spinning yarn dyeing colour craft hobby love home life

Dyeing to show you!

I don’t pretend to be an expert on dyeing, well I’m clearly not, this is only my second go at it. I just wanted to show you what I did and maybe you will have a go.
Honestly it’s ridiculously good fun and soooo easy.
I did a bit of research on the interweb and found loads of useful information particularly 
here and here
And after the success of my Southsea Rock yarn I couldn’t wait to have another try.
 You must do it, it’s like magic, one of those things that makes you feel elated and contented!
Give it a go, grab your food colourings from the cupboard a bit of vinegar and hey hey, 
you’re good to dye!
Oh, you’ll also need:
cling film
something to cover the table ( I used bin liners)
a large pot
a trivet or something to rest your yarn on when you steam it
an old towel

First I soaked my roving in lukewarm water for 30 minutes you can leave it for longer it just seems to need a jolly good soak.
My roving weighed 4ozs so I added about 1/4 pint of vinegar to the water, the vinegar makes the dye bind to the fibres and makes it permanent.

Whilst the roving was soaking I mixed up some colours.
Some of my food pastes were dried up but I just added hot water and gave the bottle a shake till the colour came out. I didn’t measure how much paste I put in each glass I just dabbed a bit on a piece of kitchen towel to see if I liked the tone! I also added a teaspoon of vinegar to each glass.

It’s getting very exciting now isn’t it! My Lovely Assistant stuck the bin liners to the table.

After that I lifted the roving out of the water and onto the towel. I gently rolled it up and pressed down to get as much water out as possible.

Then we laid out the cling film, this is definitely a two man job, very tricky to handle that cling film!

Here am I laying the damp roving on the cling film.

Here it is ready for the dye.

No not a drink just me pondering where to start.

I bottled it and used a spoon to spread it onto the top of the roving.

It poured off quite alot.

Anyway we went at it with our different coloured glasses of gorgeousness. At this stage I thought there wasn’t enough dye on it.

It looked really patchy and there was lots of white showing.
I have to say I didn’t think the results were going to be very good.

Anyway I rolled it up in the cling film and kind of squeezed it around a bit before 
I rolled the whole thing up.
This was done by folding over the short ends first and then rolling it long ways.

Then to the pot, I had a trivet in the bottom of the pot and I rested the roving roll in another trivet.
The water didn’t touch the cling film.
I brought the water to a simmering heat.

I simmered for 30 minutes ish. It was very spectacular the cling film puffed right up rather alarmingly i was worried it might all pop and I’d end up with green wool all over the kitchen ceiling!
then I turned the pot off and waited and waited and waited until it was lukewarm.
This took ages and it was so hard to wait, I could see lovely things had happened.
Let me tell you I did a little jig round the kitchen!

Anyhow after what seemed like forever I was able to take it to the sink for the 

That cling film was tight.
I’d already run some water into the bowl, lukewarm again.

Very carefully I wrestled it out of the package.

Ta Dah!
Will you look at that
How gorgeous. 

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Lovely Man and I stood gazing at our creation for ages.
It reminded us of a beautiful rockpool, I’m naming it Summer Rockpool
So many pretty colour combinations and not too much white after all.

And not much colour leached out in the rinsing water. I filled the bowl up with lukewarm water again and gently squeezed it out. I did this a few times just to make sure all the excess dye was out.
Then I put it back in the towel rolled it up and pressed the water out of it.
Next I hung it on the line to dry 

Doesn’t it look pretty.

It took a day to dry completely,
 such a long time to wait.

It spun up like a dream

And once plyed, well amazing!

So the rest of the week has been spent crocheting my first garment.
Ta dah, Ta dah!

My Summer Rockpool scarf

D’you like?
I wound the ball so that each end of the scarf would be the same shade, clever huh!

I adore the variations of shades and and the fringing just finishes it off nicely.

I can’t wait for the weather to turn colder I’ve been prancing around the house wearing my creation at every opportunity. From fleece to garment by my own hand.
I love my new hobby
love, love, love
spinning and dyeing and creating lovely things.
Makes my heart very happy.
Right I’m spinning some merino yarn now, what colour shall I dye it? What shall I make it into?
Oooooo just don’t know.
happy happy me!
Lots of love

8 thoughts on “Dyeing to show you!”

  1. Hi Sue, amazing post about home dyeing!
    I was wondering if you'd like to be in a piece I'm writing about crocheters selling their lovely creations? It's for Craftseller magazine and I'd only need a minute or two of your time. Please email me on helen.burge@note-media.com if you'd be interested – no worries if not! Best wishes


  2. Hi Veronica thanks for your kind comments. Well in answer to your question, the food colours are a make called Sugarflair, they are paste colours and have a good strength to them. I buy them at my local cake decorating shop here in UK. I just used the colours I had, they come in loads of different shades. The magic happened when they mixed themselves in the dyepot! That's all I can say really it was mainly luck how the colours turned out. I'm still a beginner at all this spinning malarky and am conatantly surprised how things turn out LOL!


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