the domestic sphere

my dalliances with all things domestic



Now that KNITTY is up, here's a bit more on Kool-Aid dyeing for you.

Advanced Variegation Technique for the Anally-Retentive:

If you love variegation, but just need more order in your life, you can customize your yarn to fit your project. First, find a pattern you like. For best results, choose a boxy pattern knit in the round so the repeats are consistent. You may even want to steek the sleeves so your variegation will stay consistent throughout.

Knit a swatch with the yarn and needles you'll be using for the project. Mark the end of your yarn and unravel exactly one row. My 40 stitch swatch, for example, measures 32 inches per row. So each stitch requires 0.8 inches of yarn. Figure out how many inches of yarn will be needed for each round of knitting. For example, 190 stitches x .8 inches = 152 inches of yarn. Since I want the front and back to be more or less the same, I divide that length in half and get 76 inches. So I want each loop of my skein to be 76 inches long -- this means the skein will measure 38 inches end to end.

Take all the yarn you'll need for the project and make it into appropriately lengthed skeins (find a wastebasket, cereal box, or chair back that has the appropriate dimension!). For best results, don't make the skeins too thick. You'll be happier with twenty smaller skeins than with ten fat ones! Wet the skeins and arrange them on your garbage bag covered work surface... it's fine if they touch.

Now for the fun part! Sip a little Kool-Aid (sweetened!) to summon the muse, mix up your colors and paint across all of your skeins in stripes, keeping your color bands consistent from skein to skein. Make sure the dye has carried through to the back of the skeins. You can make lots of stripes or just a few, saturating all the yarn or leaving white space. When you are satisfied with the way they look, set the dyes using the steamer or microwave method (See my article, "Dyed in the Wool" in KNITTY for details). Imagine how the gals at the Stitch n' Bitch will swoon!

posted by kristi at 9/27/2002 12:21:00 PM
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