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Old 06-15-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
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TUTORIAL for handpainting wool yarn using Wilton's ***PIC HEAVY***

I told another DS mama that I would make a tutorial for her because the number of tutorials handpainting with Wilton's is slim....so here we go:


First, skein your yarn and tie off in numerous places. The longer the skein, the more ties you should have but I recommend a minimum of 4 to prevent tangling.



In the example, blue yarn is used to tie to show the over/under method but I usually use the same yarn I am dyeing to tie off that way there is no risk of bleeding from other colors.



Soak your yarn in lukewarm water with 1/2 cup vinegar for 30 minutes - overnight. I usually put my yarn in the sink before I go to bed, and it's all ready to dye in the morning.



Once your yarn has soaked, take your skein out of the water and SQUEEZE as much water out as you can DO NOT WRING your yarn.



Cover your work surface with newspaper if you feel it's necessary. Lay plastic wrap out on your work area about 8-12 in longer than your skein. I live in a studio, so my work area is the kitchen floor....notice the linoleum under the plastic wrap?



Lay your skein out on the plastic wrap.



Choose your colors and get them ready. For handpainting I recommend 3-5 colors, anymore than that and the colors can become muddy. It's also best to use colors that blend well when still learning to do this.



Boil 1/2 cup water with 1/4 cup vinegar. I put the water and vinegar in a glass measuring cup and microwave for about a minute. The water has to be BOILING hot for Wilton's to dissolve adequately.

Choose your first color. The easiest way to determine how much Wilton's you need is to add a small amount of colorant to your water and test the color by placing a drop on a paper towel. I use a table knife to add color. I put the knife in the Wilton's and into the water to mix. Test color. Repeat until you see the color you are aiming for.









When I've "found" my color, I pour it into a little squirt/squeeze bottle. (These are Wilton's brand that I found at Wal-Mart....they were like 4 for $2)



Repeat the process for the number of colors you have.









Decide what order you want your colors to be and begin at one end of the skein. Squeeze a small amount of color on the yarn and use your fingers to "push" the color to the bottom of the yarn; this prevents missed spots on the underside.



The smaller the intervals between colors, the more color changes there will be and vice versa.

A small side note, although the Wilton's is non-toxic, I recommend wearing gloves for this part or your fingers might look like mine did when you’re done.



When you've reached the end of your skein, place paper towels on your yarn to soak up any extra liquid that may be there. Then fold the plastic wrap up on each side of your skein almost like a burrito.



Then starting at one end, roll your skein like a cinnamon roll....



until it looks like this:



Cut another piece of saran wrap and wrap it around your yarn roll.



Place your yarn in a container and place in the microwave.



Microwave for 1 minute. Turn your roll over and microwave for 1 minute. You will need to use tongs or something similar to turn your yarn roll because it will be very HOT.

cool for 2 minutes.
Repeat for a total of 6-8 minutes of cook time but NO MORE THAN 8 MINUTES! There will likely be water at the bottom of your container and it should be nearly clear this is when you should stop "cooking" your yarn.



Remove from microwave and allow to cool. This can take several hours up to overnight. But if your inpatient, like me, you can allow to cool for 30 minutes or so and remove from plastic wrap....this will help it cool faster. Be careful though because the yarn may still be hot in the middle.

When your yarn is cooled (at least to room temp) rinse in water in as close a temperature to your yarn as possible. If your yarn is room temp, lukewarm or tepid water will be fine.

Rinse until the water runs clear; typically it only takes 1 -2 rinses.



Add a small amount of baby soap and squeeze through your yarn.



Rinse again to remove the soap.



Squeeze as much water as you can out of your yarn. Again I'm inpatient, so I roll it up in a towel and step on it to get even more water out. Alternately, you can put it in your washer on the spin cycle to spin the extra water out but make sure your washer doesn't add any water.



Hang your yarn up to dry. Again, I live in a small studio, so I drape my yarn on a hanger and then hang it in the doorway to dry. It can take anywhere from a few hours-3 days for it to dry.



Once it has dried, I re-skein to distribute the color...this is the only way you can truly appreciate "handpainted" yarn.

And my final result:





Any questions are more than welcome!

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Old 06-15-2010, 12:28 AM   #2
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Re: .....

Looks really good so far
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:40 AM   #3
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Where do you buy your yarn? Id like to make my own colors and then have the yarn sent off to have it knit up as Im sure it will be ALOT cheaper!
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:22 AM   #4
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That is gorgeous! I LOVE it!!! Thanks for the tutorial!
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:22 AM   #5
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That is gorgeous! I LOVE it!!! Thanks for the tutorial!
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:53 AM   #6
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Re: TUTORIAL for handpainting wool yarn using Wilton's ***PIC HEAVY***

Quote:
Originally Posted by mumto2 View Post
Where do you buy your yarn? Id like to make my own colors and then have the yarn sent off to have it knit up as Im sure it will be ALOT cheaper!

I buy "bare" wool from knitpicks.com. You can also use Fisherman's wool available at Joann's or natural colored Paton's available at Michael's. You can order natural or white yarn from Purewool. Natural casade works well too but I'm not sure where to get that online, but I'm sure if you have a LYS they would carry it.

If you want to buy larger quantities of yarn at once, you can also buy from catnipyarns.com.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:11 AM   #7
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Re: TUTORIAL for handpainting wool yarn using Wilton's ***PIC HEAVY***

http://www.catnipyarns.com/ or http://wool2dye4.com/

is what I use
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:42 AM   #8
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Re: TUTORIAL for handpainting wool yarn using Wilton's ***PIC HEAVY***

Ok so Im looking at catnipyarns.com and there is so much to chose from! What is the best yarn for bottoms for kids? I have an almost two year old and a new baby due in Aug. I would like to try my hand at dying some yarn for them but I want it to hold up.
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:00 PM   #9
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Re: TUTORIAL for handpainting wool yarn using Wilton's ***PIC HEAVY***

Certified Organic Gaia Worsted
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:03 PM   #10
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Re: TUTORIAL for handpainting wool yarn using Wilton's ***PIC HEAVY***

Bless you for this tut! I've got yarn and I've been putting off dying b/c I wasn't sure exactly how to go about it. Thanks a million!
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