Sometimes when I spend too much time online I end up idly looking though things that I normally wouldn’t. And perhaps shouldn’t. Especially when I’m on a yarn buying ban.
However, the last lot of idle browsing I did was on some Ravelry groups. I love the enormous variety of groups on Ravelry, it seems like there is a group for everyone, and if there’s not, you can just go ahead and make one 🙂 The groups I was browsing were dyeing groups: Love to Dye and Colour by Hand (yes, the correct British spelling of colour was used in the group’s name!) Awesome groups, totally gorgeous project pics, and heaps of interesting ideas for dyeing.
But you can totally see where this is headed though, eh! The dyepot!
What I wanted to play around with was some new techniques for dyeing semisolid colours. I have used a few techniques with success already, but am always keen to try some other methods.
The first yarn I chose was some 5ply yarn Mum donated to me earlier this year. It’s 100% wool and I had about 110g of it. I skeined it up and instead of soaking it put it straight into the dyepot with some vinegar. Because soaking opens up the fibres, thus speeding up dyeing and absorption, and I wanted to slow it down, it seemed like a good idea. And it worked a treat.
I mixed up some dye – National Blue colour acid dye, and put some already diluted into water to dilute it even further. Then I poured some directly onto some of the yarn (lifting it up out of the water) in several places, and put the rest into the dyepot. Once that was clear I had already a very light semisolid blue. I added more dye to the dilute mixture and poured more dye over the yarn in more spots. I repeated this twice more, making the dye more concentrated each time. Once the water was clear I cooled the yarn down, rinsed and dried it. And this is what it looks like reskeined.
I am really impressed with this – I love the variety of intensities of blue, and this technique was waaaaay less messy than painting the dye on to the yarn and then kettle dyeing it.
So, of course I had to try with more yarn! And more colours…
The only things I varied this second time was that I used three different colours: a purple, salmon and boysenberry. I used two different strengths of purple first, and then the other two colours. It’s a shame I only have 50g of this 8 ply yarn, as I am not sure what I will make with it.
The other shame is that I don’t have much undyed yarn left to experiment on. This has really whetted my appetite for dyeing, but alas I have to be good!