Oh! An Experiment in Bases

Eat, Knit and Dye

This week is a complete experiment! In my yarn dyeing research, I have come across articles where people have gotten some very beautiful results using a silver base instead of a natural base. So in proper scientific experimentation, I decided to use a yarn that we have in both Natural and Silver.

So HiKoo® Oh!  waltzed into my life. Oh! Is super-duper soft 100% Super Baby Alpaca Aran weight yarn. It’s really lovely, I want to make myself blanket out of it and never leave my couch. For the natural base, I used color Heavens and for the silver base, color My. And to keep the color palette simple, I used Jacquard Acid Dyes in Emerald, Brilliant Blue, and Violet.

To start, I tied off sections of the yarn to keep it from tangling and presoaked it water and Synthrapol for an hour. I prepped my counter by covering it in plastic wrap. And to complete the prep, I mixed the acid dyes in glass jars. I used 1/8 tsp of dye and 1 tsp of citric acid in each jar.

The two hanks of yarn were laid out next to each other. Using a syringe, I squirted out the dye directly onto the yarn.

To ensure the dye had penetrated through the entire hank, I gently squeezed the yarn and massaged it. The yarn got a better spa day than me! It’s even going to get a steam bath.

I have to say, I was pretty worried about the grey yarn at this point. It’s just so dark and the colors are extremely muted. But as always, it’s an experiment, so I persevered.

The yarn was individually wrapped into cinnamon rolls within the plastic wrap and popped into the microwave. I ran the microwave for 2 minutes, let it rest for 10 seconds, and then another 2 minutes. I did each yarn separately and used prongs to move the scalding hot yarn from the plate to the sink.

The yarn was allowed to cool to room temperature, and then thoroughly rinsed out. Once the water was running clear, the yarn went out onto the porch to dry off.

And guess what, everything I read was correct! The natural base came out with clear, bright colors. And the silver base came out with rich jewel tones. I’m curious to see what might happen if I did another glazing of blue as an overdye because I think this colorway could use a bit more of a pop.

I’m so excited about how the jewel tones turned out, I have already picked up some more Oh!  in My and HiKoo® Llamor in 1706, a pretty light silvery grey.

Stay tuned for next week where I try out a double-dip triad rainbow!

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