After laying the water-soaked skein down on a couple of strips of plastic wrap we began painting our yarn. My goal with this skein was to do dark and light purple and dark and light lilac. To get the lighter shades, just dilute the dye with water.
I didn't get a photo but I have a big stock pot dedicated to dyeing. I put three cleaned cat food tins in the bottom and then a rack on top of them. I put water in the bottom to just below the rack and get it boiling on the electric hot plate.
After steaming, the bags are taken out of the pot with tongs and opened and allowed to cool a bit. Then with tongs again, the wrapped skeins are allowed to cool on the patio stones. Once cool enough to touch (the whole cooling process takes about 1/2 hour) the skeins are rinsed. Surprisingly, they rinsed completely clear which means all the dye was taken up into the fibre and successfully set. With non-superwash yarn, care must be taken not to shock the yarn with vastly different temperatures as it will felt. Most of what we dyed was superwash or sock yarn with enough nylon to prevent felting.
We then hung them on the clothesline to dry somewhat.
On the left is the skein of my handspun that I dyed with a couple of shades of sunny yellow. The dye was very concentrated and could have been diluted a bit more. The next two are my handspun (superwash merino spun from pencil roving in 2010) which I dyed with spruce and teal (a couple of shades of each). The next skein was some natural coloured 'On Your Toes' sock yarn (with Aloe) that I dyed with two shades of purple and two shades of lilac. The right-hand yarn is some merino superwash yarn (singles) that I dyed with a couple of shades of burgundy and grey (black that I diluted quite a bit).
If you have undyed or light-coloured yarn, dyeing it is a great way to jazz it up. I hope to get another dyeing session in while the weather is still nice.