Baby Shower Yarn

I was invited to go to a baby shower for a friend who is expecting her third baby. She had given away all of her baby things long before she became pregnant. I stewed and stewed over what to knit for her baby boy. One week before the shower, I finally decided that I should look at her gift registry to see if it would give me some clue.

I got so excited when I saw that she has registered for cloth diapers and PUL covers! I would make her woolies! A quick phone call confirmed that she is going to try cloth and is open to trying wool covers.

I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby for yarn~ no local yarn store and no time to order. I bought a skein of Lion Fisherman Wool. I skiened out a hank of 200 yards, which left another 265 yards.

The larger skein became this:

I pre-soaked the yarn in vinegar water, and then I put out cling wrap in a big circle on the table and handpainted the yarn. I wanted something just a little bit self-striping.

I made the dye using liquid food coloring and a splash of vinegar. The red was about 1/2 cup of water and a whole bottle of red food coloring, which I think was about 100 drops. The green was 1/3 cup of water and 80 drops of green food coloring. The blue was about 1/3 cup water and 75 drops of blue food coloring.

I used a turkey baster to squirt the dye onto the yarn. Then wrapped the cling wrap snuggly around the circle of yarn in order to keep the dyes from mixing. I carefully piled the wrapped yarn into a rectangular glass pan that would fit into my microwave. I heated on high power for 2 minutes, then let it rest 2 minutes, then microwaved another 2 minutes, etc. until I had heated it for 6 minutes total. I could see the steam inside the cling wrap.

Now the hard part: leave it alone until it was cool. I think it was worth the wait.

The 200 yard hank soaked in vinegar water and then into my 6 quart crockpot. The crockpot was filled with warm water up to about 2 inches from the top~ just barely covering the yarn with a little room left for the dye.

I made this dye with Wilton's Icing Color Paste and a splash of vinegar. The green was made with about 1/2 teaspoon Kelly Green dissolved in 1 cup water. The blue was made with about 1/2 teaspoon Royal Blue dissolved in 1 cup water.

When drops of water were forming on the inside of the lid, it was time to put the dye in the crockpot. I poured the green in a letter "C" around the edge of the crockpot. The blue went into the center and the space in the opening of the "C." You just have to be sure that the colors have a little space between them to prevent too much mixing of colors.

The fun thing about the Wilton's Royal Blue is that when it gets hot, the color "breaks" into blue and purple. You get mostly blue with just a bit of purple.

I love dyeing yarn in the crockpot! You get such cool blending of the colors. You end up with a color-changing yarn that is a random change. I love that you do not get pooling or a predictable changing of colors. It appeals to the free spirit in me. I get so happy every time I see yarn come out of the crockpot! It's a surprise every time!

I knitted 2 pairs of size small longies and a hat for Kristie's baby boy. Of course I forgot to take a picture! I guess that will be another post.

Be brave, be creative~

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