View Full Version : Dye

06-05-2008, 12:30 AM
Now..I have been looking at the tutorials for the KP sock blocks...

Does one need to use Jaquards? Can one use RIT or something cheaper...and would the same rules apply???

06-05-2008, 08:56 AM
Yes, you can use RIT, but it doesn't come in the range of colors that the specialty companies offer. Just follow the instructions on the box.

of troy
06-05-2008, 09:20 AM
1 you can use lots of dye's.

2 rit is expensive, and not very good for wools/silk/animal fibers(and its only so-so for cotton or plant fibers)

3 for wool/animal fibers you need:
--A color matter (natural or manufactured)
--B Acid (to make the dye hold)

4--coloring matter?
---Kool ade (food dyes)
---easter egg dye (food dyes)
---Wilton cake/icing dye (food dyes) (SEE NOTE)
---Food coloring dyes (McCormack dyes from grocery store)
----Natural plant dyes (onion skins say for yellow)

you can also purchace Dyes (some of which are toxic and must be treated with care!)

---Sour Salt (aka citric acid-found with spices in some grocery stores)
---other acids (some more toxic)

if you work with food dyes and food acids, you can work in 'food' vessels (dying wool with kool ade and vinegar won't require a special DYE ONLY vessel (i use food dyes and vinegar, and dye in my pyrex )

NOTE on wilton dyes (paste dye)
these dyes some times 'break' --that is a color (dark blue say) is make up of 3 different colors (blue, dark blue(indigo) and a dark blue violet

when you dye wool with them, the dye will 'break' into the 3 colors, and you'll get uneven coloring

this is not a bad thing (it gives a hand painted /semi solid effect.. (can be very nice!)

how to test for breaking.. mix up a pin point with a some water (1/4 cup or so, a drop (half a drop!) of dish detergent and 1 teaspoon of vinegar)

drop onto a paper towel and wait..

do you end up with a solid color dot ? or with rings of color?
(one shade of purple breaks into dark blue, turquoise and fushia!) if it breaks on paper towel, it will break when using for wool (and as i said, this is not always a bad thing.. but just one thing to be aware of!)

for 1 gallon of water, you need about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar to dye, (first soak/wet wool in water and vinegar, remove wool, (put into bowl) add dye to water, stir to distribute, return wet wool

or wet wool in shallow wide container.. (a pyrex roasting/sheet cake pan)(water and vinegar wettting)

then mix up dye and a bit more vinegar and pour dye (color A) into one end of the pan, and pour dye (color B) into other end.. do NOT MIX or attempt to spread dye.

heat over pilot light (slow dye method) or NUKE in microwave for 5 minutes, let sit for 15, heat for 5, let sit for 15, (repeating 2 or 3 times) till all the dye is taken up (water will be clear!)

let cool till room temp, rinse, and then dry wool/fiber..
not too hard.. lots of fun.. (with vinegar and food dyes, safe enough for most kids over the age of 7! )

06-05-2008, 02:16 PM
So...do you think that I could do stripes with Kool-aid in a simular fashion to how they say on the instructions?? Put kool-aid into bottles (with maybe vinegar) and stripe them...and follow the steaming instructions...do you think that would fly...

I only know the submersion version...where you let the kool-aid sit til the wool absorbs the colour....

06-05-2008, 02:24 PM
So...do you think that I could do stripes with Kool-aid in a simular fashion to how they say on the instructions?? Put kool-aid into bottles (with maybe vinegar) and stripe them...and follow the steaming instructions...do you think that would fly...Here (http://www.lusciousgracious.com/koolaid.htm)is some one with a tutorial on how she did that exact thing.

06-05-2008, 02:46 PM
Here (http://www.lusciousgracious.com/koolaid.htm)is some one with a tutorial on how she did that exact thing.

Wow...that was increadible....thank you sooo much....

This of course now means I will be buying tonnnnnnes of sock blanks now....*sigh*

06-05-2008, 05:24 PM
of troy - how much dye would you add to make a mix if you use the two colour method. is it the more you use the more intense to finished colour of yarn?

I have a few gel like food colours that I would like to try to use on some Trekking undyed sock yarn.

of troy
06-05-2008, 10:21 PM
I dunno! i tend to over dye colors i don't like.. (and while i have some commercial dyes, i tend to use food dyes (easter egg and what not--i hate kool ade!)

for one hank of sock yarn (100 gms) i find 2 to 4 egg tabs (pill) is enough to give an intense color.. 1 to 2 tabs makes a less saturated color.

i some times pour dye over wet yarn and stir slightly to get an un-even/near solid color..

since i only dye for myself, and for fun.. (and don't have to reproduce any of the effects) i experiment..

i had some oatmeal colored sock yarn (Kroy) it was OK, but bland.. Overdyed red.. (near solid) it was very pretty..

some sock yarn that was 50 gm balls--turquoise --and pretty--but bought on clearance, and very clearly different dye lots.. over dyed green and blue, (each end, with the middle left undyed) i got sock yarn that no one knows that the undyed turquoise is a differnt dye lot..

sometimes i'll dye one skeins to use as a trim on an otherwise solid colored sweater/(blanket/scarf and hat set)

If you want specific results take notes.. (now much dye, how much vinegar, how long, etc.. ) if you want some fun yarn, and to take some boring grey (on sale) and to turn it into grey red and black.. well how bad can it be?

06-06-2008, 10:34 AM
Thanks in advance! :)

of troy
06-06-2008, 11:21 AM
you can use Paton's classic merino (in white) or Lion brand wool in white.

Knit picks has lots of natural yarn for dying, (and some yarn stores do too--i got sock weight yarn (on sale!) when i went to SF at imagiknits.. (and in NYC Seaport yarn has some)

white (undyed) roving is easy to get.. lots of places

and places like webs or henry's attic have cones of undyed wools.. (or pastels that are great for overdying)

and since almost any light color wool can be overdyed to a darker color and medium colors can be 'space dyed' (a red wool can become marroon/red/plum rather easily!--a medium blue lends itself to teal/blue/blue violet) you can experiment with yarn bought on sale at craft stores!

06-06-2008, 02:43 PM
Where does one get egg dye at non seasonal times??

06-06-2008, 04:21 PM
just an added note (of troy's posts have been spot on) is that if you are using a drink mix to dye with you DON'T need to add any acid (the mixes contain asorbic or citric acid already) I like to use Wiltons food color gel/paste as it comes in more colors and a little goes a LONG way :) and no cloying drink mix smell :)

06-06-2008, 06:09 PM
Is the Wilton paste dyes...the ones that come in the little pots? One would most likely use them to dye icing??

Am I thinking about the right ones??

06-06-2008, 07:31 PM
yep! Those are it! :)

of troy
06-06-2008, 07:36 PM
yes, i mentioned them in my post.. some wilton colors will break, some don't... so be sure to test (a drop of dye/water/vinegar on to a paper towel.. if you get a solid color, no break.. but if the dye spreads out and you get rings of color, be aware that you're yarn will also get 'rings (of various sizes/locations) of color..

it can be beautiful and give a hand painted look.. or it can be surprizing... (one shade of deep purple breaks into a blue violet (medium) turquoise and fushia.. beautiful really, but if you are expecting deep purple, you could be upset!

06-06-2008, 07:50 PM
you can also get a good idea of if/how they will break by reading the ingredients. If it lists more than one color on the pot(I think royal blue lists blue #3 and red #40- it split when i handdyed some wool) It will have a higher chance of splitting. The Black wiltons does really cool things when you dye (think blue, green and black)

06-06-2008, 10:31 PM
Oh awesome...now I am getting excited. I just bought two sock blanks...so maybe I will do one with Kool-aid and one with Wiltons...

I think the separating colours could look really neat....I might find one that breaks on purpose!

of troy
06-07-2008, 01:10 AM
you can encourage breaking..

the wool should be damp/wet (not dripping wet)

add the dye at the bottom and bunch the wool in to the pot/vessel so it is not fully immersed. (fold or make waves)

heat slowly.. (use your stoves pilot light if you have one.. or a crock pot, or the 'buffet heaters' --low slow heat)

mist the top of the yarn, and add 1 drop (really 1 drop!) of dish detergent to dye/acid/water solution..

heat slowly (mist top of yarn to keep it damp, (not dripping wet, and the dye will travel up the wool (capillary actions) and break dramatically.. (try it first with a folded paper towel and a teaspoon of dye. )

you only need about 1 pint of liquid-- (dye/vinegar/water/dishdeterget)--at the bottom of the pot.
--not the gallon or so you'd normally use to fully immerse wool

if the folds are very tall, they may not get dyed at all. so plan shallow folds for full colorage, deep folds for colors + white.

06-07-2008, 03:59 AM
of troy - do you have any photos that your have taken to show how you do the folding. If you prepare the pint of dye how much vinegar to water do you use. If you want the colours to split then you should not use the microwave?

06-07-2008, 04:42 AM
Just found this site. clik on each photo for an explanation on how she acheived the result.

06-08-2008, 09:02 AM
Crycket - thanks for asking the original question! I was just watching the video by knitpicks about how to dye the blanks and was thinking there is no way I'd be investing in all that just to dye 1 pair of socks.

I've dyed w/koolaid before but you dont (at least I didn't) get particularly vibrant colors. Though it was fun to try once.

thanks everyone else, especially Troy, for all the useful info.

06-08-2008, 11:11 AM
I just thought that there had to be a better why then using Jacquards. Beyond which....I am not at the stage at which I think I want to have a separate pot for just dye.

I know there is always someone here that has the answer!!

Thank you as well from me Troy!

06-16-2008, 12:17 AM
I've dyed w/koolaid before but you dont (at least I didn't) get particularly vibrant colors. Though it was fun to try once.

thanks everyone else, especially Troy, for all the useful info.

Mirl56 - Here is something I dyed with Koolaid...(not the black...but the purple and orange) I didn't mind the way it turned out!


06-17-2008, 10:29 PM
Of Troy - Do you think one could use the Wilton dye to do stripes...
Is there a special process

06-17-2008, 11:40 PM
<-- not of troy

You can! Just don't mix it far in advance. The dyes tend to separate if they sit and cool too long vefore you use them. I mix the wiltons dye up as the yarn is soaking.
Get your yarn soaking then start mixing your colors. Wiltons needs HOT water to dissolve and lots of stirring. You do need to add either vinegar or citric acid as wiltons has no acid (like koolaid does). Colors like the royal blue and violet have both red and blue dye and will separate. You can limit this a bit by letting your dye pot start cool. Place the yarn in the cool water (after soaking) add you dye mix. turn on the heat to low. Let it soak for about 15 minutes then add your acid. make sure you GENTLY swish the yarn to get even coverage.

To determine if the colors have a propensity for splitting, just read the ingredients label. If it list more than one food color agent, it might split. This isn't always a bad thing! I dyed some yarn with the Royal Blue and LOVE the way it split

06-18-2008, 12:04 AM
Thank you! I didn't mean to single out Of Troy....just was getting all the juicy info before!

So in theory, I can take warm wiltons premixed dye and put it in a dispensing type bottle and lay it on in stripes....maybe? I know you can do that with Koolaid....

I think I will just do a gradual colour with the Wiltons, see what I can do with spliting some black....

That is very helpful....I have now have sock blanks to dye...!!!

*runs excitedly from the room*