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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, I'm pathetic. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hide.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hide">:<br><br>
I've read the dyeing tutorial sticky, and it makes sense, but I need more.<br><br>
I have a few skeins of Fisherman's that I got solely for this purpose....I didn't want to spend $$ on wool for my first attempt at dyeing.<br><br>
I have Koolaid. I have vinegar. I have a microwave. I also have 3 small children, but my dh is longsuffering, so I have high hopes for success. So what is holding me back?? The fear of biting off more than I can chew!<br><br>
Here are my specific questions:<br><br>
1) do I have to do anything special to the yarn before soaking it? I feel super silly even asking, but I assume that I at least have to unwind the skein....do I have to wind it a certain way to dye it? How best to keep it from becoming a horrible tangled mess?<br><br>
2) once it's dyed, how do I rewind it? I have no tools, and no budget for buying any fancy gadgets at this time, so I need instructions for doing this low-tech. Again, the fear of a horrible tangled mess is overriding my confidence, LOL!<br><br>
3) what about dyeing a finished item? Would that work? Using Koolaid, I mean....would I be happy with the result if I tried that? Would it fade/bleed/etc. more than otherwise?<br><br>
4) what if I don't dye enough yarn all at once for one project? How could I possibly match the color to finish it?? What if I dye too much, and have some left over, but not really enough to do anything with.....I don't want to waste a bunch of wool....<br><br>
5) what else would I ask about if I was smart enough to do so? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Puuhleeeeeese heeeeelp! And TIA! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, more questions: besides Koolaid, I have some procion (sp?) fiber-reactive dyes....got them for tie-dye. Can I use them on wool? I also have a bunch of high-quality, gorgeous, food-color gels. I use them for cake decorating.<br><br>
Any way that I could use them for dyeing wool? I could do some gorgeous colorways with them, if I knew how to make it work! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Before I had my swift, I used kitchen chairs to wind yarn for dyeing. Just set two chairs back to back, I like them close so the yarn makes approx a 2 yard circle around them.<br><br>
After you get it wound, tie the yarn in at least 3 places with some scrap cotton or acrylic yarn. It works best to do a figure-eight where you cross the tie in between the strands of wool. Don't tie too tightly or the dye won't penetrate that spot.<br><br>
After it's dyed and totally dry, loop it back over the chair backs. The you can wind it into center pull balls. Google will get you some great pictorials on that.<br><br>
You can totally dye finished items. The process is pretty much the same. Be careful not to agitate the item or change water temp, so you dont shrink anything.<br><br>
You really can't match dyelots, so I tend to over-estimate. You can use leftovers as trims, or baby socks, preemie hats, etc.<br><br>
I have heard that you can use procion dye. You use vinegar or citric acid instead of soda ash. The color may not come out the same as on cotton, and some of the colors aren't as light-fast or wash-fast (meaning more likely to fade) than the acid dye.<br><br>
People use Wilton's cake dye all the time for wool, and I've used McCormicks food color, so I would imagine you could use icing gel.<br><br>
Probably dissolve it in warm water, and add vinegar or citric acid. I don't know how concentrated the color is, so you'll need to try it out to see how much you need per ounce of wool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ahhh! Bless you, liawbh! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/luxlove.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="throb"> This is exactly what I need....so, I wind the yarn into a large, loose loop sort of thing, using the chairs, then I take the loop and loosely twist it and tie with scrap.<br><br>
When I insert it into the dye, then it stays in the twisted loop, so it won't get tangled, right? But the loop is loose enough for the dye to penetrate completely! Cool! That makes so much sense! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Now, with the food color--I use Wilton gel color for icing, so it's glycerin based. It's pretty deeply concentrated, so I think it would turn out pretty nice....I'm not too afraid to experiment with the colors, I just want to get the process right, KWIM? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Has anyone actually used food coloring for this? I'd love to hear first-hand how it turned out/what you did.<br><br>
I'm thinking I might be better off starting with a finished item for my first dye attempt...less variables to deal with, LOL! I'll just make a sleep sack, so if I do end up felting it a bit, it won't be a big deal. Then I can dye a small amount of yarn in a contrasting color to use for trim, etc.<br><br>
Thanks so much, again! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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here's a pic of some yarn ready to dye:<br><a href="http://www.lunaticcafe.com/koolaid.html" target="_blank">http://www.lunaticcafe.com/koolaid.html</a><br><br>
You don't twist the hank. You should end up with a 1-2 yard loop of yarn that you tie in 4 places.<br><br>
This blog has a good description of how to tie the figure eight ties:<br><a href="http://spaazlicious.blogspot.com/2004_05_01_archive.html" target="_blank">http://spaazlicious.blogspot.com/200...1_archive.html</a>
 
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