Kettle dyeing with a slow cooker and liquid dye – yarn coloring

This week I’m having fun dyeing yarn with Rit All Purpose Dye and Ready to Dye Yarn from UNIVERSAL YARN.

I was very pleased with yesterday’s results from warp painting, but it was a lot of work. Today’s process is much easier – kettle dyeing with Rit All Purpose Dye liquid in Eggplant or should I say Aubergine which sounds much more exotic.

Rit All Purpose Dye liquid in Eggplant or Aubergine and UNIVERSAL YARN Superwash Merino Sock Yarn

I’ve done kettle dyeing before with both natural and acid dyes. This is a first with Rit dyes, but I’m approaching the process exactly the same.

I added hot water to the slow cooker along with about 2oz of the Rit liquid dye. I really didn’t know how much to add, but thought that was a good start. After presoaking the yarn in hot water and vinegar, I added the yarn to the slow cooker and let it cook.

The Rit dye instructions state that the water temperature should be at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This is where the thermometer mentioned in my second post this week, Dyeing wool yarn | What you need to get started comes into play. I did this temperature check in yesterday’s post, Warp painting wool for a planned weaving project – dyeing stripes, as well just to make sure the slow cooker heated up enough for the dye to set.

I let it cook for quite some time before turning off the slow cooker and leaving the yarn to sit in the pot overnight. I took it out the next morning and let it dry.

The dried skein of Superwash Merino dyed with Rit All Purpose Dye in Eggplant.

I liked the color even though it wasn’t as dark as I’d hoped for. What I didn’t like were the spots where the dye didn’t take very well around the skein ties. I double-checked the ties to ensure they weren’t tight before I started and I did stir the pot while cooking, but I still ended up with these spots. Perhaps I should have left it in the pot longer as there was a bit of color left in the water.

While I was deciding what to do, I did the cotton stash experiment again to try and soak up the remaining color, which is known as the exhaust pot. To my surprise, the cotton absorbed more color than I thought was left in the pot. That told me I should’ve left the original skein in the cooker, but to no avail. It’s better to start off lighter than desired as you can always dye it again, which is what I did.

So, I added 1oz of the dye liquid and a bit of vinegar to a squirt bottle. I’d already deposited the skein in the slow cooker to soak and heat up. Then I squirted a bit of dye on the light spots of the skein and added the balance to the water. Then repeated the cooking and drying process.

The newly dried skein of Superwash Merino with a little more Rit All Purpose Dye in Eggplant

I couldn’t believe the difference in color. This is what I was hoping for in the first place. A little bit of dye goes a long way, but a bit more color goes even further. I’m very pleased with the results. When I put this skein beside the cotton skein, the color combination is awesome.

The Superwash Merino skein dyed a 2nd time and the cotton dyed from the 1st exhaust pot

Every time I engage with yarn dyeing, I learn something new and this week was no exception. Much of it was total experimentation but the lessons learned have only encouraged me to do more. Dyeing yarn is fun!

If you’re wondering what I’m going to do with the cotton skeins I dyed, they actually need another process. Rit recommends using Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative to lock in the color on cotton. Since I wasn’t planning on dyeing cotton, I don’t have any on hand, but will get some so I can keep the colors. One day, I’ll weave with my crochet cotton stash and now I have an amazing array of colors to add to the project.

I have one more photo to share with you, but I have to say that this photo was taken before I did the second round of dyeing on the Superwash Merino skein. I couldn’t take another photo because the yarns from Day 3 and 4 were already in use.

The three skeins of UNIVERSAL YARN Ready to Dye collection dyed with Rit All Purpose dyes

For the final time, behold the wonder! I’m so happy with my results and I really enjoyed the different dyeing techniques. I mentioned that I couldn’t take a photo of the final eggplant skein with the other two as they were already in use. The Snow Dyed skein is currently being knit into a long cowl and the warp painted skein is on my loom awaiting the perfect weft yarn. As for the Kettle Dyed Eggplant skein, well that has a special purpose in mind, but you’ll have to wait until my next post to find out as I purposely dyed this skein to go with the yarn for my next post.

I hope you enjoyed this week as much as I did and picked up a few tips on dyeing with Rit All Purpose Dyes and UNIVERSAL YARN Ready to Dye collection of sock weight yarns.

Happy Knitting!

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: Warp painting wool for a planned weaving project – dyeing stripes

Related posts

Blocking a lacey shawl makes the shawl spectacular!

Fibra Natura Kingston Tweed | A lifeline for knitting lace

The Arum Shawl | Knitting a lace pattern