Needed some color to brighten up my winter

Hopefully we’ve seen the last of the snow for now. Hopefully.

I meant to post more photos from the dye work I did in December. I finally got around to snapping pictures of the more of the skeins of yarn I dyed.  Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Northwest Woods (probably for a pair of socks for my brother Ted)

Autumn Fire

Amazon Parrot

Note, I’ve discovered the fine art of squeezing the dye and painting the right amounts of yarn.  I was happy with all my colourways except for one. I didn’t include it here, it was supposed to emulate the colors in a peacock feather, but i think I should have used more dark green. I need to overdye this yarn or repaint it.

Sample of the Blouson from Interweave Knits

I also dyed a good deal of peruvian cotton (about 17 skeins) for the 1824 Blouson pattern.  Let me tell you, dying cotton (and I assume other plant fibers) is a royal pain in the ass.  It wasn’t so much the pre-washing of the fibers in a solution of synthropol then soaking them in a soda ash solution, or dissolving the large amounts of salt into the dye water before adding the urea solution and dye. I REALLY REALLY hated the process of washing out the excess dye and other chemical badness in the yarn after the dyeing was over. Ick. I could never truly felt  that I got it ALL  out. On top of that I’m not sure I want to make a simple stockinette stitch pattern like the Blouson… since dyeing this yarn was such a labor intensive process. Two or three skeins of the yarn are a bit darker than I expected. I think I may have soaked them in too much soda ash solution, but I don’t mind the color imperfection. I think it adds more appeal and a hand-fashioned look to the final product.

Not to mention the warning on the package of the dye said something like… the state of California warns that this produce may cause cancer!!!!

I have decided that I will dye up a few more batches of cotton yarn, just enough to use up the dyes I purchased and from now own I’ll only dye wools, animal fibers and nylon. Or I’ll use Kool-aid and other foodbased dyes.  I have a sweater’s worth of Artfibers Rush I need to dye and some skeins of mercerized cotton. Maybe I should invite some friends over… “Hey, share the cancer!”

Luna dyed with Seafoam & Grey Mist (formerly "Sunlight" yellow)


Filed under Colors, Colorwork, Cotton, Craft, Creativity, Dyeing, Dyeing_yarn, Eco, Fibers, Fun Stuff, Knit, Knitting, Socks, Stockinette, Techniques, Wool, Yarn

4 responses to “Needed some color to brighten up my winter

  1. lol I know I shouldn’t laugh but I dislike dying because of being started on plant fiber dyes. Maybe if I had been taught how to do animal fiber dyes first, I would have enjoyed it. I detest dying so I will happily pay someone else.

  2. I totally understand that! No more dying of plant fibers… it’s worth paying someone else to do it. I still like dying animal fibers. I’ve been collecting some resources on nontoxic and simple dye solutions. I recently found that you can dye with leftover Easter egg dye tablets. Hopefully I should be able to post more information on that here soon.

  3. Jona

    You are so TOTALLY talented when it comes to knitting. I only wish I could knit but with carpal tunnel I can’t. I almost did though. Just about bought stuff to make socks because I LOVE LOVE LOVE the socks you knit for me. They’re super soft, comfortable and warm.

    You have my admiration too when it comes to dying fibers. It sounds like a pain but your results look so good. You’re great at it. The sweater in the picture looks great!

  4. Thanks! I like knitting socks… it’s pretty comforting. They’re small and portable. I also knit my socks 2 at a time on circular needles. It seems to take longer but you have both socks done at the same time, and they’re usually pretty much alike. If I knit them 1 at a time, I have problems keeping the gauge and sometimes the two socks look like their different lengths. Dying yarns in small color batches works well for sock projects. I’m thinking of handpainting variegated yarn for a sweater… that’s going to be a challenge trying to keep the color patterns as similar as possible. I might have to take some butcher paper. Draw a ‘color guide’ and put it under the plastic I use to cover they dying surface. I’d have to lay the yarn on top of or along the guide and follow it.

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