The best local yarn store in the world, Lovelyarns, is having a multi-knitter afghan project for the store. Sue asked for a 6" x 6" square that represented each of the knitters who come and hang out at her lovely shop.
I figured since I make toys all the time, I would make something to that effect:
However, I am quite lazy to calculate my own patterns, so I looked for a design that kind of suited me. Here is the happy sun pattern from knitting-and.com. I used my Cascade 220 (my favorite yarn) and happy face.
On Sunday we thought it would be nice to try a little yarn dying using food coloring and vinegar:
We had two skeins of natural colored superwash wool: one skein worsted weight and one skein fingering weight. The worsted weight wool is going to be a beanie and the fingering is going to be...socks.
We had some trouble finding boxes of food coloring. Finally we found a box of four bottles at Kroger. Our aim was to mix 1tsp of food coloring for every 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
Since we are total beginners, we started out with 1/2 tsp of red, 10 drops of blue and 4 drops of green. That totaled to about 1 tsp. We added 1 tbs of vinegar and about 1 cup of water.
To see how dark the food coloring was, we dipped little bits of paper towel into the dye mixture and checked how the dye was looking.
We were aiming for wine-red, so we added a little green to mute the color. Yay color theory.
While we were busy mixing colors, the yarn waited patiently in the pot. We did not add any vinegar to the water mixture. The water in the pot is slowly getting warm to prepare the yarn for the dye. When the water is steaming but not bubbling, we got the dye ready to go.
Happy mixing dye! mmm food coloring tastes like easter eggs!
And here is the moment we have been waiting for! Ready to pour in the dye!
We were AMAZED to see how quickly the dye was sucked into the yarn! Now the yarn had areas with really dark colors and areas with no color at all! Yikes!
We quickly mixed 1 full tsp of red, 20 drops of blue and 8 drops of green. The we mixed that with 2 tbs of vinegar. This time, we slowly poured in the dye a little at a time...
Aaaah that's better. The red is like a blackberry red. We let the yarn simmer in the pot, covered for about 30 minutes. We then let it cool to room temperature and gave it a good rinse.
The yarn color looked darker when it was wet!
And here it is, all dry and ready to be knit!
Not bad for first time!
For the fingering weight yarn, we used a different method: massaging dye into yarn with fingers and cooking it in the oven for 2 hours. Unfortunately we don't have too many pictures from that session (it was not as messy as you would think). Here are some pictures:
Yellow: 1/2tsp yellow; 3 drops blue
Blue: 1/2tsp blue; 10 drops green
Green: 1/2 tsp green; 5 drops green
I added about 4 1/2 tbs vinegar for the entire skein (100g)
It was a really fun experience! I would definitely like to try again soon! But first, I must find out how they knit up!