Tea Time

Previously on the blog we have talked about Color Uh-Ohs and
given tips on Dyepot Double Dipping. Today I wanted to share another method for
toning down regrettable color choices. Step 1, relax and make a cup of tea.
Literally, make a cup of tea to re-dye your yarn or knit project.


Whenever I dye yarn or fiber, I like to use the brightest
colors available. While they are bright,
cheerful and lovely to look at, the colors don’t always work for a particular
project. This happened to be the case when I was dyeing Ashland Bay’s Polwarth /
Silk (60/40)
top.  As I was spinning the
top, I loved watching the bright clear colors draft through my fingers and onto
the bobbin. Plying the yarn was equally as visually stimulating. I was thrilled
to watch the colors blend together as I knit the yarn into a scarf. And as soon
as I wrapped this beauty around my neck, I noticed the sea sick tone this
lovely piece of art cast over my face.

Out comes the tea.


The first step to over dyeing with tea is to soak the garment
or yarn in soapy, hot water. (In an ideal world, I would have yarn left over
from my project to test a few different tea strengths.) I use Nestea
unsweetened ice tea mix and mix it directly into the dye pot. Once the yarn or
garment is in the pot with tea mixture, I slowly raise the temperature. Once I
am satisfied with the color saturation, I then add vinegar to set the dye.

Now, the part that everyone
has been waiting for, the before and after photos. As you can see from the above, the color of
the project to the right is much more subdued.

Above is another tea dye example. The photo is of a
sock blank hand painted. The photo on the right is after that same blank was pot dyed in tea. As you can see, over dying with tea is a fun and easy way to readjust a dye project gone awry!