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?
My plan is to double-strand from two separate sock blanks and make boot-toppers, so I wanted to try two different colors and two different dying techniques, that I’ll strand together. I bought Wilton brand food coloring in Olive Green, Sky Blue and Violet.
I soaked my sock blanks in water with a couple cups of vinegar for a couple hours. I wrang them out, then I laid the first blank out on my kitchen floor on top of a garbage bag. In a plastic bowls, I put one cup of water, a couple teaspoons of vinager and a 1/2 teaspoon of the gel. I then used sponge “paint brushes” to paint my sock blank with blue and purple.
I then laid a piece of saran wrap over the top of my blank, rolled up the blank, then wrapped another piece of saran around it. Then, with a piece of tin foil, I created an enclosed tin foil “tent” around the blank.
I then baked it for 1 1/2 hours at 250 degrees, so it basically steamed in the foil. I took it out of the oven, waited for it to cool, rinsed it and guess what, the water ran clear from the very beginning–all of the dye was baked/steamed right into the yarn. Amazing.
With my second blank, I boiled 8 cups of water with a 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1 teaspoon of Olive Green dye.
I tied up my blank with a bunch of pony tail holders and dropped it in and simmered it for a 1/2 hour. I took it out, let it cool, took the pony tail holders off, and put it back in the dye for 10 minutes. Then rinsed the whole mess until the water was clear. Here are the results.
I’ll post again when i start knitting, I’m excited! But now I think I have to go home and make chocolate/caramel pretzels…