Thursday, March 15, 2007

Painting yarn - New technique

When you want to make a garment where the colours slowly move in to each other and not have a repetitive colour sequence you might want to try the following technique out.

I have seen this technique on a few blogs and have had the idea to use it in the back of my head for a year or more now. One evening I decided it was time to activate the idea.

This technique is perfect for lace shawls knitted in triangular or squares knitted from the middle and out. Since complicated knitted lace could be completely hidden in variegated yarns and sharp colour contrasts this technique is a good way to colour up your lace.

Knit up a plain fabric of all the yarn you will need to complete your garment.

Wash the fabric carefully not to felt it, rinse and use a little white vinegar in the rinse water. Press out all excessive water.

Protect yourself and the painting area with latex gloves and plastic cover. Mix colors and spread out the damp fabric on the painting area.

Here you see my fabric spread out on my kitchen table, brushes and dyes waiting.

If you are concerned where the colours will come in your garment you need to make calculations. But otherwise just take out the dyes and the brushes and start painting. I had just a vague plan in my head and painted the fabric according to this.

Remember always use the colours that makes you tingle.

Paint the fabric roughly following the rows. The dyes can be slightly uneven applied, some will even out and the rest will add an interesting effect in the knitted garment to be. Let the colour changes be a bit uneven to make them slowly grow into each other. Sharp colour contrasts painted perfectly following the rows will make sharp colour changes in the knitted garment to be.

When you are done with the painting roll the fabric together vertically so that the same color is placed on the same place through the roll. If you do not want the colors to bleed, wrap the roll in plastic.

Put the role in a micowave safe container. Here I have rolled the role in the glass utensil specially purchased for dyeing.

Put on the lid of the container and place the container with the damp/wet fabric in the microwave. Turn the microwave on full effect for 3-5 minutes, until the water in the wet fabric is close to the boiling point.

Let the container rest in the microwave for 10 minutes and turn the microwave on again to rice the temperature up to the boiling point. Let the fabric rest another 10 minutes before rising the temperature up again.

Cover the container with some old towels and let the fabric slowly cool down. The longer cooling down period the better the colours bite on the fibers.

Here is my cooled down fabric ready to be washed to remove any traces of dyes left in the fabric.

Wash and rinse the fabric carefully. Remember too much agitation will felt the wool. Be careful!

Below is my washed and dried fabric. As the observant viewer will notice the colour has bled and into each other due to me not wrapping the role in plastic. The colours have also evened out some of the unevenness and the transitions between the colours have softened up.

Now it's time to rip out the fabric and wind it to a ball or a hank.

Below is my ready yarn on a ball.

This is the end of this story for now. The yarn has been added to my stash of yarns that needs to be used. Hopefully I will soon find the perfect project for this yarn.


mangomilch said...

Hi to Finland :),

this is just amazing, never thought to dye with such a technique before! Great! I put a link to this article in my blog, hope that is okay.

Greeting from Germany,

I found your blog today and am reading through the archives... :)

Gaby said...

Very good idea!!!
I found you through Ravelry