Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I dyed a skein of cashmere and this was the result

What I started with was a fairly bland skein of cashmere in a shade of beige/tan/camel. It was very yellowy light brownish...or brownish yellow? I called it icky. Anyways, it was the last one of this colour in the shop and sweet, amazing, superwoman Ginette gave it to me with the orders to dye it and make something nice for myself. OK!

I soaked it in warm water laced with a healthy splash of vinegar while I prepared the "dye". I went through my cupboards to see what blue food colouring I had left and came out with Wilton's in Sky Blue. Not at all what I was aiming for but it was blue and the skein was soaking so I mixed up a good strong batch of blue water laced with the miracle substance also known as vinegar. Because the Wilton's gel always seems to leave bits behind I strained my solution through a paper towel lined strainer. No gooky jelly bits in MY cashmere thank you very much.

The skein was squeezed out and laid in a Pyrex baking dish and I poured the dyeall over and around it and then kinda smooshed it around to try and get the solution all through the skein. When i was satisfied with my saturation I topped the dish with some plastic wrap and fired it into the microwave for between 2 and 3 minutes to get nice and hot. then it sat for a little while until it was cooler and the dye was pretty much out of the water and into the yarn.

I took the whole she bang to the laundry room sink for squeezing out the liquid and for rinsing in sinkfuls of clear water. then I went a further step and gave it a soak in Soak . In the skein the colour was kinda...odd. Hmm...olive, khaki, blueish green in there too, hints of the original colour. I was not sure I was happy with the results. When it was dry it was better....or maybe I was just used to it. In the ball though, I definitely liked the effect of all those shades mingling!

This pretty yarn cake is currently being made into my own Pretty Thing Cowl, pattern by Stephanie Pearl-MacPhee. Its slow going because patterns with charts challenge my brain and attention span very much. But its smooshy and soft and I am told I look great in greens, so I am happy and will be happier still when its DONE and I can wear it snuggled around my neck.


jane said...

Nice job. The colour turned out really nicely.

Terri-Lynn said...


Tara said...

I've seen this yarn in person, and it's incredibly beautiful. I can't believe you got such depth from friggin' food colouring. Clearly I need to investigate dyeing. Or, you know... not.