My very first post was all the way back in May 2019 and featured a beautiful rainbow long gradient. It's time to return to my roots! I’ve done a few fade sets, but this time I’m going for gold and making a 5-skein set at the same time.
My base yarn is Sabrina, an 80% Merino Extrafine SW Wool and 20% Nylon blend.
For blue, I used a 50/50 mix of Jacquard Sky Blue and Turquoise. For red, I used a 50/50 mix of Jacquard Fire Red and Hot Fuchsia. And for yellow, straight Jacquard Sun Yellow. In 3 condiment squeeze bottles, I added 1 tsp of citric acid. I mixed up 1/8 tsp of powdered dye with 3 ounces of warm water. For the blue and the red dyes, I used 1/16 tsp of each color to get the total 1/8 tsp of powder. Then, holding my finger over the opening, I lightly shook the dye and water until it mixed. That took care of my primary colors.
To get my secondary colors, I used three more empty squeeze bottles. To get green, I started with yellow and slowly added blue until I got the green color that I liked, which was approximately .5 ounces of the blue. I repeated that for orange and purple. To each bottle, I added water until it was full.
I soaked all yarn in water for 30 minutes before starting. Each hank was placed on a shower hook. I folded the hank in half and put it into a turkey roaster.
That was repeated until all 5 hanks were in the same pan. Water was added so about half of the yarn was submerged.
I wanted to make sure my strips of color were equal size. I could have marked the ends of the pan, so I knew where that was, but I’m an eyeball-it kind of person. I started with the yellow and laid down a strip of dye.
And then I laid down strips of blue and pink. This allows me to see where my primaries go and helped make the sections fairly uniform.
Afterward, I followed with the secondary colors. With the pan across two burners, I turned on the heat to before simmering and let the dye exhaust.
I did notice that the dye wasn’t penetrating too far in, so I used my prong to gently move around the yarn and inject color into the hank. And I let the dye exhaust (this is a time-consuming method. You’re going to hear that a lot.)
Using the shower hooks, I picked up the yarn and turned it over. This is where the shower hooks really come in handy. I like not burning my fingers.
As you can see, the other side was pretty bare. Clearly, that had to change.
Once again, I laid on my primary colors in the same placement as before.
And I laid on the secondary colors too. Then, I let it exhaust. Again.
Using the prong, I wiggled the yarn around some more and if I found bare spots, I added more dye until all my dye was gone and it had all FINALLY exhausted. I let the yarn and the pan cool overnight before rinsing and hanging up all that glorious yarn to dry.
And oh my gosh! I am in such love with this yarn. It’s such a stunning rainbow (if I do say so myself) and I cannot wait to make this into a sweater! Since this is a hand-dyed set, obviously each hank is a bit different, so when I knit it up, I’ll alternate rows between the hanks.
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.