Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Crockpot Dyeing

I did some crockpot dyeing on New Years Day. A nice colorful way to begin the year!

I even remembered to take some pictures.

I took two skeins of KnitPicks Bare yarn, worsted weight, from the stash. Each skein weighed 100 gm with 220 yds.

I balled 'em up.

(sounds kinda kinky, doesn't it?)

I filled a 5 qt ice cream bucket with warm water and put a big glug of vinegar in it.

You eat this much ice cream too, don't you? We've got tons of these buckets.

I placed the two balls into the water and pushed down on them with my hands to force the air out of their little lungs. I drowned 'em good. When they were finally airless, they just sat on the bottom of the bucket. I let them sit for half an hour.

In the meantime, I had placed hot tap water into my ancient crockpot at a volume that would give me a water height approximately half the height of a ball of yarn, and set the temp on high.

I mixed chestnut and turquoise Jacquard acid dye into these handy little containers. They are emptied/cleaned containers of a surgical scrub solution I used to apply to my patients when I was an OR nurse. Save everything - there will be a use! Anyway, beats paying for handy little containers.

Each bottle holds
four ounces. I used warm water and 1 tsp of the dye powder. Each tsp of dye should dye 100 grams of yarn.

Hey! Public Service Announcement: Wear gloves and be sure to protect your countertops with newspaper. NEVER use any equipment you would cook with. Dye items need to be devoted strictly to dyeing.

I added all the premixed turquoise dye to the crockpot. Guess I didn't really need to mix it in the container, seeing as I used it all, but, well, whatever...

I drained the yarn balls. I squeezed 'em gently. Then I actually put them into my washer on spin, with the water to the washer turned off.

Once all the excess water was removed, I set them into the crockpot.

I carefully squirted the chestnut dye onto the topside of the balls, being careful not to get any into the turquoise water/dye.

(kinda looks like poop?)

Because the yarn is damp, the colors will spread a bit, so I left some white space.

I covered the crockpot and left it alone for a few hours.

Why, yes, my crockpot is ancient. It was a wedding gift. Back in 1981.

Why, no, I'm not ancient. Ahem, I was a child bride. Thank you for asking.

It was very eye opening when we went to replace this old workhorse. Holy cow, the new crockpots do everything but peel the vegetables for you. And there is most likely one of those, too, but we only shopped Target.


After a few hours, I shut the crockpot off and let it sit til the next day.

I drained the dye water. Luckily, it had exhausted (all dye absorbed into the fiber, with none left in the water). I quite often use too much dye, and have some color left in the pot to dye more fiber. That is, if I like the color enough to use it again.

I squeezed the water from the balls of yarn and rinsed them carefully in water of the same temperature. I spun them out in the washer again.

I skeined the yarn, and left it to dry. Here, I wish I'd taken a picture. It was quite pretty.

Here's the yarn for my next baby sweater.

We spent last evening snuggled in, reading and listening to Radio Heartland. Just before we tucked the Girl of the House into bed, they were playing Doris Day 'Que Sera, Sera'. Possibly my favorite moment of the evening. We're really enjoying this new radio station. The variety is amazing.

Yes, we bought an HD tuner for the living room stereo.

Even Ben said he would have to try the streaming online version when he was back at school.

Hey, try it! You'll like it!


Lisa said...

Oh my goodness. I am completely IN LOVE with that yarn.

My parents mentioned getting rid of their old crock. I just gave them a call after reading your dyeing tutorial. I'm hoping I can talk hubby into letting me purchase some knitpicks...

Am I lame for getting so excited about YOUR yarn?

Guinifer said...

Really love the yarn! (The clogs from the earlier post are really sweet too!)

Lorraine said...

You've got a winner, with a third passionate declaration of love for that hank of yarn! Gorgeous!