What a fun day we had yesterday solar dyeing wool. We used Paton Classic Wool and Patons Kroy sock yarn.
First we made the balls into skeins. This one is being made by hand but others were done on the swift. The skeins were tied in three places with acrylic yarn. You want to use acrylic or cotton for your ties so that they do not take up the dye and are easy to find.
The skeins soaked for 20-30 mins in a pail of warm water with a couple drops of dish soap to open the fiber so it will absorb the dye easier.
Since we were using my kitchen to work in we only used Kool Aid and Wilton cake dyes. We mixed up our dye with hot tap water, poured it onto our large jars, added 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar depending on how many skeins were going into the jar. We used approx. 1/2 cup for 100g of wool. If in doubt more is better. The vinegar (and heat) is what sets the dye.
Add your yarn and carefully top up the jar with hot water if needed. Put the lid on and set in the sun.
Here are our jars ready to sit in the sun for a day or two. Since we finished this mid afternoon they didn't get a lot of direct sun and the temperature inside the jar only reached 45 degrees. The plan was to leave them outside all day today but the weather didn't cooperate and it was a cloudy day. So, they will sit outside again tomorrow waiting for some sunshine.
After all the yarn was dyed we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with our knitting and answered questions about what all the jars were about from the neighbours!