Join the resistance! Okay, the yarn dyeing resistance isn’t nearly as cool as it sounds, but I think this dye technique is pretty nifty and I’ve seen some awesome yarns.
This week’s undyed yarn base is Shiloh - 44% Wool, 42% Cotton, and 14% Nylon. What I’m really curious about it how the cotton will react to the acid dyes. My hunch is they won’t dye but let’s find out!
To keep things simple, I’m only using two Jacquard Acid Dyes in Turquoise and Hot Fuchsia. Here's your safety reminder: wear a respirator and use dye-dedicated pots and utensils.
I started with a pot of water, 1/8 tsp of Turquoise and 1 tsp of citric acid. Unsure if felting would happen, I didn’t turn on the heat yet. Instead, I twisted the dry hank up nice and tight and gently placed it on top of the water, where it bobbed like a strange apple. The heat was turned on low and I attended to a different yarn I was dyeing that the same time.
Eventually, the hank sank into the water and became fully submerged. In retrospect, I added to much dye powder because the dye wasn’t anywhere near to exhausting. That’s okay, I used it for another project.
Using tongs (because that water is hot), I pulled out the hank. I was worried because the entire thing looked like one solid color, but I continued.
I was able to use the tongs to untwist the hank and I let it cool in the sink. This is where I got excited because clearly, the resist was working!
Once the yarn was at room temperature, I re-twisted up the wet hank, making sure a lot of the white areas were exposed. Then I put it back into a pot of water, 1/8 tsp Hot Fuchsia, and 1 tsp of citric acid. I turned on the heat and let the hank marinate for about 10 minutes.
Again, the dye didn’t entirely exhaust, so I used it on another project. To make sure all the dye had set and so I wouldn’t be rinsing out water for forever, I put both this hank and the other project using the same dye into a pot of water (some of the dye came floating out of both yarns) and turned on the heat, letting the dye exhaust. You can see a coil of Kinky yarn underneath...you’ll learn more about that next week.
The yarn was then cooled to room temperature, rinsed and hung up to dry. And my oh my, it is sure pretty! I love how the resists kept some areas turquoise and others pink, but some areas blended into a lovely purple. And the undyed areas help break up the color. I even love how the white cotton didn’t dye at all, giving it a fun texture. This is definitely a win for me!
Stay tuned for next week when I use the same colors in a different technique and on Kinky Yarn!
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!
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.