Breaking Black – Auckland, New Zealand

Over the same weekend, four of us, in four different places, experimented with breaking black food colouring to die yarn. Here’s how it worked out in New Zealand.

I began with 50g of Moda Vera Pure Wool 8 ply from Spotlight.   I wound it into three hanks and tied each one in three places with scraps of acrylic (acrylic won’t take up the colour).  I split it into three because I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it all in one hit. And also because I’m not great at making skeins or hanks!

I soaked the wool in 4 cups of water and 1/2 cup of white vinegar for three hours.

I then mixed 75 ml water, 50 ml white vinegar and 1 cap full (about 1/4 teaspoon) of Hansells Black Food Colouring.  I poured this into a large stock pot and heated it gently on the stove until it was just below boiling.

I draped the three hanks of wool over a wooden spoon and laid it across the top of the pot, so that one end of each hank was in the dye. (I moved the spoon around and gently turned the pot so that the wool was pretty covered).

After 15 minutes or so, the wool in the pot had turned purple, and the liquid was blue. So I slid the wool on the spoon so the other end of the hanks was in the dye.

After ten minutes or so, I removed the spoon and let all the wool fall into the pot.

I kept the heat on until the water was clear, and then I let it sit and cool for twenty minutes.

Then I rinsed the wool, several times, and hung it out to dry.

I love how this came out!

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4 responses to “Breaking Black – Auckland, New Zealand

  1. I really really want to try this next time I dye! It is super creative and I love how it came out (a bit like those middle school science projects where you bleed all of the colors on the coffee filters)! I love how your mind works. Maybe if I start out dyeing my yarn an overall color and then do this I can get a nice deep color like yours but using the Wilton’s.

  2. Love this! Can’t wait to give it a try…after I get home from mom-sitting in October. Your explanations are perfectly clear. Thanks Rachel.

  3. This really turned out so well. I absolutely love that you thought about doing this in two parts, using the wooden spoon. I just never would have thought of that!

  4. Beautiful! I’m looking forward to seeing this knitted up

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