Crochet Along – Join In, It’s Gonna Be Fun

When I was a teenager, I learned how to knit and crochet – nothing fancy, just basic stitches. Granny Square afghans were the only crochet pattern I had learned.  Being busy with classes, I gave up on knitting and crocheting when I was in college. Now, years later, I have decided to take up crocheting again. Along with several friends, also new to crocheting, we have compiled a collection of several patterns (actually about 42 of them) for a Crochet-Along. The plan is to crochet two blocks each month and eventually put them together into an afghan (yes this project will take a while to complete).

For this project, I am using Fingering weight Bamboo-Cotton (70/30 blend) yarn. Specialty dyed yarns sell for $8-25 per skein. I found white yarn on Amazon for $2.40 a skein and decided to try dyeing the yarn.  A trial skein showed that the yarn dyes similar to cotton fabric. Thus the supplies needed were the same as I described in my last posting. Yeah – no need to purchase anything new, just the yarn!

Be advised, synthetic fibers, such as acrylic will not dye with Procion dyes. 

Air trapped between fibers of the yarn will hinder the penetration of the color.  Therefore, prior to dyeing, each skein of yarn must be immersed in dye solution (water with salt and soda ash) to prepare the fibers to accept the color.  For variegated yarn, the skein can be rewound into a larger circle and secured with scrap yarn.

For this project, each skein of yarn was soaked in 1/2 cup of hot dye solution.  The excess solution was squeezed out to leave the yarn damp prior to adding the dye. The desired dye was added, either as a total immersion (for a single color skein), or syringed on (for variegated yarn).  The yarn was then batched for 6 hours. Excess dye was removed by rinsing with cold water, followed by washing in hot water with Dawn dish soap.   Since the washing machine is the easiest way the wash out excess dye from fabric, I wanted to find a way to wash yarn without the yarn becoming tangled.  Tied yarn does tangle very easily when washed in a washing machine (believe me, I tried it and spent about two hours untangling my first skein).  I thought about using a lingerie bag, but worried that the skein may still tangle.  So, instead, I tied the skein in an old nylon – worked great.

 

Below is a sample of the yarn colors I created:
Variegated Colors:
     Mixing Blue and Custom Green, 20 ml of each color syringed in sections
           One skein using dye mixed at a concentration of 5 mg/ml
           Another skein at a concentration of 2 mg/ml
Solid Colors:
     Golden Yellow, 0.2 mg/ml in 50 ml
     Mixing Blue, 5 mg/ml in 50 ml
     Mixing Blue, 0.2 mg/ml in 50 ml
     Custom Green, 5 mg/ml in 50 ml
     Custom Green, 0.2 mg/ml in 50 ml

Crochet Along Square #1 – Granny Square – pictured above
Crochet Along Square #2 – Big Flower Square designed by Julie Yeager (Ravelry.com)
This pattern does have a fee, but there are many other patterns on Ravelry that are free.  

My plan is to post two squares each month. I will include information about the patterns. So, if you want to crochet along, please join me.  If you do, I would love to see what you create.

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