Last Fall I had the opportunity to dye yarn with a group of fellow yarn lovers at an alpaca farm in Apple Valley. From that experience I knew I had to start dying my own yarn for the shop. Since dyeing yarn in a crock pot works best outside, I chose May to start dyeing.
I now have the Jacquard Acid Dyes available in stock – all 40 colors. “Acid” dye sounds ominous but you are just mixing a small amount of dye powder with white vinegar in your crock pot. I call this no mess dyeing and it just takes a few minutes here and there and the crock pot does the work!
It’s like giving birth to your favorite color pallet with yarn!
It goes in natural/white/or off white and comes out in a brilliant array of colors. I’ll warn you right now – dyeing yarn is highly addictive and doesn’t have to be really expensive. It costs less than buying hand dyed for sure.
I’ve learned a lot over the last few weeks and I’ve only ruined 3 hanks of bamboo which didn’t take dye well. I won’t be doing 100% bamboo again soon. Using merino, wool, alpaca, silk or a blend of any of these works well. I plan to start stocking a nice range of “naked” yarns in different sizes, textures and contents over the summer.
If you would like to take one of my classes on a Saturday, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will let you know the schedule when we have enough people.
What I’ve learned so far:
-A little powder goes a long way. (if you use too much dye, it doesn’t get absorbed and the colors can get muddy or you are just wasting the dye.)
-More vinegar is better than less. (this helps the dye to soak in)
-More strings tied on your hank are better than less. (your hank can get tangled in the dyeing process)
Today I’m redying some of the hanks that got ruined in our mud flood of December 2010 – I couldn’t resist saving these instead of selling them for $3 each! Here’s the pictures before and after.