Yarn Dying

First Time Dyer…

This is something that I have wanted to do for years… Years and years, I have wanted to dye my own yarn.

I’ve tried in the past and to be honest the results weren’t terrible, they were un-felted and usable, but hey weren’t perfect. I’ve never had the time to perfect the science. So in my 30th year and for my 30th birthday I bought myself some apparatus, a pack of Australian Landscape dyes and found a great cone of yarn in my local charity shop (it must be fate!)

I’m not unhappy with my first attempt at all actually, I wound two different hanks with a project in mind (little pop socks) so one hand is 50g and the other contrasting colour is 20g for heels and toes.

So last night using a rickety niddy noddy and a very unpredictable set of kitchen scales that likes to randomly select what unit it would like to measure in, I set about making hanks… Then I tied them carefully and then soaking them gently in luke warm water as I prepared my dye vat… Carefully selecting three colours that I wanted to float in the water with the yarn and the two colours that I wanted to use for the speckles was easy enough, mixing the day (with a mask on) and making it up I probably should have gone for more dye in hindsight… I went for the less is more approach BUT having not used these dyes before I didn’t realise that the colour intensity wasn’t quite what I was expecting but thats fine, I know for next time.

I am really happy with the results… For a first time I truly feel like I achieved something really special. The 50g hank has shell taupes, pale blue and a gorgeous coral speckle to it. The 20g hank is just the coral with darker coral speckles. I can’t wait to cast these on and start knitting socks with them!

I’m already planning my next hank and choosing the next technique that I want to use… Resistance dying I think… 3 different colours of varying shades and colour and the yarn dyed in hanks and knots revealing different parts to the dye bath each time you drop it in a new colour!

To Dye this yarn I used:

Landscape trail pack of dyes in the Coastal colourway

70g of Superwash Merino Yarn divided into 50g and 20g skeins.

A large £20 metal pan from Tesco

Disposable rubber gloves

Eucalan Wool Wash with a jasmine scent

Washing up Liquid

A Mask (very important when handling dyes in powder form)

An old teaspoon

A couple of old jam jars I was never going to use for food again

A pokey stick to move the yarn around if I needed to submerge it further.


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