Dyeing and untangling yarn

I have been thinking about a little business venture, where I would source undyed fingering weight yarn from China for the hand dyer market.  I am trying to figure out the details (like retail/wholesale, pricing, potential client base) but have received some samples from manufacturers.  The first to arrive was exactly what some sock weight 75% wool/ 25% nylon on a huge cone, and I set about dyeing it to see how it would take up the dye, and to have a sample of a knitted sock. 

I am by no means an skillful dyer (as this experiment will show) and do not have access to Kool-Aid, and couldn’t wait for my Knit Picks dyes to arrive.  I used a selection of dyes from Spotlight and then madly dabbed away before steaming them for a while.  In my excitement, I overlooked the importance of a few steps, like adequately tyeing my skeins, and was treated to the following sight when I pulled the skeins out of the handwash rinse cycle of the washing machine. 


Now you might notice that they look, well tangled.  So did I, but figured that there was only one way to detangle them, and that was to start rolling them into skeins. I started on the skein on the left (because I am sending it to my sister in Australia for her opinions on the yarn). Really big problem (apart from the insane tangling) – I can’t find an end.  The skein must have two ends right?  I couldn’t see them anywhere.  I looked at it for over an hour and still couldn’t find an end! All of my “looking” had further tangled the yarn, and I was sufficiently frustrated to cut the skein.  Luckily the two balls ended up being relatively equal – one 42 grams, and the other 52. 

I am now knitting the bluer yarn up in Clementine’s Baltic Socks and have also botched that up.  Photos of that progress to come. Next tiume I dye, I tye the skein at least 8 times in a figure 8 pattern.  Let’s call it the rule of 8.


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I can be contacted at travellersyarn at yahoo.com

2 thoughts on “Dyeing and untangling yarn”

  1. Here’s another helpful hint: before and after the skein goes in the washer for wringing, stretch it out lengthwise with your thumbs hooked in each end and give it a gentle snap to try to realign the strands in the hank. Sometimes it helps keep things under control.

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