Thursday, October 23, 2008

crockpot dyeing

I've been watching the local "used" sites for crockpots for some time now. I found one a couple of weeks ago that I got for a great price. In fact, it's better than the one I've been using so it's now in my kitchen and the other has become the dyeing pot. Both are the big 6 quart variety which is a nice size for dyeing (and for making big batch soups and stews, but not in the same pot as the dyes).

These are the first two skeins that I made in the crockpot. At the risk of immodesty, I think the picture doesn't do them justice. I steamed them in plastic wrap bundles on top of a rack set over water. I like dyeing using the crockpot. I soak the yarn for a while, add the dye to the wet skeins, put them in the pot for 2 or 3 hours on low, unplug the pot, and let it cool off overnight. The next day, I just have to rinse the yarn, spin out the excess water, and hang it to dry. I can only do a couple of skeins at a time but it feels much less labor intensive this way for some reason. I'm currently waiting for a couple more skeins to dry; I immersion dyed them and I like them a lot too.

I need more sock yarn like I need a hole in the head so the plan was to donate them to my sister Darcie's Etsy site, Muddy Paws Knit Knacks, to add to her row counters. However, I have fallen in love with the confetti colored yarn. I am totally smitten. I need to have it. So the other skein (I think it looks like vibrant Bird of Paradise flowers) will be donated along with some more that I am in the process of dyeing. If you are interested, check her shop as I will be giving her more hand-dyed yarn as I produce it. It's a good plan. I like to play with the dyes when I have the energy and I can't possibly knit all the yarn that I dye. She can handle the advertising and selling parts which I found physically difficult due to the TMJ pain that is a problem when I'm on the computer too much.


Aunt Kathy said...

Oh Susan they are beautiful.

Some day I want to try coloring yarn.

I actually have an old crockpot center that is the same size as my crockpot now, so all I'd have to do is swap out the center when i wanted to dye. I knew I saved that for a reason, lol.

I like how both those colors turned out by the way very nice. I have no sock yarn budget yet but I'll be watching your sisters store when I do

HaveFaith said...

The colors are terrific. I see some beautiful socks emerging out of those skeins. I have only dyed with kool-ade and onion skins. What kind of dye are you using? I'd like to hear more about your technique.

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Anonymous said...

lovely skeins. I have found you can use the crock for a low water technique, put enough water, couple inches or so, in the crock and add yarn. You use 4-8 oz of yarn, one or two skeins. You want the yarn flat on the bottom, not stacked 3 layers deep. Water should not totally cover yarn but all yarn must be wet. Turn it over if you need to moisten all, then pour your dye on,2, 3, 4 colors, just leave space for the colors to flow. No saran wrapping, just let the crock-pot go for a while, turn off and cool in crock. If you have too much water the colors will blend but blue/green combos are good till you "adjust" to the specifics of your pot. If you are not using 1 shot dyes with mordant included you can add the mordant, Vinegar or lemon juice, to the water and just add acid dyes . I save old honey bottles with spouts and can put the dyes where I want them with a fair bit if accuracy

Lynn said...

You have a great eye! The confetti one is my favorite too!