Friday, 27 April 2012

More Adventures - this time in yarn dyeing

Wow, what a long time since I last posted! Apologies, life has been a little hectic around here. Crafting still going on (at a slightly reduced rate!) but back to normal after next week.

In the meantime, I finally got round to dyeing my lovely hanks of yarn I got from World of Wool . I got a gift voucher from there for my fortieth birthday last year, and promptly invested in  two hanks of yarn and six wee pots of dye. However I was then too scared to use them! So this week I got together with a friend and she showed me what to do.

Firstly, we dunked the yarn (and some carded fibre to experiment with first) into a bucket filled with malt vinegar. I didn't realise you could use normal brown vinegar, I thought it had to be distilled! So that was my first surprise.

This is Bettine giving my wool and her fibre a good pummelling in the bucket. You can imagine the smell for yourself! It's not really a very social activity!

She showed me some of the yarn she had dyed herself the previous week - aren't the colours wonderful?

Unfortunately I forgot to turn the flash off so some of the colours are reflected in the lustre of the yarn but you can see what wonderful vibrant colours she got! There's a mix of painted and pan-dyed yarns there.

OK - on to our experiments. This one didn't go as expected (actually to be fair, none of them did! But that's half the fun of it!). I used cherry red, crimson and orange, but it all ended up fairly much one colour.

You can see some undyed fleece in the background there. This is the fleece all dyed and ready to go into the microwave (I put it inside a microwaveable bag first to make sure we didn't coat the inside with dye!).

The next thing we did was take the first skein of yarn and pot-dye it in two colours, fuschia and periwinkle. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the dyeing process because my hands were covered at that point! But here is the end result, with the red fleece and another piece of fleece dyed in fuschia and periwinkle, all drying on my washing line (scuse the poor photo, the light was just beginning to fade at this point)

And here's the skein all dried and ready to wind!

A lot more pink than I intended, but I was really pleased with the variation in the colour in the blue.

Naturally I wound it up and started knitting a pair of socks straightaway!

That was yesterday. Today, embolded by my success, I decided to paint my other skein (I had kept it in a bag so it was still damp with vinegar). So I laid out my yarn on bin bags and clingfilm, and started with some turquoise just dripped onto two points of the yarn:

I then took some bright yellow and dribbled that over the yarn. Then I added a wee bit of turquoise to make a lovely green, and splatted that in the spaces. I'm about half way through doing that here.

Now what I didn't anticipate was how much the colours would mix together during the setting process! Here's the yarn just after it came out of the microwave (I did it for three minutes in a 700w microwave, then did it for another minute just to make sure).

I think maybe I hadn't done it for long enough, but I was scared of burning the yarn. I took it out and rinsed it ... and all the colours began to blend! Never mind, I'm very happy with the finished result.

The turquoise is now more of an emerald green - I was aiming to have "dots" of colour when it is knitted up but I think they will in fact be wee lines of bright green - we shall see!

One thing I will say though ... I am hooked!! I can't wait to try this again!!

1 comment:

  1. wow that looks like super fun :) the colours are just beautiful too! I cant wait to see how that green and blue looks once knitted :D x


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