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20_all_coloursThis week I had the yarn dyeing day on my agenda !! I had enough time to dye some skeins, but unfortunately not my mohair locks. (They should be done in 2-3 weeks.)

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.3_oldrose
Next I soaked my skeins in a mixture of water and vinegar for at least 30 minutes.1_soak (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.2_heat
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. 4_putting_yarn_in_potAs soon as the yarn was in contact with the colours we could see the dye clinging to the fibre.5_yarn_in_pot

6_all_yarns_in_potAfter a few minutes I removed the skein of lace weight yarn that I wanted to dye a pale pink. 7_light_pinkThen 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.8_darker_rose

Next, I put my skeins in a bowl until they were cool 9_yarns_in_bowland then I put them in a cold water and vinegar bath to allow the dye to fix. 10_yarns_in_cold_waterThen 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 !11_drying_old_rose

Then, after thoroughly washing and rinsing my dye pot, I repeated the same steps to dye the purple, then the blue 12.blue13_light_blue14_darker blue15_blue_in_bowland finally the red yarns.

And here they are!, Drying on the deck! What a beautiful variety of colours!18_all_colours
19_all_colours2Since 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?17_variations_of_blue

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. IMAG0984If 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.22_dyed skeins

And voila!, all these beautiful colors are waiting for you to make into your new knitting projects !!

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