The blanket I wove at Vavstuga Basics and a 4x4 dyeing technique explained by Catherine Marchant at Curious Mondo was my inspiration to dye a bunch of worsted weight wool yarn I've had in my stash since we lived in Germany over 12 years ago. I have 12 skeins of it. I broke eight up in half to do the 4x4 dyeing technique and I have the other four skeins outside soaking up the Texas sun as I type.
For the 4x4 dyeing I split up eight 100 gram skeins, they should each be 50 grams, but the skeins were all short of 100 grams. One was as low as 88 grams! Since I'll never reproduce this exactly again, I just pretended they were all 50 grams for the sake of my math phobic brain.
In the video, Catherine measured dye using teaspoon measurements to dye 1 ounce skeins. I used my 1% dye stock solutions and 50 gram skeins. I dyed all 16 skeins first in Lichen Green. I dyed four skeins using 5ml, four skeins using 15ml, four using 30ml and four using 70ml of lichen 1% dye stock solution. I processed until the dye was exhausted (water was clear). I spun the excess water out and made four piles of the skeins, one of each DOS in each pile, so there were four piles with four of shades in each pile (I wish I'd taken a picture). Then I did the same process and dyed each pile in midnight blue in the same amounts that I did with the lichen. I love the effect! It will be perfect for the shading in the blanket.
I took 2 pounds of purple wool yarn from my stash that is a little heavier worsted weight, almost aran, and overdyed it in midnight blue for the weft. It came out very bright and I was looking for something earthier to go with the 4x4 skeins, so I overdyed with a little chocolate brown. The jury is still out. I still think it's too bright and I might just order something to use as weft.
As I was doing the purple to blue yarn it occurred to me that my kitchen was getting very hot. I looked outside my garden covered in shade cloth to protect it from our very hot August Texas sun and smacked myself on the head. It was only 9:00 am, so I had all day for it to cook in the sun. I hauled both steamer pans full of water and yarn out to the yard, covered them with large black plastic garbage bags and went back inside to tend to other things. By 2pm, the dye was exhausted and the water was clear!!! While I was at it I put some Targhee roving in the other steamer and used lichen, purple and ellow, then I over dyed with more purple to tone down the yellow. This sheds a whole new light on dyeing in bulk for me because if there's one thing we have here in Central Texas, it's plenty of sunshine!
This leads me to the last four skeins of the brand that I used in the 4x4. I decided I could use them as a semi solid strip in the blanket, so I put them out in one of the pans about a half an hour ago after soaking for about a half an hour. I'm doing a guestimate measurement to get a nice greenish blue with the same two colors I used in the 4x4. Odds are it will match one of the colors I dyed in the 4x4, but that's okay. I'm excited to see how long it takes for the dye to exhaust.