, a dedicated plastic tub, some metal racks, and (out of frame) a plastic bucket and white vinegar.  First step: soak the yarn in a vinegar solution.

 This was, as I recall, 1/2 cup vinegar per gallon of water for half an hour. Then the hanks were carefully hauled out and gently squeezed to be wet but not drippy.
Wet hanks were arranged on the racks so as to have even exposure to the rain of color to come.

 4 inches of clean snow gets packed in on top of the yarn.

Next, the dye powder is sprinkled on top of the snow layer. I used 2 shades of blue plus dashes of vermillion and sprinkles of yellow.  The goal was to achieve a mainly blue result with purple areas and some tinges of aqua.

Here's the side view of the layer cake. You can see the dye already soaking through the snow, the yarn layer, and the space under the racks. Although my example blogger laid her yarn straight on the bottom of her tub, I found that some quilters who snow dye use racks to keep their fiber from soaking in the mix of dye colors and snowmelt in the bottom. As you probably learned when you rinsed your watercolor brush in school, miscellaneous colors tend to muddle into muddy brown, a result that delighted my blogger, but wasn't part of my plan.  And on goes the lid and the tub and its cargo move into a heated garage to melt and dye overnight. What will the morrow bring?

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