Wednesday, 20 July 2011

WIP Wednesdays: Colour Me Pretty

 Edited To Add: I wrote this post at a very hour of the day, way too early for my brain to be fully functional. Therefore, the introduction is missing. Here it goes:


My newest crush, Stephen West has a Mystery Shawl KAL starting on and I decided to participate. I also decided one evening (wine, anyone?) that it would be fun to dye all three colours myself and have a truly "handmade" shawl (minus the sheep breeding and shaving). Since I only have one colour so far, it classifies as work-in-progress ;o)

Some time ago I was inspired by Tamis post about this gorgeous blue yarn that she dyed. There was a thought of playing with colours bouncing around my head and finally one day, after a quick read on Knitty, I ordered some undyed fingering hanks. And since they were selling them by bulk, I ended up with 500g worth of fingering weight yarn. Time for some shawls, me thinks?

I spied some food colouring in a convenience store and the fun began. I used about half of this little blue magic bottle

Then, after deciding that the huge pot that we bought last Christmas was the perfect size for my hank (note that I didn't really follow the instruction to start with 5g mini-hanks, I decided to go for it and throw in whole 100g of yarn into it).

Note: If you are ever forced to eat what I cooked, be very careful and avoid anything that has suspicious blue colour.

I poured some water into the pot, added dye (then added some more in various places to achieve the hand-dyed look ;o)) AND a whole lot, that is 125ml, of lime juice (I hate hate hate vinegar!) and kept it gently almost bubbling for about 40 mins.

I checked water every now and then to see if yarn was absorbing the dye
And nearly ready!
After leaving it overnight to cool down it was ready to go! Well, nearly, since it was soaking wet!

I used our faithful clothes dryer to hang the yarn to dry

Didn't turn out too bad, heh?

I'm very proud of my blue baby and will certainly be making use of the remaining four hanks! 
I also have some brown and pink (which really looks like orangish-red) in making



To check out what is everybody else up to this Wednesday, head over to Tami Amis blog
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33 comments

  1. It looks great. I have been putting off dying as I worry about my body giving up halfway through. I have suggested to a friend she might like to join me and she agreed. Can't wait to get started now.

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  2. It looks fab :) I love the range of colours in there!

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  3. Such a simple method, but wow such stunning outcome! Can't wait to see what it turns out to be. Where did you get the "raw" yarn from?

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  4. That's so pretty! I recently dyed some yarn with food colouring also :-)

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  5. Wow, I'm very impressed! I would never attempt this! Well done, it looks great! Did you say you were going to make a shawl out of this? If so it will look beautiful!

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  6. Great outcome. I don't dare to try dying some yarn. I'm afraid it might become another obsession. :)

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  7. Wow, what a pretty blue!! Congrats - you are much braver than I!! Whatever you decide on to make will be lovely!

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  8. Wow, that came out fabulous!

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  9. Blue's my favorite color, and this is my favorite shade!

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  10. Wow the colors came out very well. Nicely done.

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  11. I didn't know you were supposed to let it cool so long. I suffer from impatience but will know to do that next time. Thanks!

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  12. It looks great! Dyeing yarn is addictive.

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  13. I've been thinking it would be fun to dye yarn, but I'm afraid of the mess- how did you manage to not turn your kitchen blue?

    Your yarn is beautiful!

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  14. It looks amazing!!! Great job. :) I can't wait to see what you make with it. Quick question, did you use vinegar to set the dye? If not, it will bleed like made (maybe even onto your fingers when knitting). You can still set it. All you'd have to do is soak it again and add in the vinegar (just regular distilled) or some kind of citric acid. That will adhere the dye to the fiber.

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  15. Dyeing yarn is so much fun! good job...

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  16. So pretty! Thanks for the careful step-by-step instructions; I just might have to try it. I was wondering about setting the dye though; but it looks like Tami's comment has it covered!

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  17. Very pretty color! I want to learn to do that!

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  18. The Stephen West KAL is tempting me too. It looks like you are going to have a gorgeous color combo, and it will be that much more special knowing you dyed it yourself!

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  19. That is a lovely shade of blue!

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  20. Love it. I didnt know you could use food colour to dye yarn. Is the lemon juice to stop it washing out?

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  21. Dying yarn is so much fun...now if I could get over my M1L and M1R from Mr. West Daybreak, I might get more enthused with his mystery KAL. I look forward to seeing what you knit.

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  22. Very nice!! I actually just heard about dying yarn, very neat!

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  23. That is a very beautiful blue yarn. I would guess that the lime juice replaces vinegar in the process? I dye yarn sometimes but have only used vinegar and food coloring or icing colorant from wiltons so far.

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  24. Wow!!!I love that shade of blue!!!Well Done you!!I wish I could dye my yarn!!

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  25. So you've been bit by the dyeing bug as well? Do you love it yet?

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  26. I was dyeing some yarn for WIP Wednesday, too! I think yours came out better, it reminds me of blueberries in the best possible way. I love the subtle colour variations you got. I also love that you used lime juice!

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  27. The yarn came out lovely! You're inspiring me to dye some yarn...

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  28. Very cool, anxious to see the two in a finished object, nicely done.

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  29. That came out great. I had never heard the lime juice trick. That is a great idea because i agree with you on vinegar.

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  30. Very interesting :) Why don't you like vinegar ?? :-)

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  31. Dying yarn is fun and yours turned out very nicely. I love the colour.

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  32. Ooh, pretty! I really need to give the whole dyeing thing another shot. It's so much fun. Hope the knitting bit turns out as well as the dyeing bit!

    Cheers,
    The Other Paula

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