Monday, June 16, 2008

Dyeing, not dying

As you probably saw, the new Knitty came out a few days ago. While there were a lot of gems in this season's issue (my Ravelry queue is growing!) I was immediately struck by the little sweater on the front cover, Shetland Shorty. Summer here is pretty miserable by my estimation, so I've been expanding my summer wardrobe to include lots and lots of dresses. Of course not all of them are really appropriate for all occasions, or sometimes I get chilly in the evening. I knew right away this was the perfect little sweater to go over a dress.

Of course, the last thing I need right now is to buy more yarn. But I do have a big bag of Knit Picks "Bare" or "Color Your Own" - whatever they're calling it now. And I didn't really want the white color, so it was time for a kitchen experiment.

I don't keep Kool-Aid around, but I did have a couple boxes of cheap or old tea. It was time to brew up a whole lot of it!

Tea packaging

It was kind of amusing, standing there and ripping apart all the little tea packages. I dumped in a whole box of Earl Grey as well as three or four big scoops of loose tea and set it to boil for a while. I was reading about tea dyeing online and some sources said to let it simmer overnight, but I'm impatient and that seemed like a waste of energy.

Tea brewing

After the house smelled pretty strongly of it, out came the tea bags...

Used tea

And in went the yarn to simmer for a while. In the meanwhile, I had dinner and did some other things around the house, and shut off the heat and went to bed.

Simmering yarn


The next morning, I had some nice brown yarn to rinse. It took four or five rinses to get the extra tea out.

Rinsing yarn

And then I hung it to dry over the sink and left it alone for the rest of the day.

Yarn drying

The finished project is a nice, even caramel tan color. I could have handled it being a little darker, but this is not bad and in my opinion a pretty successful dye job (seeing as I didn't know what shade it was going to be). Thankfully once the yarn was dry all the loose tea came out with a few shakes.

Tea Yarn

Now all I have to do is finish some other projects so I can start a new one! While summer here seems neverending and unbearable, I know in knitting time it will be over all too soon.

1 comment:

Sarah G said...

I too love the Shetland Shorty! I bet your yarn has a pretty good scent to it - the other day I dyed my hair and I could have sworn there was some bergamot in there, since I smelled like Earl Grey the rest of the day.