What happens with you have a Dye Party?

Eat, Knit and Dye

This weeks installment of Eat, Knit and Dye is a little bit different! A friend of mine has been following along with this blog and was super excited to try out dyeing her own yarn. She graciously invited us over to her house and let us make a mess on her back porch. What I really love about this is how we all used the same colors and the same basic technique, but had such different results.

While I wasn't able to dye any yarn as I was flitting around making sure the dye bottles were filled, I had so much fun seeing what other people did. And they were all awesome about sharing their final products!

For this party, we used Jacquard Acid Dyes in a ratio of 1/8 tsp of dye to 1/2 tsp of citric acid. The water levels varied because we were just eyeballing it. (I say we, but really, I mean me...) The dye was either in a squirt bottle or in a dish with a foam paint brush.
•    Jacquard Chartreuse
•    Jacquard Brilliant Blue
•    Jacquard Violet
•    Jacquard Emerald Green
•    Jacquard Turquoise
•    Jacquard Sun Yellow
•    Jacquard Hot Fuchsia
•    Jacquard Scarlet

The dye was applied to the yarn and wrapped in some plastic wrap before being wrapped in a cinnamon roll and microwaved for 2 minutes + 2 minutes. For more information on this method, check out my post on Lil’ Sharon Rainbow Fade Hand Dyed Yarn.

So without further ado, here is everyone's creations!

Rachael, our awesome host, used Frida for her base. One of our most popular yarns, Frida is is an ultra fine (16 micron) 100% Merino Wool Superwash.

Holly chose HiKoo Rylie in Color 3 (Natural). She's a rock star and has already cast on a new project.

Tiffany and Alex teamed up and created their own rainbow out of Westlyn, a worsted yarn that is 55% Cotton, 16% Bamboo, 8% Silk, and 21% Elastic Nylon.

Roq also chose to use Frida and says this yarn is destined to be a kids sweater. (I'm jealous of that kid, aren't you?)

Kyle upped the ante and brought is out yarn that he had spun from Makers' Wool in Color 03 - Natural. He said it was a fun fiber to work with!

The love for Frida continues, as Kim used it to create her lovely colorway. It's like a tropical vacation and now I want to go to Hawaii.

Pam's colorway out of none other than Frida really reminds me a a tie-dye shirt, and I love it!

And Dawn used two different yarns. The top color way is is made from Sandy, a solid sock yarn that is 75% SW Wool and 25% Nylon. And the bottom colorway is out of...that's right! You guessed it! Frida!

Everyone made such beautiful yarns, and I can't wait to see them all knitted up!

And speaking of knitted up, I finished my first sweater! It is the Flax by TinCanKnits. The main color is HiKoo Simplinatural in Color 133 - Vibrant Cerulean. The band is one of my very first dye projects. I used Simplinatural in Color 03 - Natural which I dyed with Jacquard Cherry Red, Sun Yellow and Golden Yellow. I'm super pleased how it turn out, and I've already started 2 (!!!) new sweaters. One of which will be using the Frida Rainbow Gradient from my very first post! I plan using the Ola Yoke by Ella Gordon and the rainbow will be the colorwork flowers. I should be finished by New Years. I hope!

Stay tuned for next week where I try a new slow immersion technique!

Ready to make your unique colorway? Hop on over to Makers' Mercantile® and pick up your undyed yarn and supplies. We can’t wait to see what you make, so tag us on social media with #makersmercantile!

About Tara
Tara Warburton is the graphic designer for Makers' Mercantile® and a fine artist. She specializes in watercolor and colored pencil illustrations. She lives with her two cats, who are not helpful when knitting.

Tara Warburton's Frost Fairy

Dolores Volcano Hand-Dyed

Eat, Knit and Dye

When I heard that Kyle Kunnecke of Kyle William was going to be running a Knit Along in August, I was intrigued. And when I saw the clever Knit Knit Cowl, I just knew I had to try it out as my very first colorwork piece. So I decided to mingle my excitement for this Knit Along with my enjoyment of yarn dyeing.

This week, I used the undyed yarn Dolores. It’s an 80% Merino Superwash Wool and 20% Viscose from Bamboo mix, making it a perfect match for HiKoo® Sueño (the yarn being used in the Knit Along.) For the main color of the cowl, I selected Cantaloupe in Sueño, and for the contrast color, that’s where things get fun.

With my old beat-up pan, respirator and Jacquard acid dyes, I set to work. First, I filled up the pan with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp of citric acid and heated this mixture to just below simmering. Then I mixed the colors, using 5 different mixes for the dip dyeing.

•    Mix 1 – 1/8 tsp Jacquard Pink
•    Mix 2 - 1/16 tsp of Jacquard Russet Red + 1/16 tsp of Cherry Red
•    Mix 3 – 1/8 tsp of Jacquard Violet
•    Mix 4 – Leftover mix from a different project of Jacquard Fire Red, Violet, Periwinkle, and Jet Black
•    Mix 5 – Leftover mix from a different project of Jacquard Hot Fuchsia and Fire Red

I grabbed the yarn around the middle of the hank and let the ends fall from my hands into the dye pot. From there, I used a dip-dye method that I have also used for the Stella Dip Dye and the Sadie Fiery Sunset. I’m just holding the yarn hank differently. I kept dipping the yarn into the dye until it exhausted, and the water ran clear.

Once that did, I rotated the center of the yarn hank so the already dipped area moved to one side, and I could dip the undyed ends into the pot. And I repeated the dip-dye steps until the dye exhausted.

Can you guess what the next steps were? Yep! You guessed it! Turn and repeat the dyeing until all the yarn has been dyed. I have to admit that in some areas, the dye didn’t exhaust, so I poured the remaining dye stock into a glass jar and added more water and citric acid into the pot. I’m saving that dye stock for other projects.

Knowing that this project was going to be used in colorwork, I was extra-worried about bleeding. So after all the yarn had been dyed and it had cooled, I rinsed it extra well. I noticed the water just wasn’t running clear. So I put more water and 1 tbsp of citric acid back into the pot and added the yarn back in. I slowly brought the yarn to a temperature just before simmering and watched the dye pot fill with extra dye from the hank. After a bit, the dye exhausted and I let it cool in the pot overnight.

In the morning, I washed the yarn one last time in cold water with clear dish soap and then let it hang outside to dry.

Lessons Learned
•    There is always a ton of dye left if the dye pot isn’t fully exhausted.
•    Dolores is 20% viscose from bamboo and bamboo fibers don’t take acid dye. This means Dolores isn’t going to be able to have the clear, bright colors of wool yarn. But I like the effect it gives. It is supersaturated but there isn’t as much vibrancy.

Now I just need for the Knit Along to start and the pattern to release and I’m ready to start knitting. Want to knit along with me? Grab a hank of Dolores and get dyeing! Love the idea, but aren’t ready to make your own colorway? There is still a handful of limited edition Hand-Dyed Sueño left.   Sueño comes in tonal colors too! Lavender Fields is my particular favorite.

Stay tuned for next week where I step back and show you what happens when you have a yarn dyeing party!

Ready to make your unique colorway? Hop on over to Makers' Mercantile® and pick up your undyed yarn and supplies. We can’t wait to see what you make, so tag us on social media with #makersmercantile!

About Tara
Tara Warburton is the former graphic designer for Makers' Mercantile® and a fine artist. She specializes in watercolor and colored pencil illustrations. She lives with her two cats, who are not helpful when knitting.

Tara Warburton's Frost Fairy

Introducing Flair Needles and Hooks

Colored with a natural lacquer infused with vegetable dyes, by highly skilled craftsmen, the range of Pony Flair knitting and crochet tools is truly unique. The techniques used in their manufacture can find their origins in ancient Persia, where artisans were invited to India to make exclusive products for the local population. The craft set down its roots in India where it flourished for many years. Recently, the knowledge of this very special and rare technique is endangered. The original craft in its original form, only exists today in one tiny part of India, where a few craftsmen continue to preserve the craft by handing the knowledge down from generation to generation.

The production of Pony Flair knitting needles and crochet hooks is adding valuable income to this small community of traditional craftsmen. The pigmented lacquer is applied to each product by hand, using special flexible leaf fibers. Every item is unique and the beauty is a result of the years of experience in developing this exquisite skill.

Each piece is crafted of sustainable, high quality, German Maple. The sizes are measured in millimeters, the most accurate way to gauge knitting and crochet tools. (Remember, U.S. sizes are always approximate and vary from one brand to the next).

We invite you to explore this new artistic line of fiber arts tools. Click on a button below to be directed to a product range.

Whidbey Forest Hand Dyed Gradient

Eat, Knit and Dye

Have you heard about the new yarn Whidbey? I hope so. YarnYay! included a special colorway in one of their boxes, and now that the full line of colors are available, there is a Yarn Tasting Party in-store at Makers' Mercantile® on July 20th.  But did you know it also has an undyed version? It does! That means if you love this yarn AND want a custom colorway, you can have your (yarn) cake and eat it too!

If you haven’t heard about Whidbey, it’s a DK / light worsted weight in a 47% Bamboo, 37% Superwash Merino and 16% Nylon blend. Want to learn more? Check out this article telling you more about the yarn and its colorways.

Remember when I dyed the long gradient on our Frida yan base? I was anxious to try another gradient. Instead of making my string of mini-skeins, I decided to make my sock blank using the addi Express in the small size. It is easy to set up, and I anchored it to my kitchen counter.

With easy turning of the handle, I was able to create this nice long tube of fabric in about 15 minutes. I prefer this method over the mini-skeins because it not only saved a ton of time, but it also has such nice even stitches, so I know that any gradient I lay down can be even, and so I don’t end up with too much of one color and not enough of another.

In keeping with the Pacific Northwest color theme, I thought about all of my childhood summers growing up here. My parents and I would frequently go for long hikes through the forests, and I think our forests are some of the most beautiful places in the world. So my gradient will include the bright green of moss, the forest green of the fir tree boughs, and the dark brown of the earth and tree bark.

To accomplish this, I mixed up three jars of color. Each jar contains a ¾ cup of water and 1/8 tsp of citric acid. And I used our trusty Jacquard Acid Dyes.
•    1/8 tsp of Jacquard Chartreuse
•    1/16 tsp of Jacquard Spruce and 1/16 tsp of Emerald
•    1/8 tsp of Jacquard Brown

I filled three 60 ml syringes with 30 ml of each color. Then I filled one syringe with 30 ml of Chartreuse and 30 ml of the forest green mixture, and another syringe with 30 ml of forest green and Brown.

Laying the sock blank flat on top of some plastic wrap, I started adding the dye from the syringes. I just squirted the dye back and forth, not worrying about making sure the area wasn’t 100% saturated with dye. I also did my best not to overlap the colors at this point. I just eyeballed it, but you can also measure off the sections before you start and loosely tie embroidery floss around a single stitch to mark your section.

If you want to be more precise with the size of the color stripes, put a piece of paper with lines drawn on it under the plastic wrap spaced at whatever dimension you wish. That will help show you where to begin and end each color section. Perhaps I'll do that in another post for you.

To mix the sections where two colors meet, I added a smidge more of each spring at the section lines, then pressed down on the yarn tube to squish out the excess dye and smoothly mix the colors. Next, I pressed down along the entire length of the tube (warning! If you are following along as home, make sure you check the dye on your gloves. You don’t want brown getting into your chartreuse!). This not only mixes the colors but makes sure the yarn is fully saturated with dye all the way through, so I don’t get white spots.

Since you're working with a series of colors, work from light to dark  to reduce the chances of putting colors where you don't want it to be.

Next up is the making of a cinnamon roll! Fold the plastic wrap over the yarn tube and loosely roll it up just like a cinnamon roll (though not as tasty). Using a dye dedicated plate, I popped it into the microwave for 2 minutes. Let it rest for a few seconds, then microwaved it for another 2 minutes. The plastic wrap will probably puff up a bit and some of the dye might leak out. I find it harder to exhaust dye (where the water goes clear) using the microwave method. It isn't the gentlest method to set dye, but it works!

Using some tongs, I put the yarn wrap into my sink and let it cool down. When the outside was cold enough to handle, I unwrapped the roll and let it cool to room temperature. I washed the yarn in cold water with some clear dish soap and was pleased to find the water was surprisingly clear. And out on the porch, it went to dry.

Last up was winding the ball to see the gorgeous gradient. The nice thing about a sock blank is it unravels quickly and easily. So unlike the mini-hanks from Frida, this process took the same amount of time that it does to unwind any hank of yarn into a ball.

Remember to wait until your yarn is totally dry before winding it into a ball or cake.

And here is the finished gradient in all its glory! I’m super pleased because this turned out exactly the way I thought it would (that rarely happens!) I like how the bamboo strands didn’t take any dye and makes it seem a bit more rustic. Why did that happen? Well, acid dyes are specifically for protein fibers (wool, silk, etc). You need a different type of dye for cellulose fibers (bamboo, cotton, linen, etc).

I’m super stoked to knit this up. Wouldn't this be super cute in Coupeville Hat pattern by Kyle Kunnecke? Then I can wear my Forest Gradient hat while hiking in the forest!

And guess what? Makers’ Mercantile has restocked all their undyed yarn, so head on over there and pick up some yarn! Why do I like their undyed yarn? Because its all super high quality, and a large portion of it has a Oeko-Tex rating of 100. Learn more about Oeko-Tex by visiting their website.

Stay tuned for next week where I prepare some yarn for the August Knit Knit Cowl Knit Along!

Ready to make your unique colorway? Hop on over to Makers' Mercantile® and pick up your undyed yarn and supplies. We can’t wait to see what you make, so tag us on social media with #makersmercantile!

About Tara
Tara Warburton is the former graphic designer for Makers' Mercantile® and a fine artist. She specializes in watercolor and colored pencil illustrations. She lives with her two cats, who are not helpful when knitting.

Tara Warburton's Frost Fairy

The Story of Whidbey by Gauge Yarns™

Gauge Yarns™ by Makers’ Mercantile® finds its inspiration in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We are proud to welcome Whidbey as the first in this fabulous fiber line!

Welcome to the "Upper Left" corner of the United States.

Whidbey was made to keep you warm during those chilly PNW mornings, and cool during the warm afternoons. We achieved this by creating a blend of Bamboo, Superwash Merino, surrounded by a chainette of Nylon.

Whidbey Island is home to the most-visited state park in Washington: Deception Pass. With its mysterious coves, rugged cliffs, jaw-dropping sunsets, and an awe-inspiring high bridge, it's a bucket list destination for locals and international travelers alike. Whidbey Island is alive with color, and that is something we wanted to reflect in Whidbey's colorways.

We present to you a lively group of tonal colors, inspired by the local flare. You’ll find our colors have been inspired by pebbles, herons, driftwood, seaglass, the Puget Sound, starfish and loganberries, plus our bonus multi-color called Island, which incorporates a combination of all of our tonal colors into one. A perfect blending colorway!

Photo: Sara Codair

Seaglass

Photo: Logan Popoff

Starfish


Photo: Hannah Dickens

Pebble

Photo: Tyler B

Heron

Photo: Matthew Schwartz

Driftwood

Photo: Jessie Chou

Puget

Photo: Garry Knight

loganberry

island

We cannot wait to see what you create with our yarn! Be sure to tag @MakersMercantile in your social media posts using the hashtag #WhidbeyYarn so that we can follow your progress!

Need some inspiration on what to make? we have patterns!

Coupeville Hat
by Kyle Kunnecke

Chain to Nowhere Cowl
 by Makers’ Mercantile®

Scale Fingerless Mitts
by Nathan Grisham

Kyle William August 2019 Knit-Along

Kyle William's Knit Knit Cowl Knit-Along
Featuring HiKoo® Sueño 

You love to knit. I love to knit. We all love to Knit! Join Kyle Kunnecke for the Knit Knit Cowl Knit-Along the entire month of August! This project is worked using two hanks of HiKoo® Sueño , a lovely yarn made of 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Viscose from Bamboo. 

1. Download the pattern on Ravelry
2. The Knit-Along begins on August 8th
3. Join the discussion on Ravelry
4. Enter the contest through skacel

Project

Proclaim your love for the craft with the Knit Knit cowl. Designed with an easy-to-follow chart, follow the letters as each row repeats the in-the-round mantra of knitters everywhere!

Once in a while, the letters line up for a vertical “Knit” as well! This project requires knitting knowledge including: provisional cast on , knit/purl, reading charts, increase/decrease, and simple finishing; all on circular needles.

Materials

Materials

HiKoo® Sueño 

2 hanks in contrasting colors

Finished Size

7” high x 26” diameter

Needles

Gauge

28 stitches and 26 rounds = 4” in pattern

Notions

Yarn

HiKoo® Sueño is a DK weight Peruvian yarn is a blend of soft superwash merino and bamboo, and is made with strength and wearability in mind. The perfect amount of spring makes knitting with it a pleasure, and allows for a variety of suitable gauges.

Fiber Content

80% Superwash Merino Wool, 20% Viscose from Bamboo

Yardage / Weight

100 grams

Approximately 255 yds (233 m)

Gauge

US 3-7 needles

3.25-4.5mm needles

Approx. 5 - 6 sts per inch

Care Instructions

Machine wash cold, dry flat

Tutorial Videos

Possible Color Combinations

Stella Dip Dye

Eat, Knit and Dye

For this week’s installment of Eat, Knit & Dye, I have selected the undyed yarn Stella, which has been bleached & steamed to give it a whiter base than most undyed yarns. This sock yarn is a blend of 75% Wool and 25% Nylon. Out of all the undyed yarns Makers' Mercantile® carries, this is the one the brightest white, and I wanted to try and keep some of that undyed.

I really like the color combination of yellow, green and blue. I figured that dip dyeing would be a fun method to achieve the bands of colors with some blending I was hoping to get. I once again used Jacquard Acid Dyes, which I added in powder form directly to the dye pot. The dye pot was filled with 4 cups of water and 1 tsp of citric acid to start.

I used 5 different colors for this colorway. Here is the recipe:
•    1/4 tsp of Jacquard Sun Yellow
•    1/8 tsp of Jacquard Chartreuse
•    1/4 tsp of Jacquard Sun Yellow + 1/8 tsp Turquoise
•    1/8 tsp of Jacquard Turquoise
•    1/8 tsp of Jacquard Sapphire

As a reminder of safety, everything I have used is used only for dyeing as acid dyes are not food safe. And when dealing with the dye powders I wear a super styling respirator to protect my lungs. I tied the yarn with figure 8s using embroidery floss and soaked it in water for an hour prior to dyeing. Remember when soaking yarn to just lay it into the liquid and let is sink on its own. If you push the yarn down into the liquid, it gets wet on the outside, but the center part of the yarn might not. Pushing the yarn makes an air pocket in the fibers of the yarn. We don't want that. 

To get started, I filled the pot up with the water, citric acid, and yellow dye, and brought it to a temperature right before simmering. To protect the undyed portion of the hank, I held it in my hand and looped the rest of the hank over my arm and wrist. I dipped only the portion of the hank I wanted to get dyed into the pot and swished it around gently to make sure dye was penetrating throughout the hank.

I knew that it was going to take a bit of time for the dye to exhaust, so I stacked it over the edge of the pot and let the excess rest on a plate. This kept my arm from getting tired while I waited for all the dye to be absorbed and the water to turn clear (aka exhausting). And you might notice in some of the pictures you can see the Leslie Alpenglow yarn on the right. So I worked on that at the same time.

I progressed through the rest of the colors in the same manner. Adding the powdered dye to the dye pot, mixing it in until it was dissolved, and then dipping the yarn. I did have to refill the water several times as a lot of it was absorbed by the yarn. I didn’t take pictures because it was pretty self-explanatory, but I do have this image of the last color just hanging out and waiting for the dye to exhaust.

After the last of the dye exhausted, I let the yarn cool to room temperature. I rinsed it in cold water, making sure to keep the undyed section on top so no excess dye didn’t accidentally get on the fibers. I also washed the yarn in clear dish soap. And the yarn went out to dry.

This is a fun and cheerful colorway. I think it would make a great pair of socks. You could combine it with ​Zitron Trekking XXL or Trekking Sport if you want to have stripes, or perhaps different colored toes and heels.

What I learned:
•    The dye takes a long time to exhaust. I should have used less dye to start with.
•    No matter how hard you try to keep an undyed portion uncovered, somehow some dye might sneak in. I think I had a smidge of green left on my gloves.

Stay tuned for next week where I try something else fun. I don’t know what it will be because I’ll be dyeing up a storm this weekend!

Ready to make your own unique colorway? Hop on over to Makers' Mercantile® and pick up your undyed yarn and supplies. We can’t wait to see what you make, so tag us on social media with #makersmercantile!

About Tara
Tara Warburton is the former graphic designer for Makers' Mercantile® and a fine artist. She specializes in watercolor and colored pencil illustrations. She lives with her two cats, who are not helpful when knitting.

Tara Warburton's Frost Fairy

Felicia Northern Lights Hand Dyeing

Eat, Knit and Dye

I have never seen the Northern Lights in real life, but I really really REALLY want to. I love how the neon colors fill the night sky, and nature puts on a light show. I’m looking into vacations to Iceland specifically so I can see the Northern Lights. Plus, the pictures in Midgard by Stephen West & Cirilia Rose show how beautiful Reykjavik is. This is a bucket list sort of vacation.

This week I am working with the undyed yarn, Felicia. It is a blend of 65% Merino Extrafine and 35% Mulberry Silk and is quite luxurious to work with, and a delight to dye. I have to admit, I kept admiring the feel of the yarn.

I once again used the lovely Jacquard Acid Dyes. For this yarn, I mixed the dyes up in condiment bottles, all using 3 ounces of water.
•    ¼ tsp Jacquard Hot Fuchsia
•    ¼ tsp Jacquard Turquoise and 1/8 tsp Sky Blue
•    ¼ tsp Jacquard Brilliant Kelly Green
•    ¼ tsp Jacquard Violet
•    ¼ tsp Jacquard Jet Black
•    ¼ tsp Jacquard Chartreuse

Photograph by Landon Arnold

I presoaked the yarn in a bowl of water for an hour prior to dyeing. For this experiment, I used the funky brownie edge pan, but I think if I were to try this again in the future, I would use the saran wrap method from the Rainbow Fade Set or the dip dye method from the Fiery Sunset. I’ll explain why in a moment.

I filled the pan with water and 1 tbsp of citric acid and added in the yarn. I tried to make sure the yarn was submerged as much as possible. The pan is spread across two burners and the heat on low. The water should be just before simmering.

And the weekly safety note: everything you see here is dedicated to dyeing as acid dyes are not food safe. And wear a respirator when working with the powdered dye, as there is no need to dye your lungs.

Once the water was at my desired temperature, I slowly started adding the dye stock both directly to the yarn and the water surrounding it. And wow, did the dye strike quickly. I’m sure it is because I used way too much acid. The dye didn’t have time to circulate in the pan and the insides of the skein didn’t get any dye to penetrate. I’ve also found that the brownie pan is a fairly narrow channel for the yarn, and it just doesn’t let the water circulate.

In attempt to get all the yarn colored, I just kept sifting through the yarn strands with a prong and adding in more dye stock to the bare areas. I had to spend a lot of time with this skein to make sure the dye penetrated all the way inside the skein, but it still did turn out blotchy. I can work with this since the inspiration is the Northern Lights and I’ll just call the white spots stars (also known as a “design feature.”) Despite its flaws, I’m still happy with it, and I certainly learned a lot with this one.

Lessons learned:
•    I used too much citric acid, and the dye struck too fast. I should have kept the acid levels lower.
•    I like the brownie pan, but I think it’s better for different techniques. I want to try more long gradients and yarn where the undyed part is part of the design.

I think I might have to keep with my Icelandic theme and knit up a lopapeysa sweater. This yarn would pair well with Zitron Seidenstrasse.

Stay tuned for next week where I try my hand at dip dyeing and keeping part of the yarn undyed!

Ready to make your own unique colorway? Hop on over to Makers’ Mercantile and pick up your undyed yarn and supplies. We can’t wait to see what you make, so tag us on social media with #makersmercantile!

About Tara
Tara Warburton is the former graphic designer for Makers' Mercantile® and a fine artist. She specializes in watercolor and colored pencil illustrations. She lives with her two cats, who are not helpful when knitting.

Tara Warburton's Frost Fairy