I have been really inspired by Lisa of Wickedly Artsy, who has some really amazing dyeing ideas, so many that she would probably need a huge book to record them all. Lisa and I will probably be collaborating on some of these for ultimate dyeing awesomeness. As well as by Stacey of FreshStitches who recently did a great set of posts on dyeing with Kool-Aid.
First experiment: Wilton's food dyes:
I was lucky enough to already have some Wilton's food dyes in eight different colors (a remnant of my sister's cupcake phase), as well as some white Cascade 220. I have worked with the Wilton's dyes once before but couldn't remember much about the process.
I set up my dyeing station while the yarn soaked in a 1:4 white vinegar to water solution. I felt comfortable using kitchen equipment because I was using a food dye (this is my preference, but some people do not like to do any kind of dyeing in the kitchen).
Naturally I decided to go with the whole rainbow. I added a small amount of dye (pea-sized maybe?) to hot water mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar.
Then I admittedly went a little color crazy...
I microwaved (or "nuked" as my dear father says) this lovely swirl of colors for two minutes at full power, allowed it to cool for five minutes, microwaved for two more minutes, and then allowed it to sit until cool. After cooling, I gently rinsed the yarn and hung it up to dry.
And guess what I ended up with?
Isn't it pretty?
Now, I haven't extensively tested the colorfastness of this dye job, but in my experience, if the dye doesn't come out when rinsing, it is pretty well set.
If I were to do this again I would probably add little bit more dye to the mix for more richness and add slightly less vinegar so that this yarn will be easier on the eyes.