Adventures in Snow Dyeing
We had snow! Like, enough snow to actually build a snowman - that rarely happens here in the UK. And I love it! (but only if I can sit in my PJ's and haven't got to venture out in it of course, haha!)
I saw a post on Facebook recently about snow dyeing, and it looked rather fun. So with an abundance of the fluffy white stuff at my disposal I decided to give it a go.
The night before the dye day I pre-soaked 4 skeins of yarn in citric acid solution and on the Saturday morning, I laid the yarn out into the trays as below.
For trays 2 and 3 the yarn was placed into colanders over a pan, so that the dye would drip through and not sit on the bottom of the tray and soak through underneath.
Then I covered the whole lot in lovely white snow.
Now for the fun part! I used Landscape Dyes and sprinkled the dyes directly onto the snow by pouring a bit into the lid and tapping it over the trays.
Then I brought the trays into the nice warm kitchen and the waiting game began. I mean I waited, and waited...it was a very slow process and I had to really resist the urge to go and get the hairdryer or pop them on the tabletop stove.
Eventually things did start to slowly thaw and I could see bits of yarn poking through.
The whole melting prcess took about 7 hours.
I did apply some heat to the 2 flat trays at the end as there was quite a bit of dye sat in the water and I wanted to exhaust some of that if I could.
From here I let the yarns hang on the line for a while to train off any excess water, and then I wrapped them in cling flim and popped them into the steamer for 40 mins to set the dyes. This is how they looked pre-steam.
And these are the finished results!
I think my favourite one is the far right. This was the single colour dye in Landscape Dyes Mountain Blue on the 4 ply merino. The mix is made up of different dye pigments which have seperated on the snow - so there are many tones of blue and even teeny tiny speckles of pink!
It was great fun experimenting wit this technique - even though some of the colours and combinations came out much different to what I was expecting. But that's the fun of trying these things out!
Things I learnt from Snow Dyeing
- Sprinkles of dye will cover the whole patio, not just the tray!
- Its not a quick process - the whole thing took 9 hours in total, mostly waiting.
- The yarns in the colanders thawed quicker and the colour stayed put where it had melted. On the DK gradient there was no overlap on the sprinkles so the colour changes are quite abrupt.
- Colours come out very intense! (This may be down to the superwash as it soaks up the dye)
- On the blue / green 4 ply the lighter dyes were lost to the darker colours.
- The colours spread and blended much better on the 2 flat tray dyes. I think applying the heat at the end to exhast more dye underneath helped this
I think I am the only one in the UK sad that the snow is rapidly melting now - I'll definitely be trying this again next time!
If you have snow where you are and have tried snow dyeing I would love to see your results - come and share your pics on the Under the Olive Tree Facebook Group