Marabu Fashion Sprays

Last weekend I took a trip to the local art store and wandered around. I only needed a paint marker but I left with a whole cart full of things. People complain about doing that at Target or Joann’s, but try doing that at a fine art store…. Your wallet will hurt.

In the back of the store, they keep the discount shelf which I usually ignore. I’ve been back there enough times to know they usually don’t have anything I want. Also, I’m there enough that the staff points me at any sales I would be interested in.

But it so happens I was there long enough to need the restroom and you have to walk past these discount shelves to get there. That’s when I saw bottles of “Marabu Fashion Spray”. After reading the bottle I determined this could likely be used on yarn since it was made for dyeing natural fibers and I normally work with wool. Granted, the product was made to spray designed on fabric with stencils, but that shouldn’t matter. They were steeply discounted so I grabbed a bunch of colors and got home to play.

It took me a while, but I sprayed the hell out of 4 skeins of yarn while trying to use most of the colors so I could see how they’d each turn out. I was most excited to see how the navy and gray colors came out. Most of them were pretty wild colors but these two colors stood out as being really nice and I could definitely see using the gray a lot.

I let them sit for 2 hours as the instructions indicated, then put them in the oven for about 10 minutes at a low heat to set the dye. By the time they were pulled out of the oven and left to cool it was already after midnight. I get up for work at 4 am, so this was a sacrifice. All that was left was to rinse them off.

As soon as I started rinsing, they began turning back to white.

Almost all the dye came right out. Works on natural fibers, my foot!

After I calmed the rage and got some sleep, I realized they would likely work on cotton and cellulose/plant-based fibers. While “natural fibers” is a blanket term, I really wish they’d stop using it. Dyes usually only work on plant –or– on animal fibers, not both. But both are considered natural, obviously.

With that said, the cotton yarn I used to bind the yarn prior to dying, didn’t retain color either. They did, however, stain my nylon gloves pretty easily.

All I can say is that this stuff is a mystery but it may work on t-shirts…. Maybe.

But you know what the good thing about working with yarn is? If you mess up, you can always dye it black!

Oh yes, more socks

handmade size 16 socks

Are you sick of socks yet?   I kind of am!  I should say, I am kind of sick of writing about them.   I still find it enjoyable to make them.

I took a picture this morning of another custom order going out.  These monsters are another pair of size 16.   The last pair was reported to be slightly short and an additional inch was requested.

I also dyed these as well.  Dyeing seems to be a little hit and miss for me. These are brown, sort of.  They’re supposed to be chocolate brown but in person, they look almost purple.   I also dyed some yarn “true black” the other day and they came out almost navy – dark, but not black.  Maybe I’m not using enough dye.

But, aside from those issues, I seem to be getting better at some of the dyeing methods.   This is one of many skeins I did last weekend.

hand-dyed skein of sock yarn

You may see some strange out of place threads in there, but those are just extra ties I hadn’t cut off yet, so ignore those.    But pretty decent, right?   I was at least encouraged to keep trying, so you may see some more skeins pop up if there is anything worth showing.   At least it wouldn’t be socks, right?

Trying my hand at self-striping yarn

I did it again.  I stuck myself with a bunch of custom work for friends and family.   And, of course, I said they’d go out this week.   I’m really good at setting myself up like this.  They didn’t even ask, I offered.   That’s how good I am at sticking myself with work.

I decided I was going to attempt to make self-striping yarn.   It started off pretty well.   I prepped my yarn by creating a makeshift warp board with some clamps so that I could organize the skein of yarn into stripe sections.   I dyed them in colors close to what was requested and then set down to wind all the yarn back into a ball so that I could knit with it.

And, that, is where the problems started.   It didn’t occur to me how hard it would be to get it all back into a ball.   It took me hours for each skein.  So many knots… so many…

I tied it all up like I had previously, but I must be missing something that would make this easier.   I’ve watched plenty of videos on it but no one ever shows the last part, they just set it all up and dye it… those sneaky bastards.   They could at least warn people.

Regardless of my troubles, I finished the socks and now they are hanging to dry before being shipped off.

A Weekend of Dyeing

This weekend, I got a lot of dyeing out of the way.   I’d been stacking up plenty of natural/undyed yarns and it was time to get that project out of the way.   I watched a bunch of youtube videos to refresh myself on the process and got to work.  I planned on tackling a few different methods this time but ended up doing 2 methods.

First was a hot dye pot method where you bring your pot up to a simmer and drop your dye strategically around the pot.

dye pot

I dropped in red, olive and yellow.    It didn’t work out very well for me.   It just mixed and became murky.  I’ll assume responsibility on this one since I probably messed around with it too much and let it get mixed.

But while that was simmering I got a few bowls of dye ready for some 2-color batches, which I will call halfsies.  I’m sure there’s a term for this, but basically, I just dyed my yarn in sections.

Here, I was trying to create a skein similar to one I received July 2017 YarnBox.  When you do this method you’ll get a finely striped sock like this one:

Knowing that I like this result, I did this with several color combinations:

Pink and Green skein of wool

(The one on the right here was the muddy one from the dye pot).

Black and blue skein of wool

They’re currently hung up and drying.  I can’t wait to try these out!  I may eventually start putting some of these up for sale once I get a few sample socks done for images.

More Tie-Dye Fun

One thing you may not know about tie-dye is that once you mix it, you should use it all up within the hour.  According to the instructions, it will become less effective as time goes on.  I didn’t realize that until further into dyeing yarns, so I went and grabbed a shirt and used up my dye.   I’m glad I did, I really like the how it came out!

tie dye shirt

For my next round of dying, I had a friend over and we tie-dyed some shirts.   As we each took turns dyeing, the other would look through Pinterest and figure out what to try next.  We had stopped off at the store earlier in the day and I grabbed some XL t-shirts to use as giveaways.   He, on the other hand, made shirts for himself.  Selfish, I know!

I ended up making 3 giveaways:

I stuck mostly to spirals.  My friend seemed to enjoy rectangular and striped designs more. Here’s some of his:

I plan on dying more yarns (since I have so many undyed skeins), so I’m sure more dye projects will be popping up soon.

Fun with Tie Dye

hand painted rainbow yarn being wound

Skeins of Undyed Lace Yarn

I recently ordered a bunch of skeins of lace yarn with the intention of dying it myself.  I had been watching a lot of YouTube on the subject and decided to give it a shot.  Even if it didn’t work out, I would still have a bunch of natural/almost white skeins to make socks with.

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I decided to try the Tie Dye method since it didn’t require simmering on the stove but I knew going in it would be a lot more time-consuming since it’s a 6-hour wait period while the dye does its magic.

I got out a marbling tray that I had bought a while back when I was planning some other projects (which I never got to, but we’ll ignore that part).   I covered it with plastic wrap to keep things clean and got to dyeing my yarns.

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My main goal was to make rainbow yarn.  I’ve seen a lot of beautiful rainbow yarns out there but I wasn’t willing to pay the high price for most of these hand painted yarns.  I started squirting color on the yarn but all it did was bead up on top on top of the yarn and wouldn’t soak in. Tapping/Dabbing it into the fabric seemed to work but took forever.   Most yarn dyeing involves pre-soaking your yarn in water, but Tulip’s instructions didn’t say to do that.

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Since I prepared a bunch of skeins I was planning on trying a bunch of different methods.   On the second skein, I presoaked the yarn and dyeing went very quickly and the color bled very easily through the fibers.

I also tried soaking a skein in the dye (see bowls in the picture) but that really didn’t turn out.  It dyed the outermost layers, but the inside of the skeins was completely untouched and dry.  So yeah, don’t do that.   I’ll have to re-dye them later in a darker color and see if they can be saved.  Right now they look awful.

After 6 hours of waiting, I rinsed them out and hung them up to dry.  I’ll show you two of my favorites.  The rainbow yarn turned out amazing:

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While pushing the dye into the yarn took a long time, it gave me a great amount of control.  The dye didn’t bleed at all, so the color only went where I put it.

When the yarn is pre-soaked, it pretty much does its own thing, but that can also be amazing.

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The picture makes it look pretty dull, but in real life, it came out like a shiny oil spill.   I don’t know how well that will translate into socks, but it was still fun to create.

Last, I got to unwind these knitted ‘blanks’ and turn them into balls of yarn ready to knit.

hand painted rainbow yarn being wound

multicolor "oil spill" yarn being wound

Once I saw them being wound I got pretty excited to use them.  Unfortunately, the sock machine is still being used for sock yarn and I’m not ready to switch over to lace yarn just yet.   So these are being put aside until I work my way through the enormous pile of sock yarn still waiting to be turned into socks.