Insert obligatory dye/die pun here

The dyeing went well.  Exceeding well.  So well, in fact, that I have been stopping strangers on the street in order to show them my hand-spun hand-dyed yarn.

 You don’t believe me?  Here, see for yourself.


That’s two skeins of handspun, 31g and 35g, dyed in a crockpot with Landscapes Fern and Landscapes Daintree.

It was an interesting experience. I mixed the powder for Fern (the bluer green) in a glass jar with some hot water (wearing a mask, of course). It was beautiful and clear, like dark green ink. I held it up to the light like a glass of wine to inspect the colour.

Then I mixed Daintree with the same process. It didn’t look like ink. It looked like browny-green mud. It was cloudy. It frothed a little. It was disturbing.

When the water/vinegar/dye had had time to warm up, I poured the dye in. I had planned to pour two quarters of each colour, but when I poured it out of the jar it dribbled down the side and went everywhere. I should have seen that coming. That was when I decided that what I really wanted was random, and just filled in the gaps.

They say that there are no failures in dyeing, just results you didn’t expect. While I can certainly imagine failures, this isn’t one. I wasn’t completely prepared and I didn’t exactly know what I was doing. But I still got a great result.

Things I have learned:

  • For best results, I should use dye bottles, a funnel and perhaps a pipette.
  • It would be safe to go out for several hours and leave it without it drying out and burning. (It might not be save to go out for several hours and leave it without the Handsome Husband stirring it and turning it into a nasty felted mess. Handsome Husband is a natural-born stirrer.)
  • It is very, very difficult to duplicate a dyelot. Taking of notes helps, but taking a ton of notes to the point of being utterly anal is better.
  • As much as green is pretty and full of love, I would like to expand the range of colours available to me. The easiest way to do that is to buy more dyes. (Yes, I did pick up Landscapes Marine and Opal.) But I wonder if the most effective way to do it would be to experiment with Yellow/Cyan/Magenta. I wonder if there is a company that makes these most basic colours and sells them in bulk?
  • Non-spinners look at your handspun and don’t realise that you worked for hours and hours to turn wool into yarn. But non-dyers look at your hand-dyed yarn and *know* you didn’t get that from Spotlight or Lincraft.
  • Dyeing is fun.

~ by dreadlordvellan on November 5, 2007.

One Response to “Insert obligatory dye/die pun here”

  1. I am in love with your green handspun!!! I’d be stopping strangers in the street too.

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