knitting

A Day to Dye For!

I had an awesome day on Saturday courtesy of my friend Vero. Yarn dyeing is something I have wanted to try for a while but didn’t have a clue where to start, so when Vero offered to show me the ropes I jumped at the chance!

I arrived on Saturday morning with my tubs of yarn that had been pre-soaked on Friday night…

Soaking wool

…and my sample pack of Landscape yarn dyes.

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Then Vero got out her yarn dyes…

Yarn Dyes

…we couldn’t help but line them all up in colour order and stand back and admire…look at all those lovely colours to play with!

Then the fun really started 🙂 Armed with our big pots and canvases of blank yarn it was tricky to know where to start, so many possibilities lay ahead.

Yarn for Dyeing

I decided to do a solid colour first on some chunky mohair and borrowed some of Vero’s ‘Rust’ dye. In it went!

Dyeing yarn

It was a bit too bright at first for my liking so I added a touch of ‘wombat’, a dark brown colour which made it a really deep orange.

Next into the pot was some 2 ply lace yarn. I had visions of a duck egg blue for this one but it came out more turquoise…I have a pretty beaded shawl in mind for this one.

Dyeing lace yarn

After 2 solid dyes I was ready for a bit of experimenting with colour grading. Here is an action shot of some chunky baby alpaca using the leftover wombat colour.

Dip dyeing

I also had a little bit of undyed cashmere in my stash so I treated that one to a dye bath of 3 colours.

Dyeing Cashmere

Next up was 2 skeins of superwash merino. I decided to do these both the same colour with the vision of making a small short sleeve cardigan (if I have enough) I used a whole sample pot of the ‘Lichen’ dye but when I put the yarn in I resisted the urge to swash everything about so that it would have different depths of colour. I’m really pleased with the way this came out.

Merino dyeing

Last up I had a little ball of silk. And here I must apologise profusely to Vero as I rather overestimated the amount of dye I would need for such a small amount of yarn. It dawned on me this morning that in my wisdom when I decided to weigh the yarn and calculate the amount of dye required I didn’t take into account that said yarn was very wet! Hence we had enough Plum dye going to have redyed our whole days efforts twice over, oops! As it turned out Vero had to raid some more of her stash to plop into the dye bath. I do hope she will forgive me for my rookie error, I’m hoping the fact that it is a very very lovely colour will make up for it!!

As well as the abundance of plum yarn Vero also dyed some beautiful blue and green yarns that she is going to crochet into a blanket.

Dyed yarn drying

And some lovely dusky pinks and purples

Dyed yarn

All in all it was a fantastic day, I learnt tons in great company and I really hope we can do some more soon! Now I just need to decide what to make with it all….

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