I swear that I'm going to do some sort of yarn contest very soon, but at the moment, some of the yarn in question is wet. It's been a very crafty weekend around here. Bob was in Charlotte visiting the other members of the ensemble formerly know as The Dark Horse Quartet, so I decided to take advantage of the empty kitchen and patio and dye some yarn. About a year ago, I dyed my first yarn using Koolaid and Wilton's food dyes, and I had a great time doing it. Around the time I found out that I needed to pack up all of my belongings and move to Big Texas, I received my acid dye starter kit (big girl dyes) from Wool2Dye4. With all of the moving and auditioning and the new house, I forgot all about dyeing yarn. Almost a year has gone by, and until this weekend I never used the kit.
I'm still getting the hang of mixing the dyes. I did a little preliminary reading in Dyeing to Knit and The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook to get some ideas. The colors that came in my kit are Royal Blue, Turquoise, Daffodil (light yellow), Sunshine (more golden yellow), Fuchsia, Fire Engine Red, and Black. I probably should have made test skeins, but I'm far too impatient for that. I wanted to make a bright lime/Kermit the frog green, but I ended up with more of a grass/Oscar the Grouch green. I think I know how to fix this (less blue), but the color that has me completely stumped is brown. None of the books tell you how to make brown. I think that if I add a tiny bit of blue to the orange that I already have it might be brown-ish. I could also just order a jar of brown dye powder which is probably easier and safer. If anyone has any hints on how to make brown, please let me know.
Here is what I've dyed so far. I think the skeins on the top left are the worst of the bunch. They may look great all skeined up (there is some purple on the other side that you can't see from the picture), but at the moment, they look a little too Crayola for my taste. The colors of all of the skeins are much brighter in person (probably too bright), but since it's overcast today they look more muted. I think the skeins on the top right will look good once they are re-skeined, as will the one below.
I used better base yarn for the skeins on top than the skein on the bottom. Base yarn is very mysterious. The base yarn used by a particular dyer is almost always a closely guarded secret. I will tell you that the skeins on top were cream colored Louet Gems before I got my hands on them. The yarn on the bottom is Kona Superwash from Wool2Dye4. I like the Louet a lot, but the skeins are small (185 yards) which is a pain, and they're not cheap. The Kona Superwash seems okay, but I haven't knit with it yet, so I'm not sure. I don't think I'm going to be the next Scout or Mama E (like I said, I'm way too impatient), but I would like to know where to get some decent base yarn.
Hopefully this stuff will dry out soon so I can re-skein and admire. I'm off to mix more dyes and try again.