I am crazy excited!!! I took a break from knitting yesterday and decided to try dying yarn using food coloring. I've never done this before, heck I've never dyed yarn before, so I used a skein from The Yarn Barn's discount bin. I figure if I mess it up and have to chuck the whole project no biggy. Turns out it was way easier than I though and incredibly fun!! Here's the a quick tutorial of what I did:
Because food coloring and vinegar is food safe, I just did everything in my kitchen sink and MICROWAVE. Yes, you read that right. I used my microwave for this. I thought I was going to have to get pots and pans out and boil water... blah blah... Nope!
The first thing I did was tie the yarn in 4 different sections using the figure eight style tying method. You can see this in the picture above. You can secure more sections if you want, but I wouldn't go less. This keeps the yarn from getting all tangled up when soaking and washing it. Do this 4 or 5 times around the skein of yarn. I just grabbed some scrap yarn that I had laying around for this part. Tie it loosely so that the dye gets under the scrap yarn pieces. If you tie it tightly it may leave a white line where the dye couldn't get into the yarn. Who knows, that might create a really cool effect!
Next I filled my sink with room temperature water about 4-5 inches deep. Then I added 1 cup of vinegar. I didn't really measure, I just guesstimated. That's how I role, I really don't want to wash another dish if I don't have to. Mix the vinegar and water up, then add your yarn. Gently push the yarn into the water so that it is completely submerged. Remember this is wool and we aren't felting, so be gentle. The yarn does need to soak up some vinegar to help the dye stay in the yarn, so make sure it's all submerged. You can even put a plate on top of it if needed. I let my yarn soak about 20 minutes.... or about the time it took me to jump in the car, drive my son to track practice, drop him off, and drive home. I'm sure there are exact times and measurements out there for this process, but I was just having fun enjoying the process. Maybe I'll get more exact next time when I'm going for an exact look or color. For now... I'm having fun!