Speckle dyeing gives you a yarn that had dots of colour scattered throughout the skein. Typically you will get only a couple of stitches of each colour, and the colours will blend. When knit up, you will get a yarn that looks like it has been speckled with colour, or covered in confetti.
|This is Bea, before she put her makeup on|
Because a lot of these steps are duplicates of the last post, I am going to summarize them for this post. If you want more details on the shorter steps, please see the How To - Hand Paint Yarn post.
What you will need:
- Bare yarn in a skein - I use superwash wool, but you can use any any animal based fibre or nylon (the only synthetic that works with this method)
- Artificial Colour - Because of the small amount of colour needed for this method, I recommend food colouring.
- Acid - Citric acid is my acid of choice, but vinegar also works.
- Something to soak your yarn in
- Plastic wrap
- Containers to mix your dye in - I recommend plastic shot glasses, since you won't need very much dye. This is also a good way to use up extra dyestock from other projects.
- A microwave
- A large microwaveable plat
- Medicinal syringes or eye droppers
- Something to cover your work surface (newspapers/flyers/puppy training pads)
- Latex gloves
- Mild dish soap or baby shampoo
- Paper Towels
|Soaked yarn laid out on top of plastic wrap, with flyers under it to protect the counter|
With hand painting, you select the area you want to apply the colour and fill the area in. With speckling, you drop the colour randomly over the skein, making sure to leave lots of undyed spots, so you can see the base colour.
|A close up of the drops of dyestock after they spread out|
|Flyers removed, before being heat set|
Step 6 - Wrap the yarn in plastic
Step 8 - Cool the yarn
The dish will most likely be very hot, so remove it carefully with oven mitts and place it on the counter. Let it cool completely. If you are as impatient as I am, let it cool for at least 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the plastic wrap (remember, scissors will lead to heartache). If the yarn is still warm/hot, let it cool for at least another 10 minutes
Step 9 - Gently wash and rinse your yarn
Making sure your water is the same temperature as your yarn, add a few drops of mild dish soap or some baby shampoo and gently wash your yarn.
I find it helpful to separate the skein and make sure you start while holding one of the ends that has the ties. As you are washing, move your hand along the skein, making sure you do not grab any yarn from the other side of the skein. This way you can make sure the skein stays separated and avoid tangles.
If your yarn happens to slip out of your hands, or you loose the section you are holding on to, no big deal. Take a look at this picture. The whole skein is sitting in a bowl of rinse water. To take it out, I just look for the section with the tie and maneuver it so that I pull out that section first. As I am doing that, I make sure to keep the two sides of the skein separated.
|Sitting in the rinse water. It looks like a water colour painting to me.|
If the water/yarn is warm, slowly adjust the temperature of the water until you are working with cool water. You do not need it to be cold, but cool is good.
Step 10 - Dry your yarn
Gently squeeze out as much of the water as you can, then lay your yarn out on a towel. Roll the yarn up in the towel and twist it to help get as much of the water out as you can. From here you can hang it to dry, or, if it is superwash and you are like me and want to see results quicker, you can use a dryer with a shoe rack in it. But only use the dryer if you have a shoe rack! Tossing a full skein into a tumbling dryer is a disaster waiting to happen
Step 11 - Enjoy your yarn!
You should now have a skein of yarn with lots of colourful sections running throughout it.
|Soon to be Bea|
Combine hand painting and speckling for an even more interesting yarn
I sometimes like to dye either my self striping or my hand painted yarns so there is also a little bit of speckling mixed in.
Adding a couple of speckled sections to this skein of hand painted yarn:
|KnitPicks Hawthorne Bare Fingering|
Gave me these socks:
|Love the spiral stripes on this!|
|A special request sock - Riki's Radical Stripes|
The possibilities are endless, and the yarn is sure to put a smile on your face!