Whidbey Blood Orange Gradient

Eat, Knit and Dye

While I have written at length about Jacquard Acid Dyes, did you know that Makers’ Mercantile carries another brand of acid dye as well? Wool Tinctures are these super cool little kits that come with the dye and citric acid in easy to use packages.

Fun fact: Wool Tinctures are from Whidbey Island here in Washington. So, in honor of that, my base this week is undyed Whidbey from Gauge Yarns. This Makers’ Mercantile exclusive is made from 47% Bamboo, 37% Superwash Merino, and 16% Nylon. I’ve dyed this yarn before – check out the Whidbey Forest Gradient. And in sticking with gradients, this time I’m going to try a variegated gradient.

The awesome thing about Wool Tinctures is how easy they are to use. The dye and the citric acid come in individual tea packets, which means you don’t need to wear a respirator. I’d still use dye dedicated pots and utensils though. I chose the color Blood Orange, which is an orangey-red color judging from the swatch in our store.

I dropped the dye powder dye bag into the water and let it start to dissolve. I opted to remove the citric acid from its pouch, but you could just drop it into the dye bath as well.

While the dye did its thing, I prepared the yarn skein for dyeing. I left the yarn dry, but I did put it on a shower ring. I’ve found that the shower ring not only makes dipping easier, it also keeps the yarn from tangling. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Now that the dye was dissolved, and my yarn was ready to go, I turned on the heat. While the water was starting to heat up, I dipped just the end of the hank into the water. This step was repeated multiple times as I gradually dipped the yarn further and further into the dye. I stopped at ¾ of the way up the hank.

To get one end supersaturated with dye, I hung a pants hanger from my upper cabinet, and looped the shower ring onto it (see! That thing is totally helpful!). From here, I just let the ends soak up more dye. Every once and while I would re-dip the yarn, making sure I had a smooth gradient.

At this time, I needed to make sure the remaining ¼ of the hank was also dipped into the dye bath. I decided to do it at this stage because I wanted it to be a light color and if I had dipped it earlier, there would be too much dye in the pot and it would over saturate my color.

Once I had gotten almost to the color that I wanted, I took the dye packet out of the water and let the remainder of the dye exhaust and the dye bath turned clear. All that was left after that was to let the yarn cool, rinse it, and hang it up to dry.

I’m loving the fade of colors and the different shades of gradient that was achieved. From the light pink to the deep red, it’s a beautiful colorway to add to my ever-increasing stash of yarn.

Although (Shh! It’s a secret!) there is a new shawl pattern for Whidbey that will be coming out in the next couple of weeks. It calls for two balls, so I could combine this new one-of-a-kind colorway with Whidbey Island. I’ll let you all know when it’s out!

Stay tuned for next week where we try an experiment it a light color base and a light grey base. How will it look different? I can’t wait to find out!

Don't forget there is a coupon code for Jacquard Acid Dyes! Just enter JACQUARD15 at check out and receive 15% off Jacquard Acid Dyes through August 31, 2019.

And last but not least, there are still a handful of the Oxford Crochet Basket Kits available!  This is the yarn that I used for the Dali Inspired Gradient Basket.  Get yours before it they are all gone!

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

Dominique Ice Dyeing

Eat, Knit and Dye

The sun is shining in Kent, WA. I know its summer and all, but sunshine isn’t a regular feature this time of the year in Western Washington. I’m so excited for fall to get here, but I figured I’d use some of the last days of summer to try an ice dyeing experiment. I’ve tried the technique on fabric and quite liked the results, but I have no idea how it will translate to yarn.

First things first, we need the yarn. For this week I chose Dominique, a DK weight that is slightly felted, single-ply, and 100% Merino Wool. My hope is this single-ply wool will show a bunch of color variation on the strand, and I didn’t want that to get lost in any plies.

I started with just the bare, dry yarn. The hank was wound with a wider diameter then some of the other undyed yarns we carry, so I was able to pile it into my pot in a random, haphazard manner.

I acquired a bag of ice from the grocery store. (You could use ice from your freezer, but I don’t have an ice maker and I wasn’t going to make a bazillion ice cubes. Because I am impatient.) I dumped a three-inch layer of ice on top of the yarn.

And out to my deck I went. I filled up some salt shakers with salt and dye powders. I used Jacquard Acid dyes in Hot Fuchsia, Turquoise, and Brilliant Blue. The salt was used because, in watercolor painting, the salt absorbs the pigment and leaves cool little splotches. I wanted to see if it did anything on the yarn. (Spoiler alert: You can skip this step!)

I liberally sprinkled the dye powder all over the ice, concentrating the colors in certain areas. I topped the dye powder off with a handful of citric acid sprinkled all over the dye. If you want to try this, I recommend doing this outdoors because the dye powder gets everywhere. And remember, wear a respirator and only use dye dedicated pots and utensils.

Last but not least, I put a huge chunk of ice on top of the whole thing. Then I went inside to get out of the sun. What? I’m a Washingtonian! I can’t handle sunshine for longer than 5 minutes.

And I just let the ice melt all day long. When I went outside to check on the yarn several hours later I kind of panicked. The ice had all melted, and the part of the yarn was all submerged, but the water had turned a dark purple color. But I reminded myself it’s just an experiment, and dark purple yarn is pretty too.

I took the pot back inside and put it on the burner. Water was added and the yarn was fully submerged.I turned on the heat, brought it up to nearly simmering and let the dye exhaust. This is where the water turns clear. It means the dye has been absorbed and set into the yarn. And this is where I did a happy dance.

And that's a shower ring I put around the hank.  I've found they cut down on tangling significantly when kettle dyeing.

Despite the dark purple water, there were all sorts of variation all over the yarn. It’s gorgeous and exactly what I was hoping for, and this was a good reminder to me to not give up and to just push through. I’m pretty excited this was a success. Now I want to try snow dyeing. But I have a feeling I’m going to have to wait for a long time for that!

Dominique is a fun yarn and would pair really well with Schoppel-Wolle Reggae in Ombre, Mélange, Print, or Solids. I might pair this with color Ombre 1505 (because I am a sucker for rainbow) or maybe Ombre 1536 to really get that contrast between the purple/yellow and orange/blue. But I think the real winner is Ombre 2095. I love how the pink and purple are a close match to my dyed yarn and blue/red is always a stunning combo. What do you think?

Join me next week where we are going to check out a different brand of acid dye and a variegated gradient!

And don't forget there is a coupon code for Jacquard Acid Dyes! Just enter JACQUARD15 at check out and receive 15% off Jacquard Acid Dyes through August 31, 2019.

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

September 2019 KAL with CraSy Sylvie Rasch

Join us this September for a KAL with Crasy˜ Sylvie Rasch!

Best known in North America as the inventor behind the addi® FlexiFlips (or Crasy Trio as they’re known abroad), Sylvie is also a prolific designer and online personality!

As always, there will be an opportunity to in skacel sponsored prizes at the end of the KAL!

See you on September 5, 2019 when the first part of the pattern will be available to download on skacel's website, and Ravelry.

Project

Sylvie designed these lovely Fan Dance socks, featuring wool-free HiKoo® CoBaSi.  Shown in both a solid and tonal colorway of CoBaSi, you could customize them even further by using a contrasting color for the toes and heels (optional).

While this project is not a mystery, the pattern will be released in parts over 4 consecutive weeks, beginning September 5, 2019. Sylvie will also be releasing helpful video tutorials along the way.

Materials

Materials

HiKoo® CoBaSi - 2 Hanks

Finished Size

Average Adult Foot

Needles

2.25mm addi® FlexiFlips, or size to obtain gauge

Gauge

30 sts and 42 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch

Notions

Yarn

HiKoo® CoBaSi  is a wool-free sock yarn - a cotton, viscose from bamboo and silk blend with elastic nylon for a gentle on the hands wool-like stretch. Soft and machine washable, this is a go-to for a variety of hardy garments. 

Fiber Content

55% Cotton, 16% Viscose from Bamboo, 8% Silk, 21% Elastic Nylon

Yardage / Weight

220 yards per 50 gram skein

Gauge

US 1-4 / 2.5-3.5 mm needles 

6.5-8 sts per inch

Care Instructions

Machine wash cold, dry flat

Oxford Dali Inspired Gradient

Eat, Knit and Dye

I know last week I promised a post on ice dyeing, but that’s just going to have to wait! One of the things I do for Makers’ Mercantile as a Graphic Designer is pattern formatting... which means I get to see all the patterns before they get released. And when the pattern for this crochet basket crossed my desk, I was hooked. (Yeah, I know, it’s a terrible pun.) Makers’ Mercantile is releasing this super cool kit that includes everything you need to make this basket, featuring Schoppel Oxford yarn.

I’ve been obsessed with Oxford and wanting to use it in a project. Its super-duper chunky nature makes it a natural for home goods. I’ve been wanting to try a crochet pattern, and I had just joined a Make-Along group on Ravelry called “Gorgeous Gradients”. Everything just fell into place and I knew this was the right time for me to do this project.

First things first. To get a gradient, I decided the easiest way would be to make my hank of Oxford into an i-cord. Using an addi Turbo in size US 19 (19!!!!!), I knit 5 stitches, and then slid the work back across the needles, never turning the work. Bonus: now I know how to make rope when the Zombie Apocalypse happens.

The hardest part of making the i-cord was the ridiculously cute cat who clearly wanted my attention. At least he wasn’t trying to "help"!

Once the i-cord was finished, I soaked the yarn in a basin of cold water and Synthrapol for 16 hours. Why so long? First, I wanted to make sure the yarn was thoroughly saturated because I didn’t want any undyed spots. Second, it was time to go to bed and then to work.

Because the MAL I am participating in is called a “Work of Art”, I needed to select a piece of artwork from a master. I chose Knights of Death by Salvador Dali. A grisly name for a beautifully colored piece. To match those colors, I used Jacquard Acid Dye in little glass spice jars.
  · 1/8 tsp Jacquard Fire Red
  · 1/8 tsp Jacquard Jet Black
  · 1/8 tsp Jacquard Brilliant Blue
  · 1/16 tsp Jacquard Brilliant Blue + 1/16 tsp Turquoise
  · 1/16 tsp Jacquard Turquoise + 1/16 tsp of Kelly Green
  · 1/16 tsp Jacquard Kelly Green
  · 1/16 tsp Jacquard Kelly Green + 1/8 tsp Sun Yellow

Before I got down to the fun part of dyeing, I needed to do all the prep work. I drained the water from the yarn and wrung it out about fifty billion times. Then for extra good measure, I wrapped the yarn in three towels and walked all over it. It’s amazing how much water that yarn can hold. Lastly, I prepped my counter by completely covering it in layers of plastic wrap.

I arranged the yarn in a zig-zag of 7 rows to match the 7 jars of dye I mixed up. This helps me know which jar goes with which row.

To apply, I used a syringe to squirt the dye on the middle section of each row. To make sure I got the i-cord thoroughly saturated, I applied dye on each side and lightly massaged it. Also, I washed my gloved hands between each color to make sure the color didn’t transfer.

I left the loops of the zig-zag undyed. This is where the gradient blending between colors is going to happen.

To achieve that, I squirted a heavy amount of the dye color (Color A) at the start of the bare area next to Color A, then applied less and less dye as I moved towards the next color (Color B). Then I went in the opposite direction, starting Color B heavily in the Color B area, and then less dye as it meets up with Color A. Once I was satisfied with the dye distribution, I massaged it all together, creating a lovely blend of color.

Next, I figured out how I was going to heat set this massive amount of yarn AND make sure the colors didn’t run together. I added a layer of plastic wrap over the yarn i-cord making sure the plastic wrap top layer was pushed down to the bottom layer, sandwiching the yarn.

Slowly, I peeled up the plastic wrap and started folding it over its self. This created a long flat package.

And finally, I folded the packet into thirds, so it would fit on a plate. Being extra paranoid, I wrapped the package in more plastic wrap. I popped it into the microwave for 2 minutes. I let it rest for 15 seconds, then microwaved it for 2 minutes. I repeated this one more time for a total of six minutes. Then I let it cool for hours because handling the steamy wet wool can cause felting.

From previous experience, I was learned that for me, the microwave method doesn’t always exhaust the dye and there would be a lot of dye left in the yarn. I filled up my sink with water and some clear dish soap and dropped in sections of yarn (for this picture it’s the Brilliant Blue through Kelly Green section). When using red and green dye on the same piece, don’t let them soak together in this stage because red+green=ugly brown). So much excess dye came out of the yarn, I dropped in a couple of hanks of Sadie to help soak up the extra dye.

When the water was finally clear-ish, I gave it one final rinse, wrung it out and hung it out on my porch to dry. I’m pretty satisfied with how the colors turned out. The black turned way more grey then I was anticipating, but all in all, it fits in with my color scheme, and the yarn contained in an i-cord was a great thing, because I don’t have a ball winder that would handle that yarn.

I sat down with my friends Roq and Holly, who walked me through the basics of crocheting and got me started.  Yup, this is the first thing I've ever crocheted! This basket was super fun to make and pretty quick too. I love how it turned out! It striped more than I thought it would, but that’s because I didn’t understand how a crochet stitch works, and now I do.

I took this basket home, fully intending it to be used as a cat toy receptacle. I put it on the ground and walked away for 5 minutes. That’s when I learned its not a basket. It’s a cat trap! Octavia loves it, she looks pretty smug. Kodiak tried it out too, but he got distracted and had to go pounce on something.

Want to make your own? You are in luck! Makers’ Mercantile is selling a kit that gets you everything you need to crochet it. And if you want your own colorway, there is a coupon code for Jacquard Acid Dyes! Just enter JACQUARD15 at check out and receive 15% off Jacquard Acid Dyes through August 31, 2019.

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!

Quickly crochet three classic and functional nesting baskets with our Crocheted Basket Trio Kit. Created with a bulky and soft merino yarn and size 15mm hook, you will be amazed how quickly these stitches will fly off your hook. Included in each kit is enough yarn to make three large baskets, or crochet one of each of the three sizes included in the pattern for an elegant set of nesting baskets.

Included in the kit:
  • Schoppel-Wolle Oxford - one hank in each of the following colors:
    • Natural
    • Gray
    • Black
  • addi® Plastic Crochet Hook in size US P (15.0mm)
  • Crochet Basket Pattern
This kit has a retail value of $166.00
Yours for $65.00 plus free US Shipping
While supplies last

Stay tuned for next week where we find out what happens when you combine ice and acid dye (this time for real)!

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

Sabrina Shades of Blue Hand Dye

Eat, Knit and Dye

I know you have seen the all-edge brownie pan a whole bunch of times. While I’ve decided it's not great for dyeing yarns for some methods, I’m convinced it has its place and its purpose. What I’ve noticed about it is that the dye doesn’t easily penetrate through the skein, leaving some bald spots. So why don’t we see if we can make this an advantage instead of a disadvantage?

For my yarn base, I’m using Sabrina, one of my favorite yarns. Sabrina is a sock yarn made from 80% Merino Extrafine SW Wool and 20% Nylon. It is the 120 cm hank companion to Sadie (Sadie is the same yarn but in a 175 cm hank). I love this yarn because it becomes soft and fluffy after drying from the dyeing process.

I filled the all-edge brownie pan with water and 1 tbsp of citric acid. A higher acid concentration means the yarn strikes faster aka sucks up the dye. I only used two colors of Jacquard Acid dye for this project. Once the pan was situated across two burners, I heated the water to just before simmering. At one end of the pan, I added 1/8 tsp of Jacquard Navy and the other end 1/8 tsp Jacquard Sky Blue. You can see how fast the color floats across the water.

I gently placed the dry yarn on top of the water. And just left it there. My goal was to get a subtle gradation. My thoughts were that the yarn touching the water would soak up the most color and that as the yarn slowly saturated and sank into the pan, the newly wet areas would get less dye. It was hard to not mess with the yarn, but I just let it sink until all the yarn was wet and the dye had exhausted.

This left me with yarn that had color on the bottom, but not on the top. I expected this, and it’s so nice when expectations are reality. I didn’t want to leave that much of the yarn bare so speckling was the solution.

I used a small strainer and added the dry dye powder to it. Always add the dye over another container because a bunch of the dye just instantly falls through the mesh and it will make a mess. A huge mess. Trust me on this. I know. Some of my counter was dyed blue. (Don’t worry! I was able to scrub and scrub and SCRUB with Synthrapol Detergent and get all the dye stains off my counter.)

Tapping the side of the strainer over the yarn, I added the speckles of Sky Blue over the Navy section, and the Navy over the Sky Blue section, and allowed them mix in the middle.

Then I let the yarn happily simmer away for about 15 minutes and cool overnight in the pan. This was enough heat and time for all the dye powder to get absorbed. I washed the yarn in clear dish soap and let it hang outside to dry.

I wasn’t sure about this experiment, because it didn’t look that great in the pan. It seems really heavily colored on one side and the speckles were a bit overboard. But once it dried up, I was super happy with it!

Sabrina, like Sadie, pairs well with Zitron Wolkenspiel. If you haven’t checked out this yarn before, you should. It comes in gorgeous colors and it’s fun to work with.

Stay tuned for next week where we find out what happens when you combine ice and acid dye!

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