Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Colorful Way to Dye

As part of a swap on a forum I belong to, I recently received a wonderful package of goodies which included a 100g ball of 8ply wool from The Wool Company, and three little pots of cake dye.

I have been absolutely *itching* to try dyeing my own wool, not that I am any good at it, but because it's fun! So I decided that since I was having a PJ-day anyway, I'd get stuck in and take photos as I went.

It didn't quite turn out as I expected, but, that is not to say I won't find something to knit it into - and I also learned a couple of very valuable lessons. Firstly, wear gloves! Secondly, make sure all the containers / vessels that you are putting the wool into for soaking in the dye are free of holes, lest you have a big ole leak all over the kitchen bench.

Initially I thought that I could maybe possibly try gradient dyeing. Then I thought, maybe that's a bit ambitious, perhaps self striping is the way to go. Finally I settled on simply having a go and seeing what I came up with - and here is my 'learning story' ;)

The wool split into five 'mini' hanks and soaking in a vinegar / water solution.

Some of my supplies.

The containers lined up ready for the wool to go in, and I used disposable cups to pre-mix the dye in.

I poured a cupful of dye over each lot of wool, and then added extra water until each mini-hank was mostly submerged.

As I mentioned earlier, don't forget to wear gloves!

Bagged up and ready to go in the microwave for heat-setting.

Cooling off and then drying.

Eeeeek! But, nothing a pot scrubber, some baking soda and a bit of elbow grease couldn't fix...

Drying outside on the clothes horse.

Getting ready to wind! I had to snip the ties on each mini hank without accidentally cutting the wool itself, and then try not to get it tangled - got there in the end with DH's help.

*drum roll*

The End Result (so far, of course not knitted up yet)

The light may be better tomorrow, so I'll take a couple more photos and see if that helps the colour any - but as I said I *will* find something to knit with this - suggestions are more than welcome!

I think at least for a little while, I will be leaving it to the professionals, although I definitely learned a lot from today's little project.

Go Gently,
~ Jax ~  xoxo


  1. Thats pretty good for a first go Jax....I'd knit that

  2. That looks awesome, well done. Now chop chop, get knitting hehe