Gradient Dyeing – Take 2

First, I’d like to add a few notes about the first tutorial on dyeing.  I made a few mistakes on that blank and hope that by writing here what I did wrong, it’ll save you from doing the same.
– If you knit your blank using two strands of yarn from the same end, plan which color will go where.  I wanted the skein I dyed to start and end with the darker color, to achieve that I’d have to paint the darker color at the beginning of the blank (I did the opposite).
– make sure you use really big needles.  When I unraveled my blank there were white spots where the dye didn’t reach.  Since the colors were a little pale for my taste anyway, I over dyed the whole skein (just wind up the yarn in one hank and place it inside a container with the dye bath).

Now, the second tutorial.

For this tutorial I’ll use as an example the approximate amount necessary to knit Maria (300g).  You’ll wind the yarn into 5 mini-hanks of 60g each (if the yarn you’re using is a different weight, divide by another number bigger than 4).  You don’t have to be precise and can, if you wish, eyeball the amount you want for each mini-hank.
If you have a scale, weight the total amount of yarn you’ll use and divide the number you find by a number bigger than 4 (5 in our case).  Wind your yarn around the Niddy Noddy until the amount not yet wound is Xg lighter than the original weight (X being the number you got after doing the division – In my example, I’ll wind until I have 240g (300 – 60).
Do NOT break the yarn.  Using spare yarn or twine, tie the mini-hank loosely in 4 spots.
I push the first mini-hank towards the center of the Niddy Noddy and wind up another mini-hank.  Keep on doing it until the yarn is all wound up.

Take all the mini-hanks out of the Niddy Noddy, being careful to keep them in order and soak them in water.  While the yarn soaks, prepare a very strong, concentrated dye bath in your crock pot.
Place all your mini-hanks inside a bowl by the crock pot, take the first mini-hank and put it in the crock pot.  Set a timer for 10 minutes.  When the time is up, place the next mini-hank and set the timer for another ten minutes.  Keep on doing that until all the mini-skeins are in the crock pot.  Keep the yarn under heat until the dye bath is exhausted.

There are other ways to achieve a similar result.  This blogger goes about this method the other way around (i.e. starts out with all the mini-hanks and takes one out every ten minutes).

You can also put the mini-hanks inside jar (with different colors/shades in each one) and microwave it.  I personally don’t like this method so much as the color changes aren’t as subtle as I’d like them to be.

A few last notes:
– Both superwash yarns and silk take dye really fast – to the point that some areas of the yarn have no dye left to be bound to.  If you’re going to use one of those yarns, it’s better to follow the process from the link I posted.
– If, after your yarn is dry, you find that it’s too light, you can repeat the process or over dye all the mini-hanks at the same time (unless you make a very strong dye bath this time around, you’ll still get a nice gradation of color in your yarn).

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