Tutorial: Dyeing Self-Striping Yarn
You will need:
Some pure wool yarn in a light colour (I am using 2 x 100g of white 4ply bendigo wool)
lots of microwave proof glass dishes
lots of glass dishes for mixing colours
A paintbrush or two
An empty house or a friend who is fibre-mad
Some self-striping yarn you like (optional)
Pull out a section of self-striping yarn til you have the full section you want to repeat (I am using patonyle, so i pulled out one stripe of orange, a pink faux-fair-isle section, a yellow bit and another pink fair isle bit). Tie this section into a loop.
Stretch this loop over the backs of your two chairs (this is where a nice long corridoor helps). This is how long your skein has to be! Now you have to wrap your yarn around these two chairs (if you have one of those thingies that counts your steps you could pretend you are working out as you walk around and around those chairs). if you have a centre-pulling ball this is much easier. You may want to draw your curtains- your neighbours will NOT think this is normal behaviour. Make sure you tie your skein in lots of places -it will be a total bitch if it gets tangled.
Step 3: Look at your piece of original yarn. tie off the super-skein at the points where you want the stripes to start and end. as long as you give about two metres of yarn per colour you will get stripes so you can get a bit creative. Use a different coloured yarn to tie of for the stripes or you might get confused with the fastening ties. Step 4: Soak your super skein in white vinegar for at least 30 minutes. this is your mordant which sets the dye, so you want it to be really saturated to maintain the colour. Step 5: Assemble the usual suspects. At this point you can sort out the colours you want and dilute them in water accordingly. dripping a bit on a tissue will give a good indication of the sort of colour you will get. Step 6: Divy out your sections of tied off skein into different glass containers and dye. For the faux-fair-isle bits i've found a wash of a pale colour and then painting spots of darker colours on top. this bit can be as messy as you like. Step 7: trying to not corrupt the different colour sections, transfer your super-skein into another glass dish. Step 8: Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Step 9: cool. (fork is optional if you feel it looks like very bright spaghetti) Step 10: Microwave a further 5 minutes. Tip into the sink and rinse in cold water until cool. wring out excess water.
Step 11: dry. Step 12: sadly you must now spread super-skein across your chairs again to ball up/wind into a manageable skein. if you have a niddy-noddy this may be easier.
The finished product!:
The bottom one is a rainbow ('Lorikeet') and the top is dark pink and green stripes interspersed with a pale aqua faux-fair-isle section ('Peppermint Twist').
NB: WEAR GLOVES!!
Have fun, knit on
Ms Spider xo