I’m going to be honest. I had no plan for this. I just let my whims take me where it wanted to go. After all, it’s just yarn, and if I make a disaster, that’s okay. It can always be overdyed. Plus, it gives me another chance to work with Kinky Yarn.
I have to say, I’m obsessed with this yarn. I love the coil that it comes in, it feels so substantial. And at 200 grams of 100% Superwash Wool, it’s no wonder why. And it looks so cool when knitted or crocheted up. Seriously, you have got to check out this yarn!
First, I filled up a bowl of water, and let the Kinky coil sit in it for 24 hours. I wanted to make sure it was as saturated as possible. It’s kind of amazing how much air is in the fibers, so I pressed down on it several times to make sure all the air bubbles had escaped.
After 24 hours, I set up a pot with some water and 1/8 tsp of Jacquard Fire Red Acid Dye, and no acid. Since acid and heat is what makes the dye set, I was curious to see how it would affect the color absorption. Again, I let the pot sit for 24 hours. Plenty of time to get supersaturated, and besides, it was bedtime.
While the yarn marinated, I thought about what to do next. For some reason, my 6th grade science fair popped into my mind. One of my classmates did a project on Capillary Action, which is where water absorbs upwards. So hey, I learned something and was able to use it!
Back to the yarn! I added 1 tbsp of citric acid to the water and brought the water up to near simmering. The dye didn’t exhaust fully, so I soaked up the rest of it with an extra hank of random yarn and let the Kinky cool to room temperature.
I rooted around in my dye collection and brought out some jars of left-over dye that would be perfect for this experiment. First, I filled up the bottom centimeter of the pan with leftover highly concentrated blue dye. The Kinky was rewrapped into a very loose coil and placed on top of the blue dye. I let the yarn sit for a few hours. Again, the dye didn’t exhaust, but I poured the leftover back into the jar.
I felt the yarn might be a little plain, so I refilled the bottom of the pan with a centimeter of leftover highly concentrated orange dye. I flipped the coil over and let the other edge sit in the orange mixture for a few more hours.
Finally, I rinsed out the excess dye. The coil was placed in some fresh water and a 1 tbsp of citric acid and brought to just below simmering. No dye came floating out and this ensured that everything was heat set. The coil was then set out to dry.
I have to admit; the outside doesn’t look all that exciting. Although I think Jacquard Fire Red is the most perfect red there is, the yarn lacked the color punch I crave.
That is until I saw inside! The Capillary Action worked, and the orange and blue absorbed in to create a delightful color explosion. Unfortunately, this only happened on the yarn that was on the outside of the wrapped coil, but I think if I wrapped it looser next time, I would get it all the way through.
This was a fun experiment, and I did learn some things through it. I still love working with Kinky Yarn and look forward to dyeing it again in the future! Just as a reminder, if you want the Kinky Yarn to retain its texture, don’t cake it until you are ready to use it. I winded it into a cake so you could see what it looks like.
Stay tuned for next week for a Crazy Quilt Gradient!
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.