I saw something a while back on how to dye wool in the crock pot…. yes, the crock pot. Well, I just had to try it. It read as pretty straight forward and I was pretty sure I remembered all of it so I decided to go for it!
This is what I started with. Thankfully I didn’t get rid of my old crock pot when I bought a new one… it will work perfectly if I keep doing this!
The yarn has to be 100% wool, no cotton or synthetic or anything like that. This is the yarn I chose for my first “experiment” into dying wool myself!
The first thing I had to do was to rewind the wool so that it wasn’t in a tight ball like we get them from the store. I turned a little table we have upside down and used the legs on it to rewind the wool. I was dyeing 2 balls so I did everything twice.
Next I grabbed some plain old worsted wool and tied the wool I just wrapped in about six different places, about 6 – 8 inches apart, just to hold it all together during the process.
I removed it from the table legs and sort of twisted the two balls into a loose roll.
Now I placed the two twisted “rolls” into the crock pot and filled it with water to cover the wool fully, and added 1/2 cup of vinegar. I recalled reading something about the wool needing some kind of acid in order to accept the colouring. At this point, I also sort of pushed down on the wool in case there was any air in between the threads.
I turned my crock pot on low and let the wool presoak in the water/vinegar solution for about an hour, until the water was good and hot. Then came the fun part!
It was now time to get the colours ready to go in. I mixed about 1/2 tsp. of Wilton’s gel food colouring into separate bowls with about 1/2 cup of very hot tap water and mixed it until the gel was all dissolved. I used pink, purple and orange food colouring gel.
When the gel was completely dissolved I poured it into the crock pot where I thought I would want the colours to line up. (I think I added a bit too much of the colouring and I was really worried about the outcome.)
This is what it looked like.
From there I had to let it “cook” for another 90 minutes until the colouring was totally absorbed into the wool and the water in the crock pot was now clear.
I dumped the whole thing into the sink and rinsed the wool in cold water. Once it was all rung out, this is what it looked like.
How cool is that? I was so totally impressed that it took the colour so well!
Next I took it to the laundry room and ran it through the spin cycle on the washing machine to get as much water out as I could and then I hung it outside to fully dry.
In Dyeing Wool – Part #2, I will be rewinding the wool into a smaller bunch and then I think I will just crochet a toque for someone for next Christmas with it to show how nice the wool looks once it has been used in a project!