Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Good Day to Dye

Alaska's been crazy sunny and warm this June. June's the month of solstice, the longest daylight. To actually have sunshine with the daylight has turned my fancy to an attempt at solar yarn dyeing. Hey ho, let's go!

In the dawn's early light I laid out a black garbage bag on the deck--both to protect the surface and, according to at least one solar dyeing account I read, amplify the heat in the dyejars. Two yarn bases: a superwash wool DK weight and an angora/wool fingering blend. The KnitPicks Bare yarns are really easy to use. They come skeined up with loose ties, so they're almost ready to go. Almost. For acid dyes, you need to soak the yarn in some acid. A cup of white vinegar in a bucket of water, and in they go for a half hour soak:

Now for the dye! I used some of the Jaquard powders I had left from my winter snowdyeing fun.

The angora/wool was lightly sprinkled with vermillion and sapphire blue in the hope that the result would be blue-ish and red-ish and blended shades of purple. Darkest where the powder directly hit the yarn and lighter and purple-ier in between as the powder dissolved in the water.

The DK wool was treated to sprinkles of sapphire blue on one side of the skein and sky blue on the other, hoping for shifting shades of blue in the finished product. So into the jars they go!

As you can see, the yarn/jar/water ratio was about right. All the yarn submerged and fairly loose in the solution. Now Let the Sun Shine In!

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