Monday, May 30, 2005

Operation Chaos, Part the Second

The second part of Sunday's festivities (see below for the first part) involved dyeing some white Briggs & Little single-ply Durasport yarn I'd had laying around for a few months. Lisa successfully dyed some Paton's Kroy just after Easter, and inspired by her success*, I decided to dye my yarn. But while she used egg dye, I went with Kool-aid**.

First step - laying everything out.

Kool-aid dying, p.01
(From l to r: the Kool-aid, measuring cup, glass pie plate, and metal bowl with yarn. The toaster oven and electric kettle watch on with interest.)

To get the yarn to soak up the colour, it needs to be "bathed" in warmish water with a splash of vinegar. The vinegar is very important - it prevents to colour from running later on.

Kool-aid dyeing, p.02
("Ack!" the yarn is saying. "Can't you see I'm naked??")

I divided the yarn into three sections, secured them loosely with elastics, and got the first colour ready.

Kool-aid dyeing, p.03

I poured this over the first section and let it sit in the pie plate.

Kool-aid dyeing, p.04

It was tricky dumping the dye out, gently squeezing out the excess moisture, and laying it out to dye the second section. Eventually, to prevent the colours from smearing on each other, I put them in plastic freezer bags, which also made the microwaving easier.

The next two sections went much like the first section.

Kool-aid dyeing, p.05
Kool-aid dyeing, p.06

Kool-aid dyeing, p.07
Kool-aid dyeing, p.08

So, now I put the whole thing into my teeny-tiny microwave*** and nuke it for two minutes, let it sit for two minutes, and then nuke it for another two minutes.

Kool-aid dyeing, p.09

Now it comes out of the microwave and cools off. The yarn was kind of stressed out at this point, so I let it sit on the balcony and have the rest of my beer.

Kool-aid dyeing, p.11
("Black Label? This is all you got?")

Then the rinsing. I was worried that the dye would run and ruin the other parts, but that's why you use vinegar - it helps to set the colour and prevent run-off.

Kool-aid dyeing, p.12
(The yarn is having its second bath of the day. But still no bubbles!)

Once it's been rinsed off, you let it dry. Here's the yarn hanging out in my shower for the rest of the night.

Kool-aid dyeing, p.13

This morning, it was almost dry, so I put in on my drying rack beside my balcony door. Parts of the orange still aren't dry, but it won't be much longer now.

*It wasn't until after I realized I'd used almost the same colours she did, but we have very different shades in the end.
**There are a myriad of instructions on how to Kool-aid dye yarn. I ended up using a variation on the more popular method. But, basically, they all say the same thing.
***Denise gave me the microwave when she upgraded. I wasn't going to take it, but I'm glad I did. It may be small, but it's big enough for what I use it for, namely, reheating leftovers.