I’ve been dyeing some self-striping yarn by winding a bigger diameter skein, dyeing 28 inches of it one color, and the remainder another — when knitted in  a typical sock configuration, you get one row of the first color, followed by two rows of the other.  There are various ways of doing this, but here’s a particularly fun method and colorway that I’ve developed.

blue and purple yarn 001 small

First I make a very hot vinegared dyebath in a purple that I’ve mixed from red and blue dye. The longer section of the skein goes into this while I’m holding the shorter section out of the water.

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The red dye and much of the blue strikes on the skein as purple, but there is some blue left in the dyebath.

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Dropping in the remaining undyed section of the skein allows it to start soaking up the blue.

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The purple section is still taking up a little of the blue as well.  This makes for a very interesting and nuanced purple.

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Since I wanted to reuse the pot of water, I then steamed the yarn to make sure the dye got throughly fixed.  Here’s the skein as it’s cooling down after steaming.

A bonus is that there’s still a little blue left in the dyebath, because I didn’t let the skein cool in it and absorb those last few molecules of blue dye. 

blue and purple yarn 006 small

So I can take another skein of yarn and drop it in to soak up those last bits. It’s a prettier pale blue in person, and may stay that color, or get overdyed to deepen the color.  So many choices!