22 June 2012

Dyeing Your Own - Wilton's Dyes

Here is the start of a little summer series recording some of my yarn dyeing experiments (and possibly fiber too).  I don't have any concrete plans for how I want to structure this yet (please do let me know if you want to see anything in particular).  I just want to explore the dyeing process again because I haven't had the chance since last year.

I have been really inspired by Lisa of Wickedly Artsy, who has some really amazing dyeing ideas, so many that she would probably need a huge book to record them all.  Lisa and I will probably be collaborating on some of these for ultimate dyeing awesomeness.  As well as by Stacey of FreshStitches who recently did a great set of posts on dyeing with Kool-Aid.

First experiment: Wilton's food dyes:

I was lucky enough to already have some Wilton's food dyes in eight different colors (a remnant of my sister's cupcake phase), as well as some white Cascade 220.  I have worked with the Wilton's dyes once before but couldn't remember much about the process.

I set up my dyeing station while the yarn soaked in a 1:4 white vinegar to water solution.  I felt comfortable using kitchen equipment because I was using a food dye (this is my preference, but some people do not like to do any kind of dyeing in the kitchen). 


Naturally I decided to go with the whole rainbow.  I added a small amount of dye (pea-sized maybe?) to hot water mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar.


Then I admittedly went a little color crazy...


I microwaved (or "nuked" as my dear father says) this lovely swirl of colors for two minutes at full power, allowed it to cool for five minutes, microwaved for two more minutes, and then allowed it to sit until cool.  After cooling, I gently rinsed the yarn and hung it up to dry. 

And guess what I ended up with?


Isn't it pretty? 

Now, I haven't extensively tested the colorfastness of this dye job, but in my experience, if the dye doesn't come out when rinsing, it is pretty well set.

If I were to do this again I would probably add little bit more dye to the mix for more richness and add slightly less vinegar so that this yarn will be easier on the eyes.

30 comments:

  1. SO pretty! I always wonder what something like that will look like knit up; you've inspired me to look into overdying some stuff I have lying around.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the colours you chose, they are gorgeous together! I'm really tempted to try dyeing and I've been putting it off, but I can feel myself weakening now! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Really nice! As someone who doesn't have an clue about the dyeing process (and many other things) I love seeing pictures of the process; knowing about supplies and the relationship of fibers & dyes - what works best, what takes long, etc. I'm looking forward to the next installment of the series.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very cool! I've dyed with the Wilton food colors, but I've done that many colors at once. That yellow came out really well. I may have to dye some more!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've dyed also some yarn with foodcoloring like wilton's. Results are different every time which makes it so much fun. Although sometimes I would love to have more from one hank and I can't make another one that looks the same haha. I have to make some rainbow yarn too! Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I adore your yarn. That is the exact same kind of color combination I want to dye with my knit picks dye your own sock yarn. I'm bookmarking this for future reference :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is so pretty! Rainbow yarn is the best.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks great - Rainbow colours = Happiness!
    Thanks for sharing the dyeing process, one of these days I am going to give this a try as well

    ReplyDelete
  9. I did kool-aid and Easter egg dye a few times and it was a lot of fun, but I never thought of mixing up the colors to make it variegated. Your rainbow yarn looks like so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's very pretty! Do you have big plans for it? I'm sure it's going to be beautiful knit-up!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It looks like you have a very colorful summer ahead of you. I'm looking forward to seeing your yarn experiments.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love it! I can't wait to see what we acomplish next weekend...we're gonna need more yarn!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a whole bunch of Wiltons languishing in the pantry from my cake decorating days! I had no idea. Here's a question: I have a big giant skein of Bernat Baby Sport acrylic yarn that's variegated white, pastel pink and blue. Do you think I can dye it? I'd like to make something blue/purple? What do you (and all you other dyers) think?

    ReplyDelete
  14. When you say 1:4...that = 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water? Do you soak the white yarn, then dye the yarn, and then soak it in the water again to set it.

    What fun for you! I love your new header! Did you use that Picasa 3? Isn't it a great simple program?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've never tried that before - it does look interesting...and fun.

    Have a lovely weekend,

    Nina x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Whopee ! ! ! I've used Wilton's Cake Icing Dye and just like you
    have wonderfully colorful yarn. For my SOCKS ! ! ! ! !
    Thanks for the excellent tutorial, Ivy.
    Gets me itching to get out the dye pots ! ! ! ! !
    hugs

    ReplyDelete
  17. Beautiful rainbow! I haven't done any dyeing for a while, but I'm feeling inspired with all these wonderful dyeing blog posts!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh MY, OH MY, that is really beautiful! I love color, looks fun too; but I must not even think about trying it. I have such a huge stash, and have so many commitments I just can't allow myself to get interested in another hobby....I'll live through you, K?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh yeah! I was thinking about trying out dyeing, so it's great to hear other people's experiences about what dyes they've tried, equipment they used and what they might have done differently.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your dyed yarn is just lovely. Thank you for showing the photos of the process. I was in Barnes and Noble earlier today and happened to browse through a book about dyeing yarn using plants, flowers, berries, etc. and thought that sounded interesting. Now after reading your post, I really want to try hand dyeing myself.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Awesome! I am completely clueless about the dying process so here's a dumb question: how do you actually apply the dye? Do you dip parts of the yarn in the pots? Pour it on while it's in that tub?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Well that's very impressive!!!! I had never heard about dyeing yarn before,
    Have a nice day,
    Angeliki

    ReplyDelete
  23. Crochet with RaymondJune 23, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    very exciting! That skein will make a very bright coloured and happy something-or-other :o) I have lots of 100gm skeins of dyeing fun in my stash that will eventually end up being childrens hats or toys... love the bright coloured goodness!
    This weekend I am dyeing three skeins of sock yarn I bought online, it is so fun, I haven't dyed any yarn in ages so very nice to get my hand back into it. I use Ashford Hot Water exhaust dyes which I love becuase the yarn soaks up all the colour and I never have to chang ethe water between skeins.
    Looking forward to seeing your next methods :O)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oooh! Your yarn turned out wonderfully! :) I have some Wilton dyes hanging around, so I might just have to go give food dyes another go. Your posts are always so inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have taken the liberty to present you with an award :)
    http://kimsonksen.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/good-day-sunshine.html

    ReplyDelete
  26. Way cool method! I love your big yellow Pyrex bowl. I have one just like it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Fun! I would love to give this a go, but just don't have the space in this house! Any idea's what you'll knit with it?

    ReplyDelete
  28. That turned out awesome. I have some old Wilton's some place. I may have to try that. You make it look so easy.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Fabulous tutorial! I don't know if I'd ever be brave enough to dye my own, but I'm very curious about the process :)

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear from you!