Monday Project Report – More Fun Than Coloring


So I still don’t have the first sleeve done of Chip’s sweater.  But that’s okay because I did something really cool and fun with my sister on Saturday to show you.

We went to a Welsh Pub and dyed yarn.

Woo Hoo!!

There were 8 of us and Lorraine, who owns our local yarn shop, and Nancy Shulman, who led the class.

That’s Nancy in the pink sweater.

That’s the rest of us.  Danielle’s in the back right corner.  I’m in the front right corner wearing my dumpy don’t care if I spill dye on it clothes.

There were some lovely women there.  Amy and Alison both dyed wool using natural dyes – the type of dyeing I plan on doing – and others had tried other methods, like the kool-aid method – and Danielle, who did kettle dying and brought some of her dyed yarns which I thought were as good or better than what you could purchase in the stores.  Look at Danielle’s blog – A Work In Progress – on my blog roll to see some of her work.

The method Nancy taught is not one that I would use because it uses acid dyes and a microwave – and those of you who know me know that I am a hippie environmentally conscious health foody not going to use a microwave person.  But I really wanted the opportunity to try my hand at coloring yarn to see what the results were in creating the various varigations in yarn.  So here is what I did.

We got to dye three skeins of yarn.

My first was a laceweight yarn.  There is a Sunflower Shawl that Danielle and I had seen so I was thinking Sunflower gold and brown.  So I started by dying my yarn a yellow with just a drop of brown mixed in to get a mustardy color and then added diagonal stripes in brown.

I liked it – but then she told us to squeeze out the extra dye – and in doing that my brown kinda ran into my yellow and I lost the real distinct striping I was trying for, as you will see a little later.

For my second skein, a dk weight yarn, I decided to go for Christmas colors – red and green – but again changed the application of the dye to try to get longer passes of a single color when knitting it.  So here’s what I did with that one.

What was fun was that this intrigued the teacher, who had never tried dying it this way before and thought I could get some striping using this method.  This one we did not squeeze out but lifted it into some plastic wrap to keep the dye in place.  After I had dyed it, I was kind of kicking myself because I felt that it would have been better if I had kept some white in it.  Luckily, the dye did not soak all the way through the yarn, leaving me with some unexpected white in the final project

The third skein, a worsted weight, I decided to do in yellow, orange and white.  But when I added the dyes it looked kinda boring – so I threw in a bright blue stripe.  And then I squeezed the excess dye out – and got all green!!!  Sigh.  What to do to save this.

So I stuck both of the ends in red and the middle in blue and hoped for the best.

I ended up with orange and shades of green – which is the last yarn on the towel rack which is here sitting in my bathtub.

See, this method involved taking yarn that had been prepared by soaking it in hot water and vinegar, applying the dye to it, microwaving it for the dye to set and then taking home the microwaved yarn to rinse it all out and then dry it.  So the above are my yarns after I have rinsed them all out and have them drying on my towel rack in my tub.

You can see how the distinct brown stripes have merged into the yellow giving it all a mustardy gold tone with variations.  The red and green developed some additions of teal and white, and my green and red and blue took on alot of the original yellow dye and came out orange and green and bluer green.

So my sister tells me that you have to roll them into a ball to see what you are going to get.  But the lace yarn was 900 yards and I just did not want to take that yarn and start rolling it – I would be at it all day – so here is what it looks like dried . . .

and in a hank.

It will one day be a shawl.

Next is my green and red dried. . .

and in a ball.

I love it – there is just too much blue for me to keep it strictly Christmas – so maybe socks?  I wonder if there is enough yarn for two socks.  Hmmmm.

Then is my green and orange – which is oddly growing on me.  First here it is dried (obviously taken in my bathroom – Sigh – I have to start looking at what is in the full shot – not just what I am taking the picture of ) . . .

 and here it is wound in a ball.

All in all, I am kind of impressed with these skeins.  Beginner’s luck I guess – or low standards.  😉

So that’s what I got done this week.  It was alot more fun than I expected.  Now I can’t wait to get our yarn dyeing workshop set up.  Markus want’s in on this too.  I’ll let you know as we get that going.  Hope you like this too.

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About Shelly R.

I am a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an attorney, a crafter and the granddaughter of an amazing woman - my Polish Grandmother. My Grandmother gave me so much, through her love and her patience, her sayings and her time teaching me how to craft and to give to others, that it seemed fitting to share some of that wisdom, to tell some of her story, and to chat about life and crafts in a way that would be a testament to what she gave me.
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2 Responses to Monday Project Report – More Fun Than Coloring

  1. danielle says:

    Oooooohhhh…the yellow/green/orange one looks sooo good wound into a ball! The sunflower is still my favorite…I would totally buy that if I saw it in a store, and that red/green/blue one is still not my favorite, but that’s just me not liking those colors together. I took some pictures of mine today so I can post about them at some point this week. That was a fun time.

  2. Pingback: Dye class and spinning | aworknprogress.net

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