There are some fabulous tutorials on the web on how to dye your own yarn, with many different ways to go about it. I decided to paint it with the dye, hoping this would give me a little more control, and a little less mess. The first step is to take your lovely little hank of yarn:
and make it into a really long hank.
Note the very high tech use of chairs placed far apart in my living room. I tied this hank with some yarn to mark where I wanted to paint the colors. A little math helps here; I began a sock with this yarn, figured out I used about 28" of yarn per row, and did a little multiplication. I decided I wanted each stripe of color to be about three rows wide, so I marked around 90" per color. This was not exact, as I wanted some of the stripes to be wider than others (and I didn't measure very carefully, what with the tape measure only being 60" long and me being unable to remember where it stopped).
Then, I laid out newspaper, saran wrap, and the soaked hank of yarn onto my kitchen floor:
I mixed up the colors (had a little trouble figuring out which pellets were for which color, but I persevered) and began painting:
When I had painted all the stripes, I folded the saran wrap around it, put it into a ziploc, and popped it into the microwave. To heat set the color I cooked it on high for 1 minute and let it rest for 1 minute. I did this four times, pulled it out, let it cool, and then soaked it in some water to make sure the colors didn't run:
Note the subtlety of the colors (hmmmm...who would have thought that Easter egg dye would make yarn look so much like, well, Easter eggs....).
Then I hung the yarn to dry (again, extremely high tech):
wound it up into a ball:
and lo and behold it became this:
If feet could ask for sunglasses, mine would. I started the sock in the evening and thought it was bright in the extreme, but that was nothing to what the colors looked like in full-on daylight. Hope you like them Mom - I think I can guarantee that no one will have a pair like them!