sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter egg dye and Henry's Attic Kona Superwash...

Day after Easter? Up to my fingers in easter egg (50% off) dye and Henry's Attic Kona Superwash. Dry today for winding and pics...











I actually intended just to dye 2 oz of pink yarn for Warming Grace, but then I got it into my peapicking brain that I should go ahead and dye the entire cone (1 lb). Self-striping (long color repeats) no less, with the help from Eunny's and Streets y YO's blogs on the tek.

Instead of measuring out an exact stripe length via gauge, I wound the yarn in super long hanks (500 inches!!) across 2 chairs and (math kids, stop reading here) and tried to figure out the proportion of stripe lengths I wanted... For the purple/pink/yellow striped one (doesn't it look like easter bunny poo?), I wanted the purple stripe to be 2x as large as the yellow and pink stripes, and jimmied the stripe length to 240" for the purple and 130" for the pink and yellow. The blue/yellow/blue/orange one is 160" blue, 90" yellow, 160" blue, and 90" orange. The red/orange/yellow is a guess; I wanted to use some other colors but ran out... the red is about 1.5x as long as the yellow and orange, yet the orange is a bit shorter than the yellow by eye.

The colors for the blue/orange/blue/yellow is only easter egg dye (paas' ubiquitous 6 tab set)... 2 tabs of blue, one of orange and yellow each. The blue was originally 1 but the dye exausted before all of the yarn was dyed, so I made another dye batch and it exausted as well. The purple/pink/yellow easter bunny poo one was 2 tabs of purple, the leftover orange and yellow from the blue/orange/blue/yellow one (that made a light gold), and the pink was the leftover from the 2 pinks done for Warming Grace 5" squares. The pinks were done from one tab of red/pink, diluted quite a bit (3/4 full of water in a gallon mason jar leftover from my true mad scientist days)... I used the egg dunkers (? the wire doodads in the paas kits) to hold onto the waste yarn the hanks were tied with and dunked quickly-- I didn't want red and didn't want the dye to exaust in one hank and not leave leftovers, I wanted 2 discernable pink shades. The dunking with the wire holders worked very well, as I was able to pull the hanks from the dye after only a few seconds (which it took). Finally, the red/orange/yellow one was one tab of red with 2 packets of tropical punch koolaid, one tab of orange with 2 packets of orange koolaid, and one tab of yellow. I wanted the red super-red and used the koolaid leftover from my last dye binge, and decided to do the same for the orange for a bold mix.

I made the easter egg dye by following the directions on the back of the package (3 tbsp white vinegar + tab fizzed), added warm water that looked like it would cover the portions of yarn I was to dye, and dunked/dipped the yarn in gallon mason jars/bread pans. After the color was exausted (all but the yellow exausted), I let the excess water drip out and then wrapped the entire skein in saran wrap. I then steamed the hanks in my dutch oven using your generic aluminum veggie steamer for 20 minutes-- didn't know if easter egg dye needed heat to set in the yarn or not (a google search found some saying it did, some saying it didn't). Soaked in coolish water (its superwash, I wasn't worried about felting), rang and let dry overnight. Getting it into balls was the toughest prospect of the entire project... I eventually just stretched the hanks again into 500" long lengths and walked back and forth, rolling the balls by hand and then winding them on a ballwinder from there... all while boogerbear ran back and forth in the 4' length in the middle of the hanks, hands in the air, growling. No, I don't get it either.

I'm quite impressed with the yellow the most-- it didn't exaust for either hank, and is a very bright, true yellow. The purple & blue is quite light for being doubled, and I wonder how many tabs would be needed for a nice dark of either. The orange looks great-- lighter than koolaid but not much, and the red/pink worked well, though I'm almost positive it needs several tabs to be red and not pink. Keep in mind these hanks are only 4.5oz (the pinks are 1 oz each), so you'll need several tabs for a solid color and several more for a solid, deep color-- I don't know if they can get really deep or not though. I'm going back to the drugstore when they hit 75% off... I wanted to know how the easter egg dye would work on yarn before really stocking up-- I'm pretty happy with it, as far as its food grade and something I can work with with baby underfoot.

Another reason I went ahead and used all of the dye was because in trying to find the pink, I accidentally made the orange... for the paas kits, the tabs were in the same order (your tabs may be in a different order!):

(Looks like) Actually is...

(blue)blue * (orange)yellow * (pink)red * (green)green * (purple)purple * (mauve)orange

I did manage to get some red koolaid on the yellow portion of the red/yellow/orange hank, and I also forgot to untie the water yarn that marked where the color changes should have occured, so I have white spots on some of the hanks where the dye didn't take. The purple is also variegated mottled, where the color is uneven... It was also quite labor intensive, compared to simply dip/painting the yarn. But all in all, very fun, and I can't wait to try out some of the yarn... I do have the entrelac socks to finish (just finished the heel's waste yarn and extra triangles/tier past it)-- but I've been busy with spring cleaning and making squares for Warming Grace instead.

Perhaps some (more) Jaywalkers with my easter egg yarn...? I need another pattern that accentuates stripes that's more than stockinette... perhaps one of the simple rib patterns in the front of Knitting Vintage Socks? Its dk weight though... but a rewrite of rib shouldn't be hard (may as well use Sensational Knitted Socks or Simple Socks, in that case!) I'll be interested to see how the dye holds as well; my Wyverns and River Rapids socks (both in Henry's Attic Kona Superwash, both dyed with koolaid) have remained color-true thru several machine wash and dries thusfar. I also want to try the new Henry's Attic Kona Superwash in fingering/sock weight (!!) too... perhaps if I score more easter egg dye at 75% off I'll be working both of them together :)

13 comments:

Rachel said...

I have the sudden urge to run to the store for some egg dye... :P The yarn looks great!

lexa said...

Never thought of using Easter egg dye! Can't wait to see how these knit up!

Kelly said...

That looks like a blast. I want to start dyeing now!

Emma said...

I've never dyed before, but those colors are absolutely gorgeous and yummy. Wonderful.

trek said...

I have a cone of the Henry's Attic Kona superwash here just beggin me to be dyed. I want to do striping yarn so I am going to get out the chairs in the yard and start measuring soon , too.

Suzie said...

Wow the yarn looks great!!! I was eyeing the dyes on sale at Target yesterday, but I didn't go for it. Love your color combos!

rene said...

Wow, those look great! I especially love the fiery red/orange/yellow one. All your colors are beautiful.

Bridget said...

I would love to try dyeing, I have some plain sock yarn to try it with someday. It will be fun to see how the colors you dye come out (I see you managed to have some of your favorite orange in there!).

Areli said...

Wow! All those yarns are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing all the tips! I love the pink yarns, such pretty colors.

trek said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
trek said...

Thanks for the compliments on the Arizona Lace Socks.

Could you send me a pic if you do knit them up?



-trek

Carolyn said...

What lovely colours! Unfortunately we don't seem to get Easter egg dye here in the UK - or if we do I've never seen it ;)

Stacey said...

Very nice! I always love seeing what your dyed yarns come out like! My cone of HA is still waiting for color inspiration and some new acid dyes!

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon





I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org