Off on a new adventure!

Welcome new readers!

This is hopefully the first of many posts to come! I thought I'd start things off with some easter egg dye experiments I did last week. Quite a long post but I hope it's worth reading and it helps you with your own dye experiments :)

I scored some Drops Fabel (50 gram skeins) on sale and bought a whole hand full of Hema easter egg dye pellet packets. There are six bright colours in every packet: orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink. I also have a large collection of the weird metal thingies meant to hold your egg with that come with every packet... Oh well, who knows when they come in handy. I started off with some YouTube research which taught me I'd need vinegar (more than needed when dyeing with acid dyes) and that yarn felts when it experiences temperature shocks or is agitated too much. The amount of dye pellets used in every clip varied with every clip too, so I just decided to wing it for the first experiment.

To start with I filled a large pot with lukewarm water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and gently pushed the loose skein of yarn in to remove air. Then I let it soak for about half an hour. The yarn was pretty much saturated after that and was submerged. Time to turn on the heat: I didn't turn it on high, but medium. Then I popped on the lid and waited for it to start to simmer. Turning the heat down to keep it simmering but not boiling, I then added the dye pellets, six in total. I decided to go with yellow, pink and orange. Two of each placed on the yarn and moved around a bit to distribute the dye.
     I noticed that the dye pellets gave off colour to the yarn as soon as I placed one on the yarn and not much colour was given off into the water. You can see this in the finished skein as the darkly coloured patches. I'm thinking this is due to the amount of vinegar. If you want a more even colour try a bit less vinegar and perhaps even adding the dye pellets to the water before putting in and heating the yarn so you can make a more or less even dyebath.

Just after dropping the pellets in

After ~10 minutes of simmering

Anyway, I poked around a bit and then put the lid on again and left it to simmer for about ten minutes. The contents of the pot already looked vastly different after this time. All the dye had dissolved and spread through the pot and started exhausting into the yarn. The water wasn't clear yet, but I turned off the heat and let it cool down completely. Once it was cool enough to handle the water was clear and I rinsed the yarn a few times with lukewarm water before giving it a soak with a little woolwash. See the pretty pictures for the final results!

The second skein I decided to do with the same colours (yellow, pink, orange), but with only 1 pellet of each colour, so three pellets in total. I only pushed the yarn under to remove some air but didn't let it soak before turning on the heat, hoping for a more mottled effect. I also lightly twisted the skein, hoping for a slight tie dye effect. All the other steps were the same. The third and fourth skein I repeated the process for the first and second skein, only with green, yellow and blue.

The fifth skein was a bit of a failure. I decided on the method for the second skein (3 pellets, lightly twisted) with the colours purple, yellow and orange. However, after dropping in the purple pellet I noticed fairly quickly the colour was breaking. The red pigments were exhausting into the yarn but the blue was released more slowly and turned the water blue. You can see this effect in the picture to the right.

Although that skein turned out a weird muddy purple with the white sections very light blue, it did give me an idea for the two light grey fabel skeins I still had in my stash. I decided to break the purple on purpose, and to that end I added 2,5 tablespoons of vinegar to the pot. I soaked the yarn before turning on the heat and then I added 4 purple dye pellets. I poked around and gently stirred to distribute the colour a bit and make sure the dye pellets dissolved entirely. I think these skeins are my favourite! Just look at the colours!

I hope you enjoyed this first post and it inspired you to do some experiments of your own! I'm going to have to knit a lot of socks now, luckily the bug bit me a while back and I have a first sock project lying around! I'm very curious to see how these yarns knit up and how the pairs of socks will look. Since the fabel skeins are 50 grams each skein will make one sock. I'll keep you posted!

 Things to come: my first landscape dye experiments, my Sticks&Cups competition entry in Scheepjes Olifantje, my green and lacey scarf in Chestnut Cabin yak yarn, my first sock project and, when I have some time to pick it up again, the 2017 Hygge Scheepjes CAL!