Man it's been hot here!
The mercury hit 43C yesterday... that's 109.4F... hot... hot... HOT...
And we won't be getting any relief for at least another three days... so it is definitely not crafting weather... especially since we don't have air conditioning!!!
It doesn't even cool down much in the evenings, so there's no point in picking up a hook or needles... but I have to do SOMETHING crafty, right???
Well... I saw this post a little while back, and really wanted to try some experimental dyeing of my own. It looked like so much fun, and I have plenty of old knitted garments around here to play with. I have only tried dyeing once before, and I wasn't delighted with the results. In fact, I had pretty much decided that I should just leave it to the experts... and stay well away from the whole colouring process.
But, as I said... the experimental sleeve dyeing looked like fun, so I had to indulge myself...
I took a piece from an old wool jumper (I started with the back piece) and pre-soaked it in a solution of water with about a cup of vinegar, for about 30 minutes.
Then I gently removed the excess water, and laid the piece on a plastic bag. I added some horizontal stripes of food colouring, which had been diluted in water with a little vinegar. I was aiming for long colour segments of deep purples and deep reds.
See the way I have bunched up the piece to form three ribs? That's not a fancy technique of any kind! I only did that because the plastic bag I had underneath was a tiny bit too short, and I ran out of space! The original instructions say to use cling wrap... but sadly, cling wrap and I DO NOT get along... it does too much CLINGING and not enough WRAPPING for my liking, so I thought I'd try using an old bag instead.
I then wrapped the piece in the plastic bag and put it into a bowl. Then into the microwave... two minutes on high, two minutes to rest... two minutes on high, two minutes to rest... two minutes on high, two minutes to rest... six 'cooking' minutes in total.
You can see that quite a bit of the dye has escaped from the bag. I later experimented with the notorious cling wrap, and the dye did not escape.
So, here it is after it has been rinsed in cold water. Not quite the deep purples I was after... it would seem I should have made up a stronger dye mix.
I worked this sleeve in a blue/green colourway using vertical stripes, which will give me shorter colour runs... when I use the yarn, the colour changes will appear much more quickly.
Finally I made a spotty one, using full strength food dye... which I dripped randomly onto the sleeve using a syringe.
Want to see the resulting yarn?
So do I... but we both have to be patient! Hopefully I'll have some photos for you tomorrow.