Monday, June 26, 2006

Not the Queen of DIY

There are some things that I have felt I should not attempt to do myself. The result is very likely to involve blue language, a gigantic mess, and/or grave injury. Here is a partial list of "can't-DIY" activities:

1. Electrical repairs
2. Emergency amputations
3. Brazilian bikini wax
4. Dyeing yarn

Nonetheless, I have decided that as soon as I have a sizeable chunk of time on my hands, I am going to try #4. I am going to use a popular dry beverage mix and would like to end up with a semi-solid yarn. (No fancy stripes for me! That would really present disaster potential.) Any advice for me?

14 Comments:

Blogger Mintyfresh said...

ha! #s 1-3 would definitely lead to grave injury. #4 has me intimidated (I've bough the Kool-Aid and I've gathered enough large jars, but I've not moved any further forward). I look forward to reading others' suggestions!

4:19 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Some thoughts:
1) Make sure you soak the yarn well before dyeing. Soak for at least 30 minutes, more is better.

2) If you want a deep strong color, use a lot of Kool-Aid. The rule of thumb is 1 packet per oz of fiber, but I'd use more.

3) If you want a semi-solid look, don't overfill the dyepot. Let some of the yarn hang out near the top, and pour the dye bath directly on the yarn instead of setting the yarn into the dyebath. I don't know why this works better, it just does for me.

4) You don't need a ton of vinegar.

5) I usually bring the yarn and dyebath up to just at boiling, cover the pot and take it off the heat. I've avoided much felting this way. I let the yarn sit for about 30 minutes to an hour or until the dyebath is clear.

Hope that helps!

4:28 PM  
Blogger Lynda said...

LOL! I've actually done one of 1-3.... but I'm not telling ya which one!

4:35 PM  
Anonymous linda said...

Emergency amputations???? When did you ever need this??
I just started reading your blog and really enjoy it. I'm on the "west side" and was looking for some locals to add to my (getting way too long) list of bloggers. I, however, am not a blogger.
Keep up the good work!

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Erica said...

Oooh! No advice, but please document thoroughly! I can't wait to see the finished result.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

My advice would be don't mix in elements of #1-3 in the dyeing; all three of those are just scary.

7:20 PM  
Blogger anno said...

hi.. I just wandered in from.. somewhere.. and was planning to go visit eunny while I was roaming and you had a link so I decided to go now.. but that didn't happen..

so I thought I'd just mention that there's a typo in your link to eunny. :) you might not care, but.. in case you do.. now you know.

I enjoyed my visit. :)

8:14 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I know you can do this. Wilton's cake icing dye works really well too. Apparently you don't need much vinegar if any when using KoolAid. I could be unreliable on this however as I have done 1, 3, and 4. I may consider trying number 2 before I ever do number 3 again though.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous kathy in juneau said...

GO for it! Kool-Aid dyeing is way fun.

It's totally a personal choice kinda thing, but my advice would be to consider overdying. My first attempt ended in some rather garish Olympic Socks. I tried again a few months back and overdyed a grey yarn and I was very pleased with the outcome.

And as others have mentioned, I go heavy on the kool-aid for really rich colors. The most fun part is that the dye bath gets clear as the yarn absorbs the dye.

This posting shows my yarn
http://knittingweather.blogspot.com/2006/05/home-grown-stripes.html
and you might find this color chart helpful http://www.thepiper.com/fiberart/koolaid/images/colorchart-max.jpg

Good luck!

9:33 PM  
Anonymous JessaLu said...

I soak my yarn overnight with a glug or two of vinegar, then if you're doing a whole skein you'll want to use 4 to 6 packets of the color (and black cherry is a great toner-downer. If you can't find any let me know...I might have some...somewhere...) the amount of water doesn't really matter - and I add a glug or two of vinegar just to be on the safe side. Then nuke it at two minute intervals until the water is clear-ish Good luck ;o)

9:33 PM  
Blogger chittavrtti said...

Knitty has a great article on KoolAid dying which is what I followed when I dyed with kids the last two years. No vinegar and we used the microwave.

I used ziploc bags BTW. It was easier to smoosh the colour around but also,if the bag isn't set down right?, easier to spill. Mops are good ;)

I want to do the sun dye method but al teh knitpiks sockyarn has mysteriously sold out ***CV

10:39 PM  
Blogger Olga said...

Oh, my god! I'm so glad you didn't say #3. I had to do a quick double-check to make sure you weren't doing the wax. I've never understood anyone doing that grooming task DIY, Brazilian or otherwise!

2:16 AM  
Blogger Catherine Kerth said...

listen to jennifers advice! i loved dying with koolaid but i wish i would have used a touch of vinegar and more packets for richer colors... you have to use almost 10 to 14 packets to get really deep colors.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Glaistig said...

I can't wait to see the results. I've never dyed anything so my only advice would be enjoy the transmutation!

9:45 AM  

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