A friend of a friend, my hairdresser is having her second baby in November. She is fantastic and, even though I don’t see her nearly often enough, I adore her. This girl is into pin-ups and is a lovely colourful person with tattoos and piercings. I remember her dressing her first daughter in the funkiest clothes known to baby-kind. I wanted to knit her new arrival something sweet, but baby pink just wasn’t going to be a neat fit!
I’ve been trying my hand at hand dyeing lately, so decided to create some bespoke yarn for this little bubba. I wanted clear, sharp divisions between really bright colours so I opted for hand painting with AmeriColor gel food dyes. The yarn is 100% wool Bendigo Woollen Mills‘ Luxury 10 ply in Frost, which I had left over from Harriet’s little blanket a few weeks back.
I was rushing through nap time so didn’t stop to take photos of the dyeing process, but I basically just skeined the yarn from a ball, soaked it with a little washing up detergent and citric acid (from the baking aisle), and then laid it out on a row of cutting boards covered with cling wrap before pouring dye over it quite haphazardly.
I microwaved the wrapped up yarn in a glass bowl in short bursts until the water inside the package ran clear. When it had cooled a little, I rinsed the yarn and then hung it in the shade to dry. The whole process took me less than an hour and a half. The AmeriColor dyes are great and the citric acid worked to fix the dye well without leaving a vinegary smell behind.
I was really pleased with the end result. At first I was a little shocked by how bright it was, but as I knitted it up it really grew on me and I managed to avoid any weird pooling of the colours.
I knitted what has become my go-to girl knit – another of Kelly Herdrich’s in threes: a baby cardigan. I think I could almost knit one of these without the pattern! This is the 0-6 month size, knitted on 4mm needles to get the required gauge. I had to find some suitably bright buttons. I think these fit the bill.
As I was coming to the end of the body I almost ran out of yarn. I was so close. Less than two metres were left, in the end. Not good for one’s blood pressure, that’s for sure! I stayed up late knitting just to get to the end to find out whether it was all going to end in tears or whether I’d sneak through.
Anyway, I hope it gets a bit of wear. I’ve been so pleasantly surprised with this lot of hand painting that I think I’ll be giving it another go.
We had a successful visit to the hairdresser today. Elena, although concerned, sat through her haircut and was rewarded with some sparkly, colourful hair.
Hugo had his first haircut. His hair was getting into his eyes so I couldn’t hold off any longer. I’m so glad that we were prepared and got the kids in before this lovely lady’s mat leave starts!
Ravelry project notes here.
I love that pattern! Usually I don’t like spending too much on patterns but I’d totally pay $6 for this (in fact I might just do that), and I bet the sleeves could be made longer if desired. Your yarn turned out beautifully — I can’t imagine how you didn’t end up with a muddy mess, because that’s how it would have gone for me! I think I would also pay you to dye yarn and mail it to me. 🙂
It is a great pattern – always turns out really nicely.
This turned out so cute! I love the bright colors, and I’m not sure if it’s an optical illusion or not but it seems like the colors are more intense up around the neckline – looks great!!
I suspect you’re right – I think the dye didn’t strike as well towards the bottom of the skein 🙂
give yourself a big pat on the back with such a successful dye job. The receiptant should be extremely happy with it.
Its adorable! Once again, a beautiful knit job. You are a very talented lady =)
What a great match with the buttons! I’m sure she loved it.
I think she did 🙂
Wow – does the dye set so it doesn’t run in the wash? Next you’ll have your own sheep and start shearing and spinning your own wool.
It does 🙂 You add vinegar and it fixes the colour. I don’t think it would stand up to heaps of heavy washing, but it’s fine for hand washing 🙂 It’s funny you mention the spinning…the Spinners and Weavers are having an open day next weekend!
And?? Have you got your own spinning wheel now?
I resisted the urge!! Let it be known that I resisted a craft temptation! I am putting it on the ‘when the kids are older’ list…although, I did learn that the Guild hires wheels out for $15 a month…
That cardigan is amazing!! You’ve done a brilliant job with the yarn! I want a matching mummy and daughter set 🙂 Did you find videos on dyeing this way on you tube? Great name by the way 🙂
I mostly read up on dyeing on the ravelry forums 🙂