A few weeks back, only a couple of days after we moved into our new Tiny House, I dyed this sock yarn with food coloring. My favorite shade of rose inspired by the old-fashioned roses in my garden …
But perhaps mostly, the dusty rose of my tea pot .
I was going to make this whole experiment into a dying tutorial, and had taken down the steps, but thought to wait how it turned out. At the dying stage, the experiment was working beautifully, having gone from two balls of Patons Kroy in color Linen ( in this post recently) , to what I was trying for ; a dusty grey rose tinted slightly variegated overdyed yarn.
The yarn came out exquisitely. So I decided to knit the socks. It took a few weeks, and now here are the results, of um, their good side …
Unfortunately , I am not impressed with this dye, not at all. Because although the yarn may have been dyed to near perfection, and even though I used vinegar to fix, as I suspected the food coloring would not last… which it did not… in the first wash, there are blotchy patches of fade, showing the tan shade of linen beneath, after drying in the sun, on the faded side …
So its back to my favorite Jacquard Acid Dye if I am ever to dye again at all. Dying is such a hazardous hobby, and I really was hoping I could rely on food coloring, but that was wishful thinking.
A lot of work to put into knitting these beautiful Fishermen Socks only to have the dye leech out. But with very little yarn left over, I am really happy of the knitting itself, which was very enjoyable, and I fear I am thoroughly addicted to knitting these St Andrews Harbour socks , piles of them, and may just keep on knitting them for the forthcoming winter holiday gift season.
This pair will not be worthy of gift giving next winter holiday, but they will be most excellent hard wearing boot socks for my LLBean gardening boots, and what I was thinking of back in this post , of roses captured in socks!
Pattern: St Andrews Harbour
Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock, color ” Linen “, overdyed with food coloring, five parts red to one part blue.
Ravelry details here.
Still love the color. My few attempts at food color dying have worked ok. I did heat set in the microwave or steam pot. I might have suggested the splotchiness was due to the yarn. Prewash? 😀
Oh, really… prewashing the yarn? I only ever soak in vinegary water, not really washing. Anyway, maybe I’ll try again. Thanks Morrie! xx
On second though, Kroy wouldn’t need prewashing. Some yarns I’ve knit with still have lanolin in them like Bartlette’s, but not Kroy. And you mix the dye with vinegar as well?
Roses are so pretty.
I appreciate the link you sent me ( https://blog.loveknitting.com/how-to-dye-wool-and-other-fibers-with-food-coloring/ ) and will read it. I think also that trying some more intense food colors might be worth a shot. I wasn’t attracted to the Wiltons gel dies because I worried that the gel would somehow get in the wool, so I found some liquid food color dies at the kitchen shop in the cake decorating aisle. Yes, vinegar in the pre-soak water, and the dye bath. Just a little bit . Also worth noting, that although the dye took beautifully into the yarn, it was the washing after the yarn was knit, with colors fading on , say, half a sock that was in the sun drying… that makes me leary of the color fastness. So in essence, although the food coloring dyes excellently, its the fastness I am concerned about through washings. Thanks so much for the link! xx
ROSES! Did those come from the garden?
Yes, the ones by the garden gate, which came originally from the road down a ways… those ones!
Love, the color please don’t give up on the food coloring yet, I agree with Moz it could’ve been the yarn. Try with a different yarn and see. I love your blog, thanks for sharing.
Iris! Oh hello! It is so good to see you pop in here. Ok, I will not give up on food color dye, just that I should try it on a much less involved knitting project. It would have been great for a bulky weight cowl or something. Further dye experiments forthcoming, I promise! xx
How are things in Puerto Rico shaping up? xx
Well I’m ok, but my island is suffering, after 8 months there’s areas that still don’t have power and hurricane season is about to start and I can’t imagine going through this again, fingers crossed that it won’t anytime soon. Looking forward to see all your adventures. I just love the way you write and your knitting, hope some day I will be as good as you. Take care sweetie.
Iris, that breaks my heart! You and I both hanging on by a thread, as the saying goes, hoping for the best in a mess out of our control. We share a common disaster theme, clinging to our needles for comfort! Hugs to you and your family ! xx
I like the look of it. It’s a design feature. x
Kelly, thank you… kind of like faded thighs and ripped out knees in expensive new jeans I suppose. 🙂 xx
You COULD overdye them back to the color you originally wanted, using stronger, nastier dyes, of course. I am so glad that things are sprouting in the charcoal forest. It looks beautiful!
I suppose I could overdye the socks, but I would risk enhancing already blotchy areas, so I won’t . As a rule, I only dyed the yarn before knitting, never already knitted fabric. I’ve done so much dying in my life, that I’ve learned from my (( bad, horrible, costly )) mistakes! xx
Life is short, buy the good dyes! 🙂
That’s true, I suppose. Well, wearing them in boots is good. And maybe they will fade some more until they don’t look blotchy!
Oh for sure! 🙂
I love your socks! Anyway! And how stylish you will be, gardening with “rose-some kind of gypsy-bohemian-style-colored” socks!
So Petra, no tutorial on food color dying. I have had my good long restorative sock knitting time, now its really time for me to start knitting something summery for my nieces (missed their Spring Tee’s this year) … waiting for yarn! xx
I asked once for a tutorial, just because I am so nosy!
Focusing my nosy interest now on the forthcoming summer tee’s ( I remember, you thought about a highway halter revival?)