Dip dye

One of the things I wanted to do in 2020 was dye up all the yarn left from our Wandering Cat endeavours. My plan was to dye once a week until there was no more left (I had three large rubbermaid tubs of varying weights and fibres). Despite having plenty of time at home, that didn’t happen. I was more often quilting than knitting, and dyeing was pretty low on the list.

But then just before the new year, I was helping Mom clean out one of her closets (so she can fit MORE fabric in it!), and we came across ANOTHER bag of undyed yarn. I brought it home with me, with a renewed commitment to DYE ALL THE YARN.

The very next day I got to it.

There were five skeins of a fingering weight bamboo/Falkland merino blend (the ones found in the closet),three skeins of cashmere/merino aran, three skeins of fingering weight merino/mohair, and two skeins of a fingering weight silk/BFL base.

I slopped dye on all of them and just generally had a grand time making a big mess. But then it happened….

Normally, once all the yarn is dyed, heat-set, and rinsed, we put them in lingerie bags, and put them through the washer on a spin-only cycle. This spins the excess water out of them (wringing them out only does so much) so they don’t drip all over the place, and they dry a lot faster.

But last month, our washer went down. Dave’s mom graciously gave us the apartment-sized one from her condo (she’s living with Grandma now, so she doesn’t use it.) It’s quite old, but it does the job and didn’t cost us a thing, so I’m quite happy. Yet… it doesn’t have the spin part of cycle marked on the dial like my old one. You have to guess.

And I tried. But I wasn’t getting it right, and it was making all kinds of bangs and bumps. Since it’s old, I didn’t want to chance breaking it. I thought to myself – everything is in lingerie bags, and I’m using cold water… it shouldn’t hurt if I put it through a full wash cycle (with no soap). It’s just more water, right?

WRONG! I forgot about one crucial thing. AGITATION! Maybe if I had put it on a gentle cycle, it would have been different. But… when the washer finally stopped, I pulled out the bags and opened them up. It wasn’t good.

Because they were superwash, they didn’t felt…. but… they were an absolute tangled mess. Getting them on the swift and into cakes was going to be interesting. If not impossible.

Thankfully, I only have so many lingerie bags, so only the bamboo blend went through the washer. The others would just have to drip dry.

And maybe those bamboo ones would look a little better when dried. Or maybe not…

Utter, tangled mess. Still these others looked good.

Top is the merino/mohair blend, bottom right is the silk/BFL, and bottom left is the cashmere/merino.

Now it was time to tackle the untangling of that bamboo!

I’m pleased to say, it went much better than expected! It was a couple hours work, and one skein was tangled beyond salvation, but four of them are now caked and ready to go!

And I’ve still got two-and-a-half bins to dye up!

10 thoughts on “Dip dye

  1. Araignee

    I almost had a panic attack reading this. I’ve done that before but not on that scale. I can just imagine your horror. They did turn out beautifully though. Whew…..


  2. Shirley Elliott

    The colors of the yarn are just beautiful! What a great save you made on the washing machine “accident”. It would have been sad to lose that beautiful yarn.


  3. jatshaw

    What are you going to do with all this pretty yarn? Am so glad that you were able to untangle the bamboo yarn. Have fun dying the rest. It looks like you won’t have to go yarn shopping for a while!


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