Sunny Ways

I think we can all agree that the world needs more rainbows. I wanted a bit of instant gratification colour so I decided to dye some yarn over the weekend.


I’m calling this colour way ‘Sunny Ways’ and if all goes according to plan when I knit it up it’s going to have rainbow stripes.

I was semi inspired by this Unicorn Farts tutorial I saw on Tomboy knits. I liked the idea of rainbow yarn but I’m kind off of variegated yarn at the moment – so self-striping it was! I started by placing kitchen chairs about as far apart as I could get them in my house and then wrapping the yarn (I just used Bare Stroll from Knit Picks) around that; lucky for me the house is fairly open-concept so I could place one chair in the living room and another in the kitchen – about 20′ apart!


Now to mix up the dye. I enjoying dying yarn every once in a while but not enough to have dedicated pots and utensils so I stick to food grade dyes. I mixed food colouring and vinegar in some clean mason jars – these were all made using the standard Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue box of food colouring you get at the grocery, nothing fancy.


I had originally wanted the non-rainbow part to be grey so that it would look like a rainbow after a storm. I had this Wilton black food colouring kicking around and started to mix that up, but something didn’t look quite right. Sure enough, when I dipped a paper towel into it I could see that it wasn’t black at all but rather a greenish teal colour. I’m sure when enough dye is mixed into an itty bit of frosting it creates a perfectly acceptable black, but it wasn’t going to create the pale grey yarn that I envisioned (interestingly, the the longer the paper towel sat in the dye the more the colours separated, by the end there was even a bit of pink and purple in there as well. I think this will make a really interesting yarn someday, but not today).


So instead I went with a sky blue pack of Kool Aid for the non-rainbow part of the yarn. I arranged the mason jars in my giant canning pot, dipped pre-measured segments into each jar, and let the rest sit in the Kool Aid mixture (sorry for the yellowish picture, the light above my stove isn’t the greatest).


I let the colours sit in the cool dye for a while so that it could get a chance to soak in a bit more evenly and then and slowly turned the heat up to set the colours.


I’m really pleased with the results. In theory when I’m knitting socks with this I just get large sections of sky blue and then rainbow stripes. I’m torn between wanting to cast on right away and saving this for the dark days (or should I say nights?) of winter to come.


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