To Achieve a VARIEGATED Look:
First, choose your cooking method. Will you be using a stove, the microwave, or an electric kettle (specially set aside for this purpose… please do not reuse dye pans or utensils for food preparation!). The instructions are essentially the same for all three methods. I’ll add special notes for microwave or kettle users as needed.
Things you’ll need: a pair of chopsticks, a spoon, or some other utensil to lift hot yarn out of the dye bath. A bowl to soak your yarn in. If you’re using the microwave, you’ll need a microwave safe dish. 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.. please see gradient dyeing instructions to obtain a gradient). You’ll also find a paper packet not unlike the ones you find in a jello box.
2. Fill your bowl with nice warm water. Now here’s the tricky part… you’ll want your skein to be twisted up, the way it is in the box, but the amount of twist in the skein will determine how variegated your yarn is. For less contrast between light and dark, untwist the yarn and re-twist so that it is nice and loose. For a more dramatic effect, with plenty of white, twist your skein tightly so that the dye doesn’t penetrate into the center. Once the skein is the way you want it, drop it in the warm water and let it soak. Allow the yarn to sit in the water for at least 20 minutes. 30 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 water into your cooking pot (or kettle or microwave safe dish). Next, rip open the packet, and pour the contents of the packet into your pot (or kettle or microwave safe dish). Stir gently to dissolve the dye.
4. Heat the dye bath and stir to dissolve the dye and citric acid from the packet. 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 dye bath is well dissolved and nice and warm, turn your attention to the soaking skein. Pull it out of the water without untwisting, and squeeze out the excess water. Then, lower it into the dye bath. You’ll want to give it some pokes with a chopstick or other utensil, but don’t stir it up or you’ll tangle your yarn!
6. Heat the dyebath (and the skein) and simmer until the water is clear (or mostly clear.. you may see a tiny bit of color in the water and it’s OK).
7. Rinse your skein (I usually pull it out of the dye bath and put it back in the soak water to rinse). Untwist and admire your work! Hang to dry!