Monday, October 07, 2013

A Good Day to Dye

Since I had the house to myself this past weekend, I figured it was a good time to make a mess.

Let's cook up some yarn!

I have to say that I love dyeing with food coloring. Specifically with Wilton's gel. A lot of the colors break and they never dye the way I expect them to.

This time was no exception.

When I showed Matt the Whitfield Jacket pattern, he was like "I would totally wear that". Well, how can I not make it?

So I bought the pattern and the yarn hunt was on. I checked out the finished versions on Ravelry to see what other had chosen for yarn. I couldn't use stash yarn, as I don't usually hoard stockpile buy a lot of bulky weight yarn, especially in the amount needed for this jacket.

I looked at solids as an option, but I have to say that I really preferred the stitch pattern in a multi colored yarn. I then started looking at hand dyed yarns, but due to the amount of yardage needed, I knew I would have to do a special order. Plus hand dyed yarns become very pricey very quickly (note the large yardage needed) due to the amount of work involved in hand dyeing.

So I ordered 12 skeins of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky (I really like spit splicing, so didn't get the superwash). Grabbed a tub of Wilton Icing Coloring in Juniper Green and crossed my fingers.

My biggest concern was evenly distributing the color over 12 skeins, as I would have to do them in batches. I tried a "spray" technique to start, but that was a failure. Back to the good ol' stovetop method. I ended up with three batches and I think they're evenly enough dyed that they'll work.

The color did not come out as I expected at all. As you can see, there's a lot of tan with spots of sage green and a darker (juniper-ish) green. In fact, it's perfect. The colors almost have a camouflage feel.

Took almost all weekend for the yarn to dry (oh ya, 164 yds of bulky weight yarn) and I'm currently "swatching" a sleeve to see how the colors are going to pool (so far so good. I'll get a photo up as soon as I have both "sleeve swatches" done to compare).

I love the pattern stitch, it's my kind of knitting and using a size 10 needle with bulky yarn makes quick work (which is good, as I think there's like 27 pockets or something).

I love it so much that I'm already planning on doing the same thing to make Jackie for me!

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