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