Speckles are one of my favorite things to dye! They are bright, random pops of color that are fun to apply and delightful to knit. Today on the blog, we will be sharing how to create blurred speckles using pipettes for precision application. This method gives you control over color placement. Let’s get started!
*Any materials used in acid dyeing are no longer food safe and should be kept separate
Fill your bowl with cool water. Submerge both skeins of STRATUS in the water. Allow the skeins to soak for at least an hour. A thorough presoak ensures that the protective cuticle layer of the fiber opens up. Presoaking your yarn allows the dye to penetrate the fiber’s core for an even application of dye and vibrant color.
Label each jar with the names of the dye. Fill each jar with two inches of the hottest water out of your tap. Put on your respirator, apron, and gloves before opening the dye. Dissolve a one-quarter teaspoon of dye into each of the corresponding jars. Stir gently to dissolve the dye. Add a dash of citric acid into each dye mix and stir to dissolve. Place a pipette in each jar.
To protect your table, you should cover the surface with newspapers or a garbage bag. If you have a dedicated dyeing table, you can skip this step. Lay down sheets of plastic wrap on the table, covering a surface area of about two feet by three feet. Overlap each sheet of plastic wrap by six inches.
Squeeze out the excess water from your presoaked skeins of EGRET. If you have a yarn or salad spinner, that is a great tool to remove the excess water. The skeins should be damp and should not be dripping wet. Lay the two skeins on the plastic wrap, spreading them out, so the yarn is one even layer.
Use the pipettes to drip dye over the skeins of yarn to create drops and speckles. I like to work from light to dark, so I started with the Electric Violet dye. Make sure to flip over the yarn to dye the underside. Layer and drip the dye to your desired amount of saturation.
Fold the extra plastic wrap over the top of the dyed yarn. If you do not have enough plastic wrap to cover the top of the yarn completely, you can lay an extra sheet on top. Then, roll the plastic-wrapped yarn up into a small coil.
Place a steam rack in the bottom of your dye pot. Fill the bottom of your dye pot with one inch of water or just below your steam rack. Place your plastic-wrapped coil of yarn on top of the steam rack and put the lid on the pot. Turn the heat on high or medium-high. Once steam rises, allow the yarn to continue to set for 30-45 minutes. After that time, turn off the heat and remove the lid from the pot.
Allow the yarn to cool to the touch and remove it from the dye pot. Unroll the plastic-wrapped bundle carefully as the inside may still be hot. Once the yarn is cool, rinse it until the water runs clear. Hang to dry.
This method of applying speckles gives you precise control over placement and allows for some fun layering of the colors! Applying the dye to cool yarn allows the edges to soften and blend into each other, creating vibrant color shifts throughout the yarn!
if you want sharped edges on your blurred speckles, skip the plastic wrap and place the yarn in a chafing dish over heat. Applying the dye to hot yarn will cause the dye to set more quickly, giving you sharper edges on your blurred speckles!
What colors would you use in your speckle dye? Let us know in the comments!
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