Tell me if this is you…
You walk into a yarn store. You see a skein of yarn. You love it. It has all the colors! You buy it. You have no idea what you’ll knit with it. It’s so busy. You are afraid of pooling. You are afraid this beautiful skein of yarn will turn into clown barf when you knit it.
If this is you and you have that very yarn languishing in your stash, I have a solution for you. My Visual Interest Cowl will showcase those gorgeous hanks. Clown barf, no more. The visually interesting spirals of salt and pepper stitch accent the stunning colors of indie-dyed yarn. (See below for a cool tutorial to dye your own yarn in a mason jar.)
BONUS: Dyeing Yarn in a Mason Jar
1 skein of fingering weight yarn (at least 70% animal fiber)
Dyes (I used Greener Shades Dyes – they are non-toxic)
1 Mason Jar
1 glass casserole dish or bowl
several small cups or containers
spoon or popsicle stick
Plastic syringe (the kind you use to give babies or pets liquid medicine)
Gloves and mask (follow safety recommendations provided with dyes)
Prepare Your Yarn
1- If it is not already in a hank, you’ll need to wind it around a swift or chair and tie it in several places to prevent tangling.
2- Soak yarn in warm water and a ¼ cup vinegar for about 45 minutes. This will open up the fibers and get them ready to accept your dye.
Prepare Your Dye
1- Follow the mixing instructions that come with your dye and make several colors in separate cups. Be sure to wear your gloves and mask and follow all the safety precautions recommended by your dye manufacturer.
The Fun Part
1- Put your yarn in a mason jar. Add a ¼ cup of vinegar and fill with warm water.
2- Fill your syringe with dye and squeeze into the jar. You can use your spoon or popsicle stick to gain access to the lower portions of the jar. Be careful not to stir or agitate the mixture or your colors will get muddy.
3- After you’ve added your dye, place the jar in the microwave. Zap for 2 minutes. Let it sit for 2 minutes and then zap again. Continue to microwave in 2-minute chunks until you’ve reached 10 minutes. Check your jar. Is the water clear? If so, you are done. Remove your jar and let it cool on the counter. If not, do a few more 2-minute cycles and check again.
Even More Fun
1- When your jar is cool enough to handle, pull your yarn out and place in the dish or bowl. Examine your colors and coverage. You can now use your syringe to add a bit more dye in any areas that are still too white or wherever you want to change the color a bit.
2- Pop it in the microwave again for a five more 2-minute cycles.
3- Let the whole thing cool off again.
4- Rinse your yarn carefully in tepid water. Gently squeeze the water out without twisting or agitating the fibers.
5- Hang your yarn on a drying rack or hanger and allow to dry completely.
Still More Fun
1- Wind your dry yarn into a cake and knit something fun. (Check out Yarn Over New York for ideas)