“Dying”: the great Food Coloring experiment

April 13, 2010 at 11:49 pm (knitting, yarn)

I’ve had three skeins of pastel blue sock yarn in my stash for as long as I’ve known about sock yarn (okay, that’s less than a year, but it still feels like a long time). I bought it because it was on sale, and the color was beautiful, and I really wanted some pretty, cheap sock yarn.

Weird as this looks, how else was I going to get three hanks dry?

Problem: I hate pastel colors. When I first got it, I started a pair of socks with it–that’s what you do with sock yarn–but was convinced I would never, ever wear those socks. I put the project in my WIP bin and never went back to it.

Solution: The other week, I wandered onto the tutorial page at knitty.com and became particularly fascinated with the dying section. My one dilemma was that I didn’t think I had yarn I could dye. Oh, wait, I did! I didn’t want to dish out cash for an acid dye, and I didn’t want my yarn to smell fruity because I dyed it with Kool Aid, so I went with food coloring.

Problem: I tried to dye all three skeins at once in a somewhat small bowl. I also used way too much dye in the first batch.

Good news: because there was so much yarn in the way, the dye only set in the section on top.

Bad news: I had to dye it again twice (this time with lighter colors) until I was happy. Thankfully, none of my roommates wanted the microwave!

A mandatory artsy picture of the yarn

In the end, I decided I was pretty darn happy with my yarn. It’s not the best dye job in the world–I think I need to wash it one more time before I make something out of it so that the color doesn’t bleed–but I think it turned out well, all things considered.

Two questions:

1) Any requests/ideas for my next dyeing project? I’d like to get some use out of the supplies I just invested in. Some dyers go for characters or settings, while others just mix colors, and I don’t know where to start!



  1. L.T. Elliot said,

    That’s amazing! Suggestions? Hmmm…I’m not sure. I always like red and of course, PURPLE!

  2. L.T. Elliot said,

    but a deep purple. Not any of this fruity pastel thing going on. 😉

  3. Virginia said,

    I second the purple. Go with PURPLE!
    And your mandatory artsy picture is very good.
    Ginia Bell

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