I was in the mood for a new challenge, something fun, and I had been meaning to try yarn dyeing for some time. I was inspired by some videos by Spellbound Weaving and Dyeing on YouTube – she’s Australian, and even though she’s only published a small number of videos I felt like she’d provided enough information to get me started.
I did a bit of research on dyes and bare yarn, but for my first dip into dyeing (ha) I drove into town and bought a starter pack of Procion MX dye from Opus (turquoise, pink, yellow and black plus a packet of soda ash), some white cotton yarn from my LYS, and some measuring spoons and cups, squirty bottles, a plastic bowl and foam paintbrushes from the dollar store.
Impatient to start, I set up an old folding table next to my laundry tub, with a plastic tablecloth draped over it, and a mask and gloves handy (ha again). It was 9pm by the time I got started on the actual process. Washed the yarn using some dish soap (the handwashing kind, not dishwasher detergent), soaked it in the soda ash solution, squeezed it out, laid it on plastic wrap on my table. Mixed up some dye powder with water in the squeezy bottles and dove in.
I guess a newbie always goes all out! With hindsight, I probably should have just used two colours – maybe turquoise and yellow (because I love the way they made green where they overlapped) however I used the three brights in wide stripes on the yarn and then dripped the black in places with the baster.
I wrapped the yarn up in the plastic wrap and left it overnight – about 12 hours. Then there was LOTS of rinsing and another wash before hanging it out to dry. There was some colour transfer onto my airing rack which means I was slapdash about the rinsing (why am I not surprised?!) but I will just have to remember to expect some colour bleeding when I wash whatever I make with it.
It looks like I made circus yarn, AKA clown barf, AKA rainbow yarn, but it looks really pretty in the cake!
I have 400 grams of this bulky rainbow yarn now, so the question is….what shall I make with it?!