Archive for the yarn Category

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Posted in dye, homemade, kool-aid, yarn with tags , , , on January 5, 2015 by whimsyknitter

So, because my husband loves me, he got a very unusual gift for me this past Christmas. I received, under the tree with a bow and everything- a box full of dirty, smelly lamb fleece. I was… thrilled. No sarcasm, this was easily my top gift of the season. You see, with the rekindled interest in dolls, I’ve been percolating different ways to do their hair. You see, the one problem I’ve always had is that the necks have been weak and they tend to flop around quite a bit. It’s a design flaw, and while I’ve improved upon the design I haven’t really every truly solved the problem to my satisfaction. I’m picky y’see.

So, there’s two things I”m trying- 1) Putting in an actual armature (read: wire skeleton) to support the neck better (bonus- they’ll be poseable) 2) Using hair that’s not as heavy as a whole mess of yarn. To that end comes the fleece. And needle felting.

I’ve tried this already (you can see the results in my previous post- the dolls on either side have needle felted hair) and it works fantastically. However, fleece comes in but a few colors. Hence my other problem- if I want the crazy colors I want in the lengths I want I’m going to have to roll up my sleeves and dye it myself.

So, being ever the resourceful (and humble) one, I looked into various types of dyes. Food grade dyes seem to be the easiest and as a bonus, they’re entry price is right up my alley- cheap.

However, as the Internet is a great and wondrous place, there’s only like half a million different websites that offer instructions on how to do this. While the general gist is the same, they have some pretty fundamental differences. Chances are if you’re reading this, you know what i”m talking about.

So, now the science. I’m an empirical kind of gal. The two large debates I saw come up are “vinegar or no vinegar” and “What difference does wet or dry yarn make?”

Here’s my solution: I used vinegar (if it doesn’t matter, then by reason it’s not going to hurt.) and… I started testing.

Here’s the idea, the summation of what I’ve read:

Dry yarn takes longer to absorb the dye and can be really difficult to get to soak in. However, the result is a more intense hue. Conversely wet yarn (it’s been soaked in water before placing in the dye) is generally a lighter shade, but works quickly.

What’s a girl to do? Why, start testing of course. I’m even making a handy dandy reference board. The results I’ve gotten so far are interesting, and I’ll post them in the next couple of days.