First, I spent an evening working out a crocheted version of a cherry blossom based on other designs in a book of crocheted flowers. I just kind of made it up as I went. I used Knit Picks 'Bare' yarn, Merino and silk, in fingering weight. The finished blossoms looked pretty good to me. I threw them in some water to soak.
I remember I had a stash of Jacquard dyes from yarn dyeing a few years back. I found it in the black hole that is our garage - that in itself is amazing. I chose to try the color Vermillion. It's actually a pinky-red.
I found a couple of empty honey jars that I had collected, and used a plastic spoon. They say to never use any kitchen utensils that you use for food. Next, I made a makeshift face filter (paper towel, duct tape, yarn contraption on right). When the mood for creativity strikes, it is nearly impossible to wait for the next day so I can run to the hardware store to buy a proper mask. This was better than nothing, right?
They also say to always use a mask when handling the dry dye powders...not good to breathe them. I would assume eye protection would be smart too.
Mixed the dye - recipe I used:
1/2 teaspoon dye powder
3/8 c very hot water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
I towel-blotted the flower, but still left it mostly wet. Then dabbed on the dye starting in the center and slightly up on the five 'spokes' in the flower center. The honey jar lid came in handy for transferring small amounts of dye.
Finished test flowers. So sweet!
Last step: heat setting. This is done a variety of ways, but as long as you can apply a good amount of heat, it will set the dye. I chose to wrap them in plastic wrap and nuke them in the microwave. I did 4 rounds of 45 seconds, with about a minute in between. This dried them and softened the color; an effect I really like.