Monday, June 19, 2006

Dye-vine inspiration: The Process

Today was a good day! I spent 4 hours dyeing wool & had the most fun! Thanks to my 'dye-vine inspiration' I now have a fun project to share with you all..

I picked up this wool in a local charity shop for a bargain. It's a 95% wool 5% nylon blend, colours beige and blue. Although it was cheap, I didn't actually like the colours of the wool when I knit the swatches. So I thought, what the heck - dye the stuff!

I must admit, I wasn't apprehensive about the dyeing process, but more for the fact that the wool might felt while dyeingSo, felting fears aside, I pulled open the balls of wool and wound them into skeins. This kept them tidy and free from tangles during the dyeing process. Next, I soaked the two skeins in a basin of warm water and distilled white vinegar (1 litre of water to 1/4 pint of vinegar). After 1/2 an hour I gently queezed the excess water out and placed them in the a microwaveable dish.

For the dye I used a yellow colour called 'Melon'. I mixed 1/2 tsp of the paste with a small bottle of warm water. Attractive disposable gloves at the ready, I doused the dye all over the wool. The gloves came in very handy as I could poke and squish the wool to make sure that the dye had reached all of the wool. Finally, I covered the dish with cling film, pierced some holes in it and placed it in the microwave for 2 minutes on full power.

Here is a picture of the dyed wool - one green skein & one yellow skein - straight out of the microwave. To be honest, I hadn't really thought what the outcome would be so I was pleasently surprised with these earthy tones! So, something to remember in the future, if you are over-dyeing wool then take into consideration the starting colour of the wool: Blue wool will come out green when mixed with yellow, DUH!

And finally, here's the before and after pictures of each ball of wool, dyed and dried!

I am including links to sites that I read, in preparation for this project. They might come in handy for you:-


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