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Dye hard!

As ever, things didn’t go quite the way I expected.  I’m getting used to this, especially since most of the time things end up better than I expected.

This is a huge pot full of red food dye, white vinegar and hot water.  Oh, and a skein of white Angora Supreme.  As per the instructions in this tutorial, I was having a go at making my own variegated yarns.

Having skeined the yarns and secured them with dozens of little superwash ties, I let them soak in plain cold water overnight:

Then gave them a squeeze out and began dyeing.

The technique is to dip nearly all of the skein into the dye, and then take it out, a few centimetres at a time, at ten-minute intervals.  So the last few centimetres of skein will be in the dye the longest.  That’s how it goes, anyway.  As the kind of person who is unwilling to stand over a hot pot of dye and hold the yarn in one hand, gradually raising it by a few centimetres every ten minutes, the yarn that I pulled out had to rest somewhere.  So I pulled it out and laid it in a nearby stainless-steel bowl (since I am only using food colouring, it’s safe to use kitchen implements that are also used for eating — of course, if you use plastic implements, they’re going to end up a delicate pastel shade of whatever colour you’re dyeing, but I think that just adds to the magic.

Anyway, the height of the pot I was using meant that I had to lift out fairly long sections of yarn at a time; instead of having lots of smaller sections with gradual variations, this skein has a pale end, a dark end, and, well, a whole lot of middle the shade of a flamingo:

Stay tuned for Dye Hard 2: Dye Harder!

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