(And yes, the puns have been flying…)

I don’t remember if I mentioned that I’ve been thinking about dyeing. I’ve been a little reluctant to start, because I have a lot of yarn in backstock already, and I don’t want to give myself one more way to add to the stash faster than I can knit out of it. And yet, it’s been kicking around in the back of my mind for quite some time. I work with dyes all the time at work (my lab grows dyed crystals, so I get to work and play with dyes at the same time), though crystals aren’t nearly as fun as yarn.

I mentioned to Branden that I was thinking about dyeing a few months ago. He’d bought me a book on dyeing for Christmas, and I mentioned it again in early March. Next thing I knew, he’d gone out and gotten me a sock dyeing kit from Louet. It’s very dangerous (and very nice) having my own live-in enabler.

I had a couple of things I wanted to finish up before I let myself play with my dye kit, so I resisted the urge to do it right away. And then we moved. I may have mentioned that we have a basement. I may also have mentioned that I’m thinking that our basement would make a great dye studio. I really don’t need a dye studio. But if I did, our basement would be rather ideal.

Of course, one can’t talk about dye studios when one has never actually dyed anything besides crystals in beakers. So last Saturday we broke out the Saran wrap and dyed.

Bare yarn got stripes of one color

Then another

After adding a background color, it was microwaved to within an inch of its life. The directions said to do this. It feels wrong to me to microwave my yarn. I think I will boil/steam in future. I don’t know why that’s any better, but somehow it is. Anyway, this yarn was microwaved until the plastic bags fused together.

I was interested to see how well the wool absorbed all of the dye from the water (I almost said solution…I am such a chemist). I was expecting there to be dye left in the water that squeezed out, but there wasn’t any. There also wasn’t any dye leakage when the skeins were washed. So, at least the microwave did its job well.

The skeins were dried overnight, washed, and dried again. Aren’t the blues pretty?

Branden suggested on Sunday that he could do a guest post and say that “Erica dyed yesterday,” but I was afraid that might be worrisome as it would have been the first post since the long absence of blogging. But yes, I am indeed dyeing. Now I just need to get knitting…