TO ACHIEVE A Speckled LOOK:
First, choose your cooking method. Will you be using a stove or the microwave? (We don’t recommend an electric kettle for speckled yarn… you don’t get enough surface area). Make sure you are using utensils specially set aside for this purpose… please do not reuse dye pans or utensils for food preparation!
Things you’ll need: a pair of chopsticks, a spoon, or some other utensil to lift hot yarn out of the dye bath (A pair of tongs is ideal). A bowl to soak your yarn in. A large kettle if you’re doing stove-top dyeing. If you’re using the microwave, you’ll need a nice large rectangular or oval microwave safe dish, as large as will fit in your microwave. NOTE: Please read the instructions all the way through before starting!
1. Open your Kit. Inside it you’ll find a skein of yarn (or three if it’s a gradient kit). You’ll also find a paper packet not unlike the ones you find in a jello box (two if it’s a gradient kit).
2. Fill your bowl with nice warm water. Take your skein (or skeins) of yarn, and gently untwist and lower into the warm water. You’ll want to lay it into the water carefully (and if you have three skeins, you’ll want to set them next to each other so you can pull them out one at a time). Allow the yarn to sit in the water for at least 10 minutes. 20 is better. Pour yourself a nice beverage… put on some music… take your time and enjoy the process!
NOTE: Did you read the instructions all the way through? You rebel! I never read them either, but now that the yarn’s soaking you really should read the directions!
3. Once your yarn is soaked and you’re nice and happy and mellow, pour some water into your cooking pot (or microwave safe dish). Next, lift the skeins out of the soak water, and lay them carefully in the pot or dish. The goal is to keep each skein separate, with as much surface area visible as possible. You can use as squiggle pattern or just fold the skein and lay them next to each other, or you can swirl them into little round buns. Add more water as needed so the skeins are just covered.
4. Heat the water and yarn carefully until they are quite hot, but do not boil. If you’re using a microwave, start with a few seconds at a time. The worst thing that can happen when using a microwave is that you give it too much time and it boils over, trashing the inside of your microwave!
5. Once the yarn and water are nice and hot, turn your attention to the packet (or packets). Rip the corner off the packet. You’ll be using ONLY 1/2 OF THE PACKET for this part of the process (we’ll be flipping the yarn and repeating if you decided you want a darker skein) - if it’s a gradient pack, only open the first packet.
6. Very slowly and carefully sprinkle the powder onto the yarn, tapping the packet with one hand to distribute it slowly. Less is more with speckles! You can always add more later! If you are working with a gradient, sprinkle a tiny bit on the first skein, more on the second, and most on the third! Do not agitate the water. Carefully heat again!
7. Bring the yarn to a simmer, and cook until the dye bath is clear (or mostly clear). Allow to cool in place.
8. Once the yarn is cool enough that you can touch it, go ahead and flip the skeins over. Do they need more dye? Go ahead and repeat steps 5-7 with the other half of the packet (or the second packet for the gradient).
8. Rinse your skein or skeins (I usually pull it out of the dye bath and put it back in the soak water to rinse). Hang to dry!
NOTE: Want to get fancy? Combine two kits and dye both skeins at the same time, with two colors! Want to get even fancier? Dye two kits using half the dye in one kit to achieve a light semisolid, then use the powder from the second kit to add speckles!