I am going to share my dyeing process with you (not that I claim to be a great expert in this craft). Each time, I continue to improve, to try new techniques and to learn more about dyeing. One of my goals in my future projects, I’d like to try hand-painting yarns.
So, I had some acid dyes in stock: old rose from Cushing’s Perfection Dyes and blue and red from Majic Carpet (I was able to create my purple colour by mixing these two ). I’ve made a small note to myself for next time: write all the quantities of dyes I mixed to be able to recreate the same colour again. I chose the skeins that I planned to dye into these colours in these four weights: lace, fingering, dk, a brushed novelty yarn and lopi.
First I prepared my colours in mason jars. I did this by dissolving the powder with a small amount of boiling water. One Cushing’s sachet will dye 1 lb of fibre.
Next I soaked my skeins in a mixture of water and vinegar for at least 30 minutes. (This saturates and relaxes the yarn allowing it to absorb the liquid the dye is in quickly and evenly.)
After that I heated fresh water in a stainless steel pot. I needed the water to reach a temperature of about 150F.
Once the water was hot enough I added my colour, plus about 1 cup of white vinegar, then stirred it all together.
Once it was well mixed I put my skeins one by one in the dyeing pot. As soon as the yarn was in contact with the colours we could see the dye clinging to the fibre.
After a few minutes I removed the skein of lace weight yarn that I wanted to dye a pale pink. Then I left the other skeins in the dye pot until the water was clear. While I waited I made sure my water was not boiling. When the water is clear it means that all the dye has been absorbed by the yarn. This process takes about 30 minutes.
Next, I put my skeins in a bowl until they were cool and then I put them in a cold water and vinegar bath to allow the dye to fix. Then I rinsed, rinsed and rinsed the yarn again in different bowls of cold water until my rinse water ran clear. I can tell you that red takes much longer to rinse out than either the blue or purple !
And here they are!, Drying on the deck! What a beautiful variety of colours!
Since I put more skeins of yarn in my pot when dyeing blue, there are more variations of shades (from pale blue to dark blue) , aren’t the tones and shades this way of dyeing creates interesting?
The next day, I washed them with my Kookaburra fibre wash. This natural plant based wash is safe for the environment and does not need to be washed out of the fibre.
Once washed and dried, I put each skein on my swift and neatly wound them. If you are lucky enough to be at one of our shows you will be able to touch these beautiful skeins and feel how soft they are as well as see their rich glowing colours up close. If not then you’ll have to imagine it, unless you order one then it will arrive soft and lovely and be all yours to see and touch.
And voila!, all these beautiful colors are waiting for you to make into your new knitting projects !!