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Two Bases in One Dye Pot

By Amy Reader on February 22, 2022

If you’ve ever wondered what the same dye treatment looks like on two different undyed bases, then wonder no more! Today we are dyeing up a skein of PRISM and EGRET using beautiful shades of pink in the same dye pot to show off the differences between the two bases. One of things that makes PRISM so unique and lovely is the fluffy twist created by the 2 ply strands. The touch of merino silk adds such a gorgeous shine to the finished yarn. The perfect yarn to contrast PRISM is the buttery soft EGRET. EGRET is a single ply yarn made of soft, organic merino wool that is delicate and thin.

The dye process used here is a low immersion dye. This means that there is not a lot of water in the dye pot. This method of dyeing creates pools and pockets of color because the dye does not flow as freely around the yarn since the lower volume of water allows the yarn to keep the dye in place. This can mimic a hand painted effect with softer edges and the ease of having the yarn contained inside the dye pot the entire time. I personally always dye in a slow cooker so the heating element is attached to my dye pot making the entire process quite seamless! 

SUPPLIES

1 skein PRISM

1 skein EGRET

Dharma Acid Dyes in PEACH BLUSH and BERRY CRUSH

Citric acid or white vinegar

Tongs

Gloves

Gram scale and small cups

Respirator

Dye pot with lid and heat source

Bowl

Zip ties

Note: any tools used to dye using acid dyes are no longer food safe. 

PRESOAK

Loop zip ties around the yarn if you are using them. Submerge both skeins in a bowl full of cool water with two tablespoons of citric acid until the water is fully absorbed. The yarn will change color and become darker and will sink on its own. A full presoak opens up the outer cuticle layer of the yarn allowing the dye to to be absorbed evenly throughout so a full presoak is important for smooth colors.

PREPARE THE DYE

While wearing your mask and gloves, weigh out two grams of PEACH BLUSH in one small cup and a half gram of BERRY CRUSH in a second cup. Stir in about an ounce of water and dissolve the dye fully in each cup. 

LOW IMMERSION SETUP

Move the fully presoaked yarn into your dye pot by gently squeezing out the excess water and then laying each skein down side by side in an even pattern. For this method, we want the dye to absorb evenly across each skein so the skeins are laid in a mirror pattern of each other across the long side of the dye pot. Slowly add water to the dye pot until there is no more than a half inch of water above the yarn. It should be a thin layer of water that is clearly visible. Put the lid on the dye pot and turn the heat on medium

ADD THE DYE

Once the dye bath is warm, add the PEACH BLUSH dye on one end of the dye pot. Make sure the end you are adding the dye to has an even amount of both skeins of the yarn. There should be a horizontal line down the middle where the two skeins meet and we are starting on the left side. Use tongs or a spoon to gently move the yarn around to allow the dye to flow around the yarn a bit on only one half of the dye point evenly across both skeins. 

 

On the other side of the dye pot, pour in the BERRY CRUSH dye and repeat the process to move the yarn a bit to allow the dye to move around the skeins and allow the dye to meet in the middle. 

 

Let the dye bath stay on medium heat until the dye is fully exhausted. The surrounding water will be clear. Avoid simmering or boiling your yarn as it will felt. Once the dye bath is exhausted, remove the heat and allow it to cool fully. I usually leave it to cool overnight and rinse first thing in the morning, but it will take several hours to cool. 

RINSE AND DRY

Once the yarn is completely cooled, gently rinse it fully with cool water. Squeeze out all of the excess water and hang to dry. Be sure to lay a towel down to catch the drips while the yarn dries or hang it over a sink or a bathtub. 

Dyed overview1

THE FINISHED YARN

The different shades of pink and mix of saturation really shows off the two bases we worked with today. I’ve included single crochet swatches to show how each yarn works up as well! Both swatches are 3”x3”. EGRET is the swatch on the left and PRISM on the right.

Once your yarn is dry, it is ready to enjoy! Be sure to share your creations with us using the hashtag #knomad_yarn – we can’t wait to see what you make! 

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Amy Reader

Amy Reader is a fiber artist based in Portland, OR. She learned to sew when she was six years old and quickly fell in love with textiles of all kinds. With the help of her grandmother, Amy learned to knit and crochet shortly thereafter. Amy started dyeing with kitchen safe dyes and was immediately hooked. She loves working with bold and playful colors and primarily dyes yarn for her line of hand-embroidered jewelry.

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