My First Dyed Yarn – Taste the Rainbow!
I read up and found that protein fibers (animal hair like wool, alpaca, mohair etc) can be dyed effectively with food safe colouring using Koolaid powder, food colouring or icing colouring, if there is an acid present to bond the dye to the fiber. That option was way more attractive than chemical dyes because I have a tiny kitchen and wouldn’t be able to store a dye pot and utensils, nor would I want to have to buy a dye pot and separate yarn dyeing gear. Armed with the gobs of information found here I set out to dye two balls of Stitch Nation Full O’ Sheep yarn I got on clearance with a mixture of KoolAid and regular liquid food colouring with lemon juice to bind the dye. I used the hand painted method outlined here for the colour changes and heat set the dye by putting the yarn in a steam basket over a pot of simmering water for 30 minutes instead of using the microwave since my microwave is tiny. Once it was steamed, I rinsed it but the water ran completely clear, which meant all the colour was absorbed into the yarn. I hung the hank outside in the sun to dry for a few hours and then it was pretty much good to go. Clean up was a breeze and I didn’t stain or destroy anything, which means this is pretty klutz proof.
I’m really happy with how it turned out, bright and fluffy and not felted at all. I will definitely be messing around with other colours as soon as my order of Wilton’s Icing Colours and Little lamb yarn gets here. It really worked out to be a good deal even though I used KoolAid which is pricier than food colouring. The yellow was food colouring and the other colours were KoolAid and as you can see, straight food colouring did as good of a job so I’ll be sticking to that in the future. Price breakdown:
Yarn: $8 (2 balls of 155 yards each)
Food Colouring: $2
$15 for 310 yards of rainbow yarn I had fun making is an awesome deal compared to $9.99 for 95 yards of Crystal Palace Mochi Plus yarn (what I was thinking of buying even though the colourway wasn’t really exactly what I wanted) which would have added up to $30 for the same amount of yarn. Plus it makes the thing I make with this yarn, a little more mine, which I love.