Salihan asked for some pretty green, pink and purple yarn to use for her expected baby and I thought: “Ah Ha!” perfect excuse to do some Jelly Dyeing.
So, I pulled out some simple kitchen items and found some jelly packets. Rummaged in the shop and pulled out the Undyed Sock yarns. This became a morning of fun for me and my kids in this Easter school holidays. Whilst the materials are safe and kids usually have lots of fun putting colours onto yarn, an adult supervisor is always recommended.
- Yarn undyed 100% wool we used Tamara 100% Wool Tweed yarn 100g and Anna 100% Falkland Wool 100g
- Bowls or dishes
- Jars for mixing the jelly
- Packets of Jelly: Purple (Port Wine) Pink (Bubblegum) Green (Lime) Blue (Berry Blue)
- We used Aeroplane Jelly, any coloured jelly will work (Jelly made with natural colours will give colours that are muted)
- Stirrer, tongs as required
- Protective items: aprons, gloves
- Kettle for boiling water
Firstly, I tied the Tamara yarn in 3 places. Not too tight, or the colour will not penetrate the yarn.
I soaked the yarns in warm tap water so they are thoroughly wet. Anyone fancy a bit of yarn spaghetti? or “Pisghetti” as my 4 yo says it.
Empty the jelly packets into the jars and add about 100-200ml of boiling water, stir well. I tend not to be exact with water quantity as it does not affect the final result. The way you apply the colour will change the final result. More on this in a future post.
With my gloved hands, I separated the Tamara yarn into 3 bowls, then poured the 3 different colours (pink, purple and green) into the bowls and pushed the yarn into the colour mixture gently with a stirrer. Making sure the white parts of the yarn also receive some colour.
Place this 3 bowl extravaganza into the microwave. Turn microwave on High for 3 minutes.
If there are some white spots that you want coloured, used gloved hands or tongs to squeeze the white yarn through the colour solutions gently and repeat the 3 minutes the in the microwave. Remove yarn and bowls from microwave carefully. (Don’t scald yourself) Let them cool, then gently pick the yarn up without tangling, very gently squeeze out the excess jelly liquid then place it in plenty of warm water. The water should be bath water temperature.
Soak for 5 min or so. Gently remove, very gently wring dry (or roll in a towel) and hang to dry. Repeat the rinse process if there is remaining jelly smells or any stickiness.
See how the Tamara yarn creates a tweedy effect. This is one strand of superwash wool which take dye up faster and has a stronger intensity, and 2 strands of non superwash wool, which absorbs slightly less colour.
I then prepared the Anna yarn the same way then placed it in a bowl with some warm water. I wanted to achieve a slightly variegated effect, so I poured the colour solution into the middle of the yarn in the bowl, and did not mix it. Then placed in Microwave for 3 min. Allow to cool and rinse as for the other yarn.
Once the yarn is dry, wind into a ball and use for your favourite project. Happy Jelly Dyeing!
I will ask Salihan which yarn she prefers for her baby, and the other yarn is destined to be a new pair of socks. Stay in touch for step by step sock knitting instructions using the yarns you have dyed!
Be careful not to scald yourself
Wear gloves for protection
Handle the yarn gently as agitation or rapid temperature changes can cause the yarn to felt.
The colour effects are dependent on amount of colour to amount of yarn and the method of application of the colour. Saturated colours require more colouring agent. More on this in a future post.