Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find *just* the color of yarn you want right when you want it? This time, I was searching for wool in a skin tone. Now, finding this online is easy – it’s finding it in person and quickly to whip up a small project that’s the bear. After spending a few minutes in my local yarn shop, I sighed defeat and grabbed a white skein of Galway. I figured I’d soak a bit in tea and call it good.
A quick perusal of tea dyeing on Google caused me to believe that it really is that easy. Tea (and coffee, for that matter) stain so very well. I wonder what red wine would look like on white wool? Hrmmm. I *know* pizza sauce would work. Hrmmm, now I don’t know whether to be hungry or go do my laundry. Back to tea!
After reading about how the tannic acid in the tea weakens fibers, I started to lean toward coffee dyeing. But, I have some undrinkable nasty old tea bags hanging about in my pantry (why clean out the pantry when you can knit?) I wasn’t sure I wanted to waste COFFEE on dyeing wool. I decided that tea would be fine; after all, this is a lark sort of project, not a hangs-around-for-generations knitted heirloom.
I grabbed my thrift-store dyeing pot and spoon and wandered into the kitchen. Lo and behold, there sat about a third of a pot of coffee that had been on the burner too long that morning. It sat neglected all day, and was fairly begging to be poured over wool. Who am I to argue with the fates? Coffee it is.
I’m sure there are as many methods to this as there are posts on the subject, but I’ll just tell you what I did.
If I’d been going for a darker brown, I’d have steamed the wool for longer, and I’d have let it sit in the dyebath overnight to cool. As it was, I was aiming for a light brown, which is just what I got.