Final Rinse Purple
My friend Heidi Ferguson teaches book binding, knitting and dying at the Pioneer Craft House. I was telling her how the beautiful Princess Kennedy inspired me to make some bikinis for PRIDE, but I wasn’t pleased with the quality of the rainbow yarn they had at the store. Heidi said “Let’s die our own!” And so we did. Here is a rough guide to how to do it. It’s very fun and very messy.
Winding the Skeins
1) Wind skeins of yarn. I used a natural Lion cotton (only cotton and linen will work for this method) as well as a linen-cotton blend. We started by winding the yarn into small skeins using Heidi’s wine rack. According to Heidi, Peaches and Cream works better.
2) We wash the skein in Synthropol, which cleans it up and removed any fat or grease.
3) We mix up some fun print paste. It was fun because it formed a gel, but left little nuggets in the bottom that wouldn’t dissolve. They looked like gnocchi.
4) We mix the colors – rainbow requires a lot of colors – and then add it to the print paste.
Paint the Rainbow
5) We use a big paint brush to paint the dye into the fiber.
6) We roll them up in Saran wrap and lay them down flat.
7) Meanwhile we decide to vat dye some solid colors. We mix up the dye, water and paste, agitate it for 20 min, add sodium . . . um free t-shirt if you can find me the right chemical name. . . to stop the dying process and let it soak overnight.
8) The next day, we rinse each skein 3 times with Synthropol until the water runs clear.
9) We lay them flat to dry after untwisting them a bit.
It’s a lot harder to dye your own yarn rather than just buying it – but damn am I proud and satisfied when I look at those beautiful colors.
For more about Pioneer Craft House, visit their website at www.pioneercrafthouse.com, tons of fun classes to try out. If anyone wants to do the bobbin lace class, just let me know, I’m in!