Thursday, 24 February 2011

Dyeing Days

Dyeing is an activity that takes place on our back verandah/patio. It can get very hot out there so dyeing can only be done on cooler days. Since the weather here has been well over 30*C (86*F) lately, there haven't been many cooler days!

Also, as many of you would know, dyeing is not a "spur of the moment" activity - yarn has to be wound into skeins and soaked for several hours.

Nonetheless, there has been some dyeing done here in the last few weeks.

Firstly - acrylic. I started this skein about two years ago and never finished it. With my method of dyeing acrylic, one colour is dyed then the whole skein rinsed and dried before the next colour applied. This skein had waited for two years, one section dyed mauve, the rest still white. The mauve and the pink are done using Ozepol (dyes made for synthetics) but the blue was done using Landscape dyes (Australian made acid dyes for protein based fibres).
There are two other partly dyed skeins waiting for my attention: one is finished but I'm not happy with it - I got two pastel colours and one bright yellow! Eek! The other skein has been started but needs more colours added.

Then came my low immersion experiments. With both yarns, I crammed the ball (unskeined, as it came from the manufacturer) into a jar and poured dye over it. The first one I then topped up with water. The result is pretty but not as variegated as I would have liked. With the second, I stuffed a 100g ball into a very tight space, and soaked in like that overnight. The next day I poured blue dye on it, let it stand for a couple of hours then "cooked it". I let it cool overnight. I rinsed it then put it back in the jar (up the other way) and poured cerise dye over it, let it stand for a couple of hours then "cooked it" again. I let it cool and rinsed it. I was not at all happy with the result - the two colours did not work together. I left it for a couple of days then decided to overdye it. I used a fairly weak purple solution (didn't want to obliterate my previous colours) and this is the result. I am very happy with the result of the overdyeing. Try to imagine the cerise without the mauve overtones and you can see it didn't work with the marine blue!

Finally, the handpainted. DD and I have no expectations and no goals in mind, apart from having fun, when we dye these yarns. We keep no records, we just play. The results speak for themselves - some work well, others not so well.

It will be interesting to see how this one knits up - there is much more brown in it than appears in this photo.
This is very subtle, there are four or five shades of green in this yarn which DD has christened "seaweed". DD did this one on her own - it's a lovely blend of purples and pinks not oranges as it appears here. My personal favourite - I have nicknamed this one "Sunshine Lollipops". I am hoping DD will let me use it to knit the Drop Stitch Scarf which is currently #1 in my Ravelry queue.


  1. My, you have been busy. Is this how you spend your time when grandson has a nap?

  2. Great results with the dyeing! I especially love the greens!

  3. You got some great results from your dyeing!

    Love the pics of the top of the yarn cakes. They look like colourful whirlpools.


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