How to Steam and Dry the Skeins - dummies

How to Steam and Dry the Skeins

Once you have painted your skeins with a foam brush — whether you chose a single color or a mix of colors — you have to steam and dry the skeins. For this you’ll need a enamel pot and a canning rack dedicated to dyeing. Be sure you don’t use it later for food.

1Place a canning rack in the bottom of the enamel pot. Add about 2 inches of water to the pot, bringing the level just beneath the top of the rack.

Make sure that the water level is sufficient for steaming, but that it doesn’t come up to the level of the yarn.

2Place a pie plate upside down over the rack.

The pie plate prevents the boiling water from reaching the yarn during steaming. Excess water that escapes from the packets while steaming can run down the pie plate and drain into the bottom of the pot.

3Stand the plastic-wrapped packets of yarn on top of the pie plate inside the pot.

Place the packets on their side so the steam is distributed evenly to all parts of the skeins. Do not let the packets touch the side of pot. Cover the pot.

4Bring the water to a simmer and maintain that temperature for 45 minutes. Halfway through the steaming time, turn the plastic packets upside down.

This will help prevent any excess dye in the bottom of the packets from forming dark blotches on the yarn. Use caution when removing the lid from the pot (hot steam will escape), and wear oven mitts when handling the hot fiber.

5At the end of 45 minutes, the dye has bonded with the fiber. Allow the pot of skeins to cool completely.

Never attempt to open a hot package of yarn.

6Remove the packets from the pot and carefully unwrap them.

The skeins will have absorbed every bit of the dye, and there will be little liquid remaining in the packet.

7Fill a basin with warm water. Add 1⁄2 teaspoon (2.5ml) Synthrapol. Soak the skeins for 5 minutes.

This removes any excess dye.

8Create a second tepid bath and submerge the skeins.

Your goal here is to rinse them completely.

9Remove excess water from skeins either by gently pressing or by spinning out in the washing machine.

Doing so will speed the drying time.

10Hang the skeins to dry on a rack or pole.

Be sure to hang them out of direct sunlight.