Kinky Candy Gradient

Eat, Knit and Dye

Remember how last week’s dye experiment had so much dye left over? I used it up on this project. I don’t like to dump unused dye down the drain because first off, its money that is just being washed away. Second, I don’t want the dye getting into the water supply and harming marine life. (Did you know the Puget Sound in Seattle has so much caffeine in it from our wastewaters? It’s true, look it up!)

I frequently have glass jars of unexhausted dyes that I use on yarns to make mystery colorways. I’ll have to write a post on that in the future, but for now, I have two pots of dye using Jacquard Acid Dyes in colors Turquoise and Hot Fuchsia. I’ve done a bunch of gradients before, but I wanted to see how it would work in pots.

This week’s yarn of choice is Kinky Yarn, a 100% Superwash Wool that comes in a nifty tube, which is just perfect for dyeing gradients because you don’t have to make your own. The coil of yarn was soaked in water for 2 hours before starting. I unrolled half of the coil and started dipping it into the dye bath.

I draped the yarn over the edge of the pot, made sure the coil was nowhere near the flame, and let the dye (finally!) exhaust.

The pink end was pulled out of the hot water and cooled to the point I could touch it. Then other end was uncoiled, and I repeated the same dipping into the Turquoise. I made sure the Fuchsia and Turquoise overlapped to create lovely shades of purple.

Once I was happy with the overlap, I let the coil hang out in the dye bath until the dye had exhausted.

Using this method, I highly suspected that there was unexhausted dye inside the coil, so I put it all (and the Twisted Skein from last week) into the water and let it heat for another 15 minutes until the water was completely clear. The yarn was rinsed, patted dry with a towel and hung up to dry.

I’m pleased with how this yarn turned out. I should note the Hot Fuchsia is so intensely bright that it blew out on my camera. I’m okay with the near glowing brightness. I do wish there was more of a gradient overlap. I think this isn’t my favorite way of getting smooth color changes. But I’m glad I tried it because now I know!

To keep the kinky texture, the yarn should be kept in its tube form. You can knit directly from this tube. However, I wanted to show you how the yarn looks as a cake, so I wound it up.  (Pictures below are not to scale.)

Stay tuned for next week when it’s October and I show you some Halloween inspired yarn!

We also have several other tutorials on how to dye 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!

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

Shiloh Twisted Resistance

Eat, Knit and Dye

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!

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

Lillian Double Rainbow

Eat, Knit and Dye

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I am also an artist who works with watercolors and colored pencils. I’ve been lucky enough to be in a handful of art shows and galleries. I love working in those two mediums because of the color blending that can be achieved. I’ve really found that working with yarn dye is very similar to watercolors and I wanted to try an experiment with triads.

This week’s undyed yarn is Lillian - a stunning single ply of 100% Mulberry Silk which will take dye intensely and beautifully. Once it’s dyed it will have this sort of lustery glow. (And yes, I made that word up.)

What is a triad? It’s when you only use 3 colors and mix those to get all of the other colors. I’ve posted an image of "Octopus Garden" that I created using a triad. For those who are curious, I used Phthalo Blue Green Shade, Hansa Yellow Medium and Quinacridone Rose. And it’s created a delightful rainbow of color that all works together because it doesn’t introduce any addition new hues. 

So how do I recreate this on a skein of yarn? To start with, I need three colors of acid dyes. I chose Jacquard Acid Dyes in Turquoise, Hot Fuchsia and Sun Yellow. These colors closely match the art I showed you above.

I filled up my trusty dye dedicated pot with water, 1/8 tsp of the Turquoise and 1 tbsp of citric acid. I used a high amount of citric acid because I wanted the dye to strike quickly. The pot was set to almost before simmering. I also soaked the yarn in water for 2 hours before dyeing.

Holding the yarn in the middle of the hank, I let the ends hang down. I really thought I took a picture of this, but it turns out I didn’t. I dipped just the very ends in the yarn, over and over again, slowly moving up the skein. I made sure that I didn’t go past the halfway mark on the yarn. If I went much further, I wouldn’t be able to get the other two primary colors.

I continued this dipping until the dye had exhausted. I put the hank over to the side to let it cool and added a bit more water, citric acid and 1/8 tsp of Hot Fuchsia into the pot. I picked up the hank of yarn around the middle but rotated the center point over by a third. This ensured that some bare yarn would get the Hot Fuchsia dye and there would be some overlap with the Turquoise but didn’t completely cover it. If that didn’t make sense, you can see the finished hank below.

I bet you can guess what happened next! I let the pink dye exhaust and moved onto the Sun Yellow (1/4 tsp of it!). I again rotated the yarn so that the bare yarn would get the yellow color and then fade into both then pink and the blue areas.

And a beautiful double rainbow has emerged! You can see from this lovely picture from the dry yarn how I held the yarn to dip into the blue dye. 

I’m excited because this yarn turned out exactly the way I want it to. A full spectrum of the rainbow using only three colors. Lillian would be lovely combined with Zitron Traumseide. But did you know you can embroider with this Mulberry silk as well? And that’s what I’m going to. This destined to become part of a fancy dress that I can wear to parties.

Stay tuned for next week where we try out twisted resistance! (Doesn’t that sound like a rock song?)

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

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

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

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

What happens with you have a Dye Party?

Eat, Knit and Dye

This weeks installment of Eat, Knit and Dye is a little bit different! A friend of mine has been following along with this blog and was super excited to try out dyeing her own yarn. She graciously invited us over to her house and let us make a mess on her back porch. What I really love about this is how we all used the same colors and the same basic technique, but had such different results.

While I wasn't able to dye any yarn as I was flitting around making sure the dye bottles were filled, I had so much fun seeing what other people did. And they were all awesome about sharing their final products!

For this party, we used Jacquard Acid Dyes in a ratio of 1/8 tsp of dye to 1/2 tsp of citric acid. The water levels varied because we were just eyeballing it. (I say we, but really, I mean me...) The dye was either in a squirt bottle or in a dish with a foam paint brush.
•    Jacquard Chartreuse
•    Jacquard Brilliant Blue
•    Jacquard Violet
•    Jacquard Emerald Green
•    Jacquard Turquoise
•    Jacquard Sun Yellow
•    Jacquard Hot Fuchsia
•    Jacquard Scarlet

The dye was applied to the yarn and wrapped in some plastic wrap before being wrapped in a cinnamon roll and microwaved for 2 minutes + 2 minutes. For more information on this method, check out my post on Lil’ Sharon Rainbow Fade Hand Dyed Yarn.

So without further ado, here is everyone's creations!

Rachael, our awesome host, used Frida for her base. One of our most popular yarns, Frida is is an ultra fine (16 micron) 100% Merino Wool Superwash.

Holly chose HiKoo Rylie in Color 3 (Natural). She's a rock star and has already cast on a new project.

Tiffany and Alex teamed up and created their own rainbow out of Westlyn, a worsted yarn that is 55% Cotton, 16% Bamboo, 8% Silk, and 21% Elastic Nylon.

Roq also chose to use Frida and says this yarn is destined to be a kids sweater. (I'm jealous of that kid, aren't you?)

Kyle upped the ante and brought is out yarn that he had spun from Makers' Wool in Color 03 - Natural. He said it was a fun fiber to work with!

The love for Frida continues, as Kim used it to create her lovely colorway. It's like a tropical vacation and now I want to go to Hawaii.

Pam's colorway out of none other than Frida really reminds me a a tie-dye shirt, and I love it!

And Dawn used two different yarns. The top color way is is made from Sandy, a solid sock yarn that is 75% SW Wool and 25% Nylon. And the bottom colorway is out of...that's right! You guessed it! Frida!

Everyone made such beautiful yarns, and I can't wait to see them all knitted up!

And speaking of knitted up, I finished my first sweater! It is the Flax by TinCanKnits. The main color is HiKoo Simplinatural in Color 133 - Vibrant Cerulean. The band is one of my very first dye projects. I used Simplinatural in Color 03 - Natural which I dyed with Jacquard Cherry Red, Sun Yellow and Golden Yellow. I'm super pleased how it turn out, and I've already started 2 (!!!) new sweaters. One of which will be using the Frida Rainbow Gradient from my very first post! I plan using the Ola Yoke by Ella Gordon and the rainbow will be the colorwork flowers. I should be finished by New Years. I hope!

Stay tuned for next week where I try a new slow immersion technique!

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

Dolores Volcano Hand-Dyed

Eat, Knit and Dye

When I heard that Kyle Kunnecke of Kyle William was going to be running a Knit Along in August, I was intrigued. And when I saw the clever Knit Knit Cowl, I just knew I had to try it out as my very first colorwork piece. So I decided to mingle my excitement for this Knit Along with my enjoyment of yarn dyeing.

This week, I used the undyed yarn Dolores. It’s an 80% Merino Superwash Wool and 20% Viscose from Bamboo mix, making it a perfect match for HiKoo® Sueño (the yarn being used in the Knit Along.) For the main color of the cowl, I selected Cantaloupe in Sueño, and for the contrast color, that’s where things get fun.

With my old beat-up pan, respirator and Jacquard acid dyes, I set to work. First, I filled up the pan with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp of citric acid and heated this mixture to just below simmering. Then I mixed the colors, using 5 different mixes for the dip dyeing.

•    Mix 1 – 1/8 tsp Jacquard Pink
•    Mix 2 - 1/16 tsp of Jacquard Russet Red + 1/16 tsp of Cherry Red
•    Mix 3 – 1/8 tsp of Jacquard Violet
•    Mix 4 – Leftover mix from a different project of Jacquard Fire Red, Violet, Periwinkle, and Jet Black
•    Mix 5 – Leftover mix from a different project of Jacquard Hot Fuchsia and Fire Red

I grabbed the yarn around the middle of the hank and let the ends fall from my hands into the dye pot. From there, I used a dip-dye method that I have also used for the Stella Dip Dye and the Sadie Fiery Sunset. I’m just holding the yarn hank differently. I kept dipping the yarn into the dye until it exhausted, and the water ran clear.

Once that did, I rotated the center of the yarn hank so the already dipped area moved to one side, and I could dip the undyed ends into the pot. And I repeated the dip-dye steps until the dye exhausted.

Can you guess what the next steps were? Yep! You guessed it! Turn and repeat the dyeing until all the yarn has been dyed. I have to admit that in some areas, the dye didn’t exhaust, so I poured the remaining dye stock into a glass jar and added more water and citric acid into the pot. I’m saving that dye stock for other projects.

Knowing that this project was going to be used in colorwork, I was extra-worried about bleeding. So after all the yarn had been dyed and it had cooled, I rinsed it extra well. I noticed the water just wasn’t running clear. So I put more water and 1 tbsp of citric acid back into the pot and added the yarn back in. I slowly brought the yarn to a temperature just before simmering and watched the dye pot fill with extra dye from the hank. After a bit, the dye exhausted and I let it cool in the pot overnight.

In the morning, I washed the yarn one last time in cold water with clear dish soap and then let it hang outside to dry.

Lessons Learned
•    There is always a ton of dye left if the dye pot isn’t fully exhausted.
•    Dolores is 20% viscose from bamboo and bamboo fibers don’t take acid dye. This means Dolores isn’t going to be able to have the clear, bright colors of wool yarn. But I like the effect it gives. It is supersaturated but there isn’t as much vibrancy.

Now I just need for the Knit Along to start and the pattern to release and I’m ready to start knitting. Want to knit along with me? Grab a hank of Dolores and get dyeing! Love the idea, but aren’t ready to make your own colorway? There is still a handful of limited edition Hand-Dyed Sueño left.   Sueño comes in tonal colors too! Lavender Fields is my particular favorite.

Stay tuned for next week where I step back and show you what happens when you have a yarn dyeing party!

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