I have never dyed yarn before, and honestly I was intimidated. What I
have dyed a lot though is frosting and white chocolate. I love the
“gel” food coloring that you can buy at Michael’s or any store that has
a “cake decorating” section. This isn’t the liquid food coloring drops,
this is food coloring in a gel form so the color is super
concentrated–you don’t need much to get a really vibrant color. Try it
in melted white chocolate, then spoon your white chocolate into a zip
loc bag, cut off the corner and drizzle over thick pretzels that you’ve
dunked in melted caramel–so yummy and they make a great personalized
gift for sports team lovers, or…oh wait, what was I talking about?
I got to join in the dye-along, even though I’m in the computer geek
department rather than the creative department. But that also means
that I managed to do pretty much everything wrong. It turned out well,
anyway. At least, I like how it is going so far. So for anyone who has
never dyed before, I think it will probably turn out ok, even if you do
everything wrong, like me!
I used 3 different flavors of Kool-Aid to dye my sock blanks -
Watermelon Cherry, Cherry, and Black Cherry. My husband and I are
adopting 3 teenagers, so I wanted to make pink socks for Liza (12), as
that is her favorite color, and red socks for Dasha (14), as that is her
favorite color. And in the interest of fairness, though I’m not sure he
will wear them, I wanted to make dark red socks for Max (16), since red
is also his favorite color, and dark red seemed a bit more macho than the bright red.
I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that in the last year, I have been
bit by the dyeing bug HARD! Today I want to share two more of my
food-dyed yarn experiments with you, and discuss how different put-ups
of yarn can make the colors appear different.
When I finished dyeing up my Rainbow sock yarn that I last blogged
about, I was really really excited to start knitting with it RIGHT
AWAY! But you know how it goes with socks..I had to get one of my
billion sock projects finsished before I could think about casting on
another one. So while I waited for a free set of needles, I wound up
the hank, to better admire the color combinations:
There’s one kind of food-grade dye that I really like to use, but it
can be a little hard to find. Usuallly it’s only available in stores in
Easter Egg Dyes!
At this point I have two lovely sock blanks. I am going to be knitting with two strands held together for each of my Shape It Scarves from The Knit Stitch by Sally Melville.
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at dyeing for a while now. The
thought of the mess, the equipment and doing a really bad job at it kept
me from trying. But, after I found out there was going to be a
dyealong, I thought, hey! Perfect opportunity! Now I can at least
commiserate with others who have also made a giant mess. So, I got some
sock blanks, let myself get inspired, and dove right in.
I decided to try acid dyes, since it’s relatively low-odor and I
could do it indoors (with proper ventilation, of course). That proved to
be an advantageous decision, because when I got ready to dye it was
raining! I got all my supplies together and started the process.
It should come as no surprise that I am dedicating one blog post to the getting ready to dye and knit my two sock blanks. It’s all about The Process, baby!
Let’s start with the inspiration!
For the month of May, Knit Picks staffers are taking the plunge and experimenting with a variety of dyeing techniques.
Kelley and Kerin are both experienced dyers, they’re going to show you some techniques for using Jacquard Acid Dyes.
Nina (another dyeing pro!), Marci, Amy, and I are dyeing sock blanks
with food coloring and Kool-Aid. Kate and Christina are trying out our Indigo Dye Kit, and Alison and Sarah, one of our photographers, are experimenting with natural dyes like beets!
you’ve ever thought about dyeing yarn, but you’ve been hesitating, now
is a great time to give it a try. We sell a variety of ready-to-dye Bare yarn in different weights and fiber blends and we sell dye. We’ve also added 6 new dyeing tutorials covering everything from dyeing yarn in a crockpot to tea dyeing to help you get started, and we’re hosting a Dye-Along in the Knitting Community where you can ask questions and get advice.