Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A little fall color
For September's Wee Tiny Sock Club kit, I knit up a little apple sock, with an inchworm buddy inside. The yarn I used was mini sock blanks from Mango's Fiber Fun, which I Kool-Aid dyed to work with the apple pattern. Here's a little tour of the process.
First, I soaked the blanks for about 20 minutes, just to get them good and wet before dying them.
While they were soaking, I mixed up my colors. I wanted a nice red for the apple. That's just Tropical Fruit Punch Kool-Aid, straight up. For each packet of Kool-Aid, I mixed in 4 tablespoons of water.
Next, I needed a soft yellow-green for the apple's rosy cheeks. To get this color I started with 1 packet of Lemonade Kool-Aid mixed into 2 tablespoons of water. In a separate dish, I mixed 1 packet of Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid in 4 tablespoons of water. Then I added it teaspoon by teaspoon until I was happy with the color. That was about 2 teaspoons of green.
The last color was for the leaf and the worm, a green, but not so bright as the Lemon-Lime all by itself. I started with 1 packet of Lemon-Lime in 4 tablespoons of water, and separately mixed up 1 packet of Orange Kool-Aid in 4 tablespoons of water. Then I added the orange a teaspoon at a time until I was happy with the color. I used about 4-5 teaspoons of orange.
I poured my final color mixes into squeeze bottles that you can get a beauty supply store for hair dye. Now we're ready to dye! I dyed them 2 at a time. First I squeezed out as much water as I could, then laid them out in a 9x13 baking dish (make sure you use one that fits in your microwave). I spread them out as well as I could, but the edges were a bit curly. Then I just squirted the dye on. For this particular project, I wanted to have a bit of color separation, so I did not over saturate the blanks with dye.
Next step is to microwave them for 30 seconds. Your microwave may vary, of course.You are just going for getting them nice and steaming hot. Just be careful you don't let them go so long they start to dry out, as I'm pretty sure you run the risk of burning your yarn if that happens. The house smells really fruity after this step. :) Most of the white spots fill in as the dye soaks through after the blanks are heated up.
After they come out of the microwave, let them cool completely. I used wire cooling racks. It only takes about 5-10 minutes for them to cool.
Then, rinse well until the water runs clear and lay them out to dry.
I couldn't resist making a little rainbow one. still have a couple undyed blamks left, waiting for inspiration to strike. I may add some food coloring into the mix next time. Last time I dyed yarn, we used vinegar for the acid with the food coloring, and that worked well.
Each blank is unique, so all the apples will turn out just a little different, like real ones. The club member who have knit them up have taken the cutest photos. Check out the gallery on Ravelry. I love them all. :)