Sunday, August 24, 2008

Been bit by the (dyeing wool) bug

Oh no

Dyeing wool is rather addictive. So much fun though.

Since finishing my yarn swap I've done a few more.....

This one I'm auctioning off to raise money for Erin's fundraiser at She's had $50,000 (!!) of medical supplies donated (way to go Erin!) and now needs to raise money so the supplies can be shipped to a hospital in need, in Zimbabwe. The auction includes some wooden 4mm needles I made myself.

I dyed this one in sections so it should be sort of variegated. The wool I was using I had already dyed a very light pink (which look white in this pic)


This one was a bit of an experiment. Instead of dyeing in sections I put the yarn in a bit pot of dye (red) and then added a little bit of blue to the top of the pot. The end result was some gorgeous muted reds and dusky purples and almost browns. This will be more random once knitted up. 140g of DK.


I love this one


And this one was done in the same way. I started off with 100g of 14ply that I had dyed with Koolaid previously but wasn't really that impressed with, as the colours were really light and a bit washed out looking. It was light blue and light dusky purple. I added this to a pot that had very dark blue dye solution in the bottom and then poured much lighter blue over the top of the pot. I wasn't too sure of it when it was dyed in the hank but now i have reskeined it, I totally love it.


The blues range from sky blue to an almost silvery and theres a tiny bit of more purple blue in there too. It still smells a little fruity from the KA though. Might give it another wash!


Louise commented in the last post about a dye tutorial...LoL!!!!! have to say that my dyeing method is pretty haphazard! I just try things and see what comes out! I've just been using food colouring (Hansells in the supermarket) and white vinegar/heat to set. Nice and easy and you don't have to stress about contamination in the kitchen or icky smells and its easy to clean up if you happen to splash on your bench - even if you dye your hands they're only bright red for a day or so (don't ask me how I know that!).

If I'm dyeing in sections I just have 2 pots going over a low heat on the stove top and put a section of the skein in each pot. I've got a couple of old pots I'm using just for dyeing wool now. To get two tones of one colour I leave a largish white section between the pots and put this in for a shorter time to get less colour. People use their microwaves with great results too - mines in an awkward place so I find it easier to use the stove.

If I'm dyeing it altogether in the pot its very much just make it up as I go. I pour in my dye solution leave the wool for awhile then pour some more in! (Very scientific!!)

More food colouring = deeper colour. Once I'm done if it still bleeding colour then I pour over some more vinegar/water and microwave it (clingfilm over the container) for a few more minutes.

My yarn swap ones I was a bit more calculated as I was going for something 'specific' - these ones I was just happy having a play - if you're not too fussed with what you are ending up with then its the sort of thing where there are 'no mistakes'

People get some gorgeous results with cake dyes (you can get Wiltons from Spotlight and they cake dyes on TM too) and I think I will get some more next time I am shopping for craft supplies. For now food colouring is working out fine and its in the cupboard already ;) I really am just learning!!

I did explain my KoolAid dyeing "method" here. And there are some great tutorials out on the internet....try these :D



Self striping

Ashford acid dyes

Acid dyes

Cake dyes

Nautral Dyes - ie from plants/flowers/spices etc etc

Great dyeing site:
Paula Birch's All About Dyein


Anonymous said...

So lovely Gabes. I've had 3 hanks ready to go for weeks, and now that the Ravelympics are done, I will finally get to it.

nova_j said...

wow so gorgeous!! what are you naming them? i love the last one, it reminds me of crystal polar seas..

Anonymous said...

The last one is my pick too :)
Well done!

sweetp said...

Hadn't thought about naming them! Good point...

I guess whoever wins the first one can name it whatever they want lol.

Anonymous said...

These are absolutely stunning! I'm so impressed with your skills...

Louise said...

So lovely! And thanks for all the info about dyeing. I have tried the raro method and ended up with lovely looking wool but it was very sticky! I like the sound of the cake dyes method.

Jennynz said...

oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE the second one!!!!!

Bells said...

oh it's beautiful. For a haphazard process, the results are pretty spectactular!

Aunt Kathy said...

One day I'll be brave enough to try

sweetp said...

Be brave!! Heaps of fun :D

Little Grubs said...

Oh they are sooo lovely. You say that you are just starting but I think they look so professional!!! I've some across a few people dying their own wool on the kiwi blogs but I never realised you could - and just with food dyes and vinegar. Will have to follow your links when I've a minute and maybe have a play. xxx

Embejo said... are so clever! (And Thanks!)