Yesterday, I started to talk about my little overdyeing project. Well, it seems little now. But there were some moments when I did question my own lack of forethought: winding 24 balls back into skeins? Is this a Good Idea?

It’s beautiful today by the way. I was at the Ottawa Knitting Guild monthly wing ding last night, and the guest speaker was designer/writer Melissa Leapman. She talked about her new book, and showed the samples, but what I found most entertaining was her comment “You have weird weather here.”

Anyways.

So, if you need to get 24 balls of yarn into skeins and you’re clever, you’ll have a niddy noddy. I don’t, of course. So I put my swift on one of the dining room chairs at a slight angle, so I could spin it like a sideways carousel. This worked quite well (I’m very lucky and have a beautifully hand crafted and perfectly balanced swift, that was a gift from my stepfather). The tricky bit was stopping the balls from eating themselves near the end. The tail end of the ball would pop out of the center and wrap itself around the working yarn and turn into a medusa head of mess in about .25 seconds. I got a little smarter about handling this, but being a slow learner, it took about 10 balls before I modified my behaviour.

overdyeing_wound_yarn

I tied each skein in 4 places, and I’m glad I did. They really move around in the pot. However, what I did learn was that I should have tied the skeins with non-dyeable, contrasting yarn. A white polyester twine would have worked. I used scraps of the yarn itself, which blended in with the rest of the skein after dyeing, and made it hard to separate the skeins to rinse them.
The winding was the most labour-intensive part of the process.
And here they are, finally, in the pot. Ready to be soaked.

Dying Yarn in a Pot