Friday, September 11, 2009

Painting Yarn

In my last post, I promised to tell you about my process for the Pepper Flat.

It started out as a 100 g ball of Trekking Pro Natura, in white. Pro Natura is a wool/bamboo blend, so I wasn't sure how it would take the dye, but I figured since it's mostly wool I'd be okay. I cast on about 100 stitches and knit until I ran out of yarn. (Yes, I know you can buy already knit blanks. But in this case, I think the miles of stockinette were actually good for may sanity.)

To prepare it, I soaked the finished blank in a sink of warm water, no soap.

While it soaked, I prepared my dyes - in this case Paas Easter Egg dyes, mixed per Paas' instructions with vinegar and light on the water.

The actual painting was a bit messy. I spread the damp (I squeezed out most of the water from the soaking) blank out on my counter (granite countertop) and used a teaspoon and a syringe to paint the blank with random blobs of color. The goal was to have no white yarn left anywhere.

To set the dye, I spiraled the flat up to fit into a Pyrex pie plate with as little opportunity for dye seeping to fabric below it as possible. I stuck the whole thing in a plastic bag and microwaved it, I think for about two minutes.

Then I let it cool (keeping it covered), and nuked it again. After cooling from the second application of heat, I rinsed it out in cool water and spread it out to dry.

I can't wait to hear from my sister how it looks knitted into something else.

P.S. I did finish the Arabesque stole in time to send home with my friend! Pictures soon.


Anonymous said...

Ooooohhh, I've never tried the nuke way. I did the crockpot thing, but yours looks cool too. Now, remind me when MY sister comes to visit to re-look up this one, except that we'll use my Wilton dyes. I can't wait to see what your sister knits up too!

Sophie said...

Wow, you make it look easy. Have you tried Wilton dyes? I don't know how well they'd work, but they are available year round.