Sunday, February 13, 2005

All My Knitty Friends and I Have a Dyeing Party

A few months ago, when Knitpicks first offered their un-dyed
fingering-weight merino wool, Mary Ann (most brilliant of party-throwers) decided it would be fun to have a yarn dyeing party, and well, everyone agreed! She ordered 15 skeins of the stuff and started experimenting a bit with Kool-Aid, and today we all descended on her kitchen and dyed our little hearts out.

We all spent hours in the Kool-Aid aisle in the grocery stores trying to figure out what we wanted to do, and what colors we might get from what flavors. Some were predictable, others not. The Changing Cherry gave a gorgeous turquoise, but since no one knew that until we got to see Mary Ann's swatches, no one had any! And some mixtures weren't quite what we expected. After eating a lovely spread presented by the talented Mary Ann we set to work. Most of us started with Kool-Aid, but we did have some Wilton Cake colors to play with too.

Susan's yarn and Teri's yarn, not done yet....

Donna, Teri and Ellen

"Are you trying to take a picture of me?" - Donna

Suzie's yarn mid-application and Gwen's yarn, post rinsing (see how happy she looks?)

Suzie's yarn, all finished! and Nancy's yarn, pre-rinsing

It looks like some party, but I wouldn't drink any of that...

This is the remnants of our experimentation with the cake dyes. Some of us took a second skein and tried again. I was the last to do my first, and wasn't quite sure what I thought, so I passed on the second skein, but I think I'll be ordering some more wool from Knitpicks.

This is my yarn, drying on my bedroom doorknob.

I started with a grand scheme that I would use Black Cherry with some Berry Blue to purple it up a bit as a main color, with some Grape/Strawberry and Tamarindo/Orange and Jamaica as accent colors. As I watched others work I thought I'd do a first dye of the whole skein with the Black Cherry/Berry Blue and then go back and do the other colors. Well, the Black Cherry/Berry Blue mixture was pretty black looking, and turned a slightly purplish grey. I was a little daunted at that point, but there was nothing to do but continue. I nuked it for a minute and a half, let it cool just a little, and rinsed. A lot of the dye came out and left a mauvey-purpley color. I then added the other mixtures as planned, and it was sort of, well, interesting. Everyone thought it looked good, though. I microwaved it for a minute and a half again, then let it cool and nuked it for another minute. There were some really hot spots, but the center bottom was still cool. Oh well. I waited and waited and waited for it to cool, and when I finally rinsed, a lot of dye came out, but it was ok. The orange lightened, and there were spots where it was a dark brown/red color where it had gotten hot. It's different than colors I usually go for, but I think it's cool. It doesn't look like Kool-Aid.

Girls and their yarns

...and Mary Ann's dogs...

It was such a wonderful day. Some of us haven't been able to make it to Wednesday nights at Barnes&Noble, and some of us moved to Kansas City, and we were all able to get together and share a new experience. It was so fun, and we plan on doing it again sometime. But now I miss everyone again already.

Soon available on Ebay (mine is the third from the right on the bottom)

(I'm just kidding, we're not selling any of it, but maybe someday!)


Robin said...

I was at Knitorious today and overheard some conversation about how much fun the dyeing was, and how gorgeous the yarns turned out. They're beautiful!

I also saw your jewelry. We might have to talk about the possibility of some trinkets. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so bummed out that I missed it. I had pneumonia & have been so sick. It's finally clearing up. I'm glad you all had fun. I really miss everyone.