Pinwheel Dyeing Technique
Soak your Kinky Yarn in 4 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of citric acid. Use your hand to push all the coil down into the water to make sure it is fully submerged.
You may wish to wear gloves during this point. The acid is not strong, but it can sting if you have a paper cut.
Optional: Have cat inspect your work.
After the 30 minutes has gone by, gently squeeze out the excess water and use an old towel to press out even more.
Cover you work surface in plastic wrap.
Snap on your gloves and mix up your Jacquard Acid dyes. (Don't worry, they don't have acid in them. They need the weak acid like citric acid or white vinegar to set the pigment.) Additionally, you will want to put on a mask for this step. The dye is a fine pigment powder and you don't want to breathe it.
Remember, acid dye is not food safe, so keep your tools separate from your eating utensils.
Using the squirt bottles, apply color in triangular wedges, making sure the different colors don't touch. I know once the colors touch they will start mixing and I want to control when that happens.
Carefully start overlapping the different colors of dye. Also, remember that Kinky Yarn is a bulky weight and the dye will have a lot of fiber to work through. You will want to make sure you get dye on the edges of the coil.
Be sure to check the inside of the coils for dye saturation as well. I know that the inside coils are tighter, and less dye is filtering down the coils. But because the the inner coils will also have shorter runs of color, I like that it will have a larger undyed portion. I think it will balance out of the look.
The color gradients have pretty hard edges at this point. If you like that style, move on to the next step. I wanted a bit more of a smooth face, so I took the remaining 1 ounce of mixed dye and added 3 ounces of water. Using the diluted dye, I went over where the colors mixed and the gradient smoothed out.
At this point, the Kinky Yarn coil is super saturated with water, and instead of absorbing, is just becoming a puddle. Gentle pick up your yarn and over the sink, squeeze out as much water as you can while retaining the coil shape.
You'll also notice that the bottom of your Kinky Yarn coil doesn't have a lot of dye saturation. Using a towel, wipe up any dye on the plastic wrap, and flip over your coil. Then repeat the same process to dye this portion of your coil.
Wrap up your coil in plastic wrap. Add extra if you think its not water tight. Place it on a dye dedicated plate and microwave it for 4 minutes. Using tongs, check to see if the water is clear at the bottom of the wrap. If its not, microwave it for another 3 minutes.
Remove from microwave and allow to cool. You will need to uncoil the yarn to make sure all of it cools to room temperature.
Gently wash with clear dish soap the coil. This will dislodge any dye that didn't adhere and wash out the citric acid. Rinse and squeeze out as much water as you can.
Layout your yarn on an old towel (and squeal with joy over the pretty colors) and pat dry to remove even more excess water.