twisted and breaking black


A small gift for our ahijada in Guatemala (sponsor child, mostly we wired her money).

Pretty Twisted from Knitty. A great way to use up odd bits of yarn, though I think I probably made these longer than they need to be…
twisted (3) twisted (1)

twisted (7) twisted (5) twisted (2)

As the yarn was colorful and textured, I just made the simple versions. Check the link above for other versions on the pattern!

breaking black

Apparently this is the holy grail of dyeing yarn with food color. I sort of followed the instructions at the link, but I wasn’t going to be testing the technique on some 0.2 ounces of wool… I just went for it on ~8 oz of alpaca lace.

breaking black (3) breaking black (5) breaking black (6) breaking black (6)

Starting with plain yarn, then dropping some Wilton’s black on the yarn. I started by using the q-tip as recommended in the link, but then moved on to a butter knife to get more into the yarn. I put some vinegar on it, which didn’t seem like enough, so I added more.

Wilton’s black has fd&c red #3, fd&c blue#1, and yellow 5&6. They “break” out at different rates and adding vinegar assists the colors in “breaking”. Or it was supposed to… I don’t know if I added to much food color, not enough vinegar, or what. Fun things were supposed to happen after half an hour or so. Not much happened after a couple of hours, so I put a bit more vinegar on it and smooshed it around. And then went to bed. In the morning, it looked much the same.

So I got all the dry yarn wet with some water with a drop of soap in it. It seemed to work well for the originally pink yarn, but nothing was going on with the white.
breaking black (16) breaking black (22) breaking black (24) breaking black (25)
That last shot is the pink, after microwaving it a bit… there’s still color in the fluid, so it wasn’t done yet. I thought I might have too much color in it, so I rinsed it a bit, and all the color started coming out. Stop! Stop!

I decided to go into full out experimental mode. I tossed all the yarn into a big pot, rinsed the cookie sheets and put that water (it was greenish) into the pot. Heated it up (boiled it a bit by mistake), and after half an hour added a glop of vinegar, and then after another hour or so added another glop. It sat for a few hours cooling while we went to cut an xmas tree.

It sucked up nearly all the color! The water was very faintly rosy. Here’s the yarn, still wet from the rinse. The true color is on the darker side. It’s hard to tell which was which to begin with, but I think the darker yarn was the pink (on the left in the photos below).
breaking black (31) breaking black (26)

Why this madness?

Because I want to knit the Celestarium shawl! It’s the night sky of the northern hemisphere, with accurate star charts. Here’s the Ravelry page about the pattern, which notes the shawl is an accurate view of the night sky from the North Pole in the form of a pi shawl. Eyelets and beads are used to represent the stars. The center bead represents Polaris.

HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?!?!?! (and talk about madness…)

4 Responses so far

  1. 1

    kmkat said,

    December 9, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    “Madness” is exactly what I thought when I saw that shawl pattern a couple weeks ago. No way (me); way (you).

    However, I challenge you to re-create those yarn colors. Talk about experimental! Final result is perfect, though :)

  2. 2

    Colleen said,

    December 10, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    The yarn looks great! I think your final way is how I would have dyed it as well. If you let it sit in the hot water with minimal agitation, I think colours often break well. I’ve done that with blue. I just might have to knit that shawl. How cool is that?

  3. 3

    Melinda Butcher said,

    December 12, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    DUDE! MAJOR COOLNESS! I had never heard of this!

  4. 4

    dre said,

    December 18, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Very, very cool.

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