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Topic: Popped my yarn-dyeing cherry  (Read 1037 times)
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fishie
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« on: December 18, 2008 08:03:50 AM »

I've been collecting sweaters from thrift stores for a while now and have knit a thing or two with the recycled yarn, but I haven't actually dyed any of it until now.  I got seven 50g/215yd skeins of sock yarn out of ONE sweater.  The best part about this was since the yarn was feltable, I could just felt the ends together if I had a bunch of short sections.



I used a tutorial from Knitty as a guide.  I did the hot pour method, and used the neon food colorings from the grocery store.  For most of them, I had all the yarn in one pot and poured in the colors, but for the green and pink one, I kept a small section out of the green, and then put that section into the pink after the green was done.  I was able to get a similar effect to the tutorial's cold pour, but without having to clear off a table and risk my cat getting covered in dye.

I knit a swatch with the green yarn, and I LOVE how it's turning out:



While I was on a dyeing frenzy, I dyed some wool yarn I already had that I hated the color of.  I turned this



into this:


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If it lives in the water or flies in the air, I'm in love with it. In New Zealand I saw a flying fish and almost wet myself.

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dancechica
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008 08:59:48 AM »

Oh my gosh your yarns are beautiful.  I have been wanting to get into dyeing for a while now.  I love them!!
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Rainbow_Storms
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2008 09:16:39 AM »

Those are so pretty I want to put them in my mouth....

Great job. I'm so jealous of people that can do this stuff.
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chiqui
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2008 09:31:53 AM »

How did you get your yarn to look so nice?  When I tried recycling yarn from a sweater I could never fully get the kinks out.  Also, when I dyed it, it seemed to make it even scratchier.  Do you mind sharing your techniques?
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fishie
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2008 10:56:57 PM »

How did you get your yarn to look so nice?  When I tried recycling yarn from a sweater I could never fully get the kinks out.  Also, when I dyed it, it seemed to make it even scratchier.  Do you mind sharing your techniques?

I unravel my sweaters onto a niddy noddy to make skeins, and then I wash them, and hang them with weight pulling down on them to straighten them out.  With these skeins, I also wound them around a mirror to make the skeins longer.  I think dyeing with heat helped straighten them out.  To dry them, I again hung them from a hanger, but without a weight this time because they didn't need them.  After they dried, I reskeined them to a smaller diameter and twisted them up.

With other yarns I haven't dyed, they generally stay a little wavy, but once I knit them up it's not noticeable.  What kinds of dyes are you using for your yarns?  I'm using food coloring, and the harshest chemicals my yarns are exposed to is the vinegar.  I think the yarn you start out with can make a huge difference too.

I did notice a small amount of felting with the yarn, and I lost around 30 yards off each 550+ yard skein after dyeing.  This would definitely affect the scratchiness.  I do stir the dyepot while it's at 150* F, which you're not supposed to do because it can lead to felting, but I do make sure to avoid any water running on the yarn when I'm rinsing it and pouring the vinegar in.
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If it lives in the water or flies in the air, I'm in love with it. In New Zealand I saw a flying fish and almost wet myself.

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