Thanks to a comment that Carla left on my last post, I've been trying a new dyeing technique this weekend. She left links to pictures of yarn that had been immersion dyed with some of the more unstable Wilton's icing dye colors. I tried Rose Rose first. The colors on the Wilton's jar lids are printed in English and French, and Rose Rose is different and darker than Pink Rose. Because Pink Rose produced a splotchy orange, peach, and pink mess the last time I used it, I thought that Rose Rose would also be unstable. I found that Rose Rose is actually pretty stable and produces a screaming, almost fluorescent pink. Since this is not what I was going for, I threw a packet of Grape Koolaid into the dye pot, stirred it just a tiny bit, then let it sit and simmer and this is what happened. I'm calling it Valentine.
As usual, I had no idea what I was doing in terms of my technique or dyeing process, but after spending fifteen minutes or so on the Dye-O-Rama blog, I came up with some ideas. I dyed the Valentine skein on the stove in a stock pot, but I didn't like doing it that way because I'm impatient and it takes too long for pot to cool enough to rinse the yarn and really get a good look at what you've done. For my second immersion dyed skein, I went back to using the microwave and a big, flat bottomed, Pyrex bowl. I like the fact that the Pyrex bowl is clear, so I don't get as antsy waiting for it to cool down. Here's what I did...
1. Fill Pyrex bowl with 3 parts water (not hot, not cold) and 1 part vinegar, leaving enough room for the yarn.
2. Add approximately one teaspoon (maybe a little more) of Wilton's Violet (or other unstable color) food dye to the water. Mix it around a little bit. I left the globs of dye gel at the bottom of the bowl and I got some really dark purple/blue spots where those globs hit the yarn. I like this effect very much.
3. Put the yarn in the bowl and gently push it down with a spoon or potato masher until it is submerged. I put the yarn in dry, right from the factory, though I suppose you could also soak the yarn first in vinegar and water. I'm not sure, but I think that using wet yarn would produce less variegation, and variegation is what I wanted with this skein.
4. Cook the yarn (and the water and the bowl) in the microwave until the dye bath is clear.
5. Let it cool, rinse, hang to dry.
Voila...I'm calling this colorway Baby Boy. I think it will make very nice socks to go with the baby sweater I'm knitting. Overall, I like this dyeing technique a lot because it's fast and easy and it's a lot less messy than the other methods I've tried.