Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chunky Blocks Cowl

I have both been wanting to dye yarn and knit a cowl for a while now, so I decided to combine the two, and came up with this.

I used Lion Brand Alpine Wool, which is a soft, squishy roving yarn.  I also did a brief video of dying the yarn, which you can use as a reference to dye your own yarn.

This is just for general reference, not an exact tutorial.

I used McCormick Neon food coloring, and doubled their instructions for Stormy Blue that is on the box.  I used about 16 cups of water.

I spit spliced the two skeins of yarn together,  and wrapped it around two chairs that were spaced out as far as I could put them.  Once that was done, I tied it off (loosely) into several sections.  This is to keep it from getting tangled, and also to give me a guide for how much to dunk into the dye at a time.  It really isn't crucial to have the yarn tied off at specific measurements, I just eyeballed it for even intervals all the way around.

Next, I filled the sink with a few inches or so of cool water and a little white vinegar for the yarn to soak in.  The vinegar will help the yarn absorb the dye, and you can even add a tablespoon to the dye pot as well if you want.  Just don't overdo it.  I have heard bad things happen if you use too much :0)

After about 15-20 minutes, I took the yarn from the sink, gently squeezing out the excess water as I went, and then wrapped it around a wooden spoon, which I let rest over the top of the pot.  This is so I could unwind the yarn a little at a time into the dye.  Just be careful that the yarn doesn't hang down the outside of the pot and get on the burner!!  (Also, you really don't want to move the yarn very much, or there is always the risk of felting it.)  I lowered the yarn into the dye a section at a time, at about 15 minute or so intervals.  Honestly, I didn't set a timer, I just guesstimated.  Incase you didn't know, I tend to let things happen as they may - I don't go for sterile, scientific practices.  Just be sure that you get all of the yarn into the dye before all of the color is absorbed, or you will be left with undyed yarn.  Unless that is what you are going for.

Once all of the yarn has been lowered into the pot,  and the water has reached boiling, turn down the heat to a low simmer, cover with a lid.  Then, when the water is mostly clear, turn off the heat and let the whole shebang cool off.   Once mine was cooled off, I just dumped it all into the sink, then rinsed it with cool water.  Squeeze out the excess water and dry.  I use a small wooden laundry rack to dry my yarn.   You can drape it over the shower bar, or any place else you have available.  I like to put mine outside so I don't have to worry about wet carpet.

If you don't want to go to all the bother to dye your own yarn,  there are some lovely colors available at the store.  You needn't dye your own for this pattern.  I am just including the info incase you would like to.

When my yarn was finally dry, I wound it into a ball and started knitting.  My first idea didn't work out well, so I had to frog and start over.  The second time was the charm.

The pattern is available for purchase HERE

And here is the video.  Happy Knitting, and Enjoy!

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