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Enter the Dyepot September 14, 2010

Oh HO! There is a phenom that happens every once in a while over here at Studio Chic Knits…

We actually fall out of love with a sweater!

Hard to believe, since we love, love, LOVE, the clothes, but sometimes, yes, it happens.

But sometimes, an intervention can save the day!.



from l. to r. (click on small pix for larger versions):

We started out with our two year old Basic Chic Hoodie – a well-loved garment made with Cotton Ease. We’ve worn it lots; washed it lots. It’s nice and soft and comfy. Problem was, we were never in love with the color! It is a little too light for a work sweater; a little too bland for our stylings. When we’re in the trenches as a photog, you need something that can look fresher throughout the day, maybe even something that can stand out in traffic. So it was time for a change…

And lucky us, we didn’t have to look too far! For a couple of weeks, Misa’s beautiful Cerisara has graced our blog page, made in the most glorious mustardy yellow! So, we got out the Procion MX Jacquard dyes from the cupboard and waved our wand. VOILA!

We experimented and found that 2 T of #10 Yellow & 1 t of #106 Bronze, just might give us the color we were dreaming about.
The Secret *Ingredient* ? The fact that the sweater itself was grey meant that it was going to damp down the tone. If it was white fiber, we would’ve added some #128 Warm Black to do the very same thing.
Also important? For even dye coverage, first soak the garment for about 1/2 hour in lukewarm water. I put this in the washing machine, soaked, then spun it out.

So into the gargantuan dyepot went the mixed dye, 1 1/2 cups of salt, three gallons of lukewarm water, and the sweater. Forty-five minutes and 1/3 of a cup of soda ash later, VOILA! Our gorgeous reincarnated sweater was ready for a brand new day….


We’re chompin’ at the bit for some cool temp runnings now so we can give this a road test asap! Whow!

25 responses to “Enter the Dyepot September 14, 2010”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I love your fearless sense of adventure. I honestly don’t know if I could dye a sweater.

  2. Alison says:

    Wow. Really lovely.

  3. Patty says:

    Stunning Bonne Marie. You never fail to inspire!

  4. lisa says:

    Absolutely love this!!! Like you, I’ve been eyeing the mustard Cerisara on the home page and I love the way you came up with your own….. with no extra knitting time :) Great inspiration.

  5. Bonne!! That is stunning. What a great eye you have! And the bravery!

  6. Katinka says:

    Love the transformation! :)

  7. Heather says:

    LOVE!!! Stop, I have so many things in the queue to knit and not enough time in the day… (but, don’t stop, I love the inspirations!)

  8. Vicki says:

    Ooooh, that’s nice. GORGEOUS warm happy color!

  9. technikat says:

    Wow! That’s quite a transformation! Now it’s a new sweater.

    Just for clarification, did you soak the sweater in water first before placing it in the dye pot?

  10. HissyStitch says:

    Ooh, I just started playing with the whole dyeing thing, starting with food coloring in the kitchen. I’m still working on getting the color to come out perfectly even like that — is it the salt that acts as a leveling agent?

  11. Seanna Lea says:

    Great job! I’m still dying my knitting only with the Wilton colors. It would be great to upgrade my set up for non-food safe dyes, but I haven’t bought a separate pot and utensils yet.

  12. Ali says:

    Wow!!!! Amazing :-)) That is such a gorgeous colour and just right for this time of year!!

  13. Lauren says:

    Wow, wow, wow. Awesome color. Talk about reinventing your wardrobe.

  14. Lori on Little Traverse Bay says:

    Wow! Talk about a rebirth! Looks fabulous!

  15. Natalie says:

    Beautiful job. It gives me hope for a light brown that I liked when I bought it and have thought about getting rid of. I’m reconsidering!

  16. Mary Beth Klatt says:

    The pattern on the front of the sweater really pops out now with the new mustard yellow. Great idea!

  17. Linda says:

    The sweater looks wonderful–absolutely brand new. Now my question, I have read all your tips about blocking a new sweater, how do you block a sweater that you have washed -or dyed- and make it look brand new again. It sure makes me look at cotton ease in a whole new way.

  18. Kim says:

    Love, love, love the color! I think I am going to have to make this sweater now. :-)

  19. Marg says:

    Love it! It gives me hope regarding the Comfy yarn I’m not so enthusiastic about now…

  20. Michelle says:

    OH That is AWESOME! looks brand new!

  21. Melissa says:

    Love it, love it, LOVE it! What a fabulous dye job….so even! Perfect color–bravo!

  22. Dolores says:


  23. Bonne Marie says:

    THANKS! hugz all around! :)

    Here’s a link explaining better the process of cold water immersion dyeing:

    Here’s what they say about Soda Ash: “Soda Ash is also known as sodium carbonate, washing soda, or sal soda. A mild alkali that promotes the chemical reaction between Procion MX fiber reactive dye and cellulose fiber. Soda Ash is necessary to activate and “set” Procion dye.”

    Here’s what they say about Salt: “Salt levels color and improves the solubility and take up of the dye.”

  24. Cruz says:

    You and your ‘new’ sweater are fabulous!

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