Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dye Time!

Yarn - Royal 3
Oops! I returned to blogging just to disappear over the weekend! Bad, bad blogger! Well it really wasn't from a lack of trying, that's for sure. The weekend was gorgeous and so a lot of time was spent outside, Brett and the Munchkin participated in the Times Colonist 10k Marathon, and when I wasn't working I was dead tired. Oh, and the best time of the weekend? The yarn dyeing workshop that I took with Ursa from Gaia's Colours! So much fun!

Lately I've been super interested in learning how to dye yarn, especially of the self-striping variety, but don't have the space to do so. That, and I'm sure Brett will go nuts if I take up another hobby! I learned how to do some dyeing in my Textiles Science class in fashion school, but it wasn't extensive enough to really peak my interest. Mind you, back then I wasn't a knitter and the thought of dyeing my own yarn wasn't even a thought.

So when Ursa announced that she was holding another Dye Day you better believe that I jumped at the chance to partake! We got to select amongst her bases which yarns we would like to dye up. I chose 2 sock/fingering weight bases, an MCN blend (merino/cashmere/nylon) and a merino/cashmere/silk blend. I went into the workshop with no idea what I wanted to do colour-wise other than something pink. I didn't even know what dyeing techniques I wanted to try out!

My first attempt, which I lovingly call "Derby":
Yarn - Derby 2

This was the merino/cashmere/silk blend. I was trying to get a few different shades of pink here with a black, so when it knit up there would be varying pinks with a squiggle of black throughout. I had squirt the dyes on the damp yarn for this round and then did the black last as Ursa had suggested. Sadly the different pinks bled into each other a bit and I didn't dilute the lighter pink enough. I also don't think I "cooked" the dyes in long enough (I got really impatient and I think I was the last person to dye up their first skein). You can kinda see 2 of the different pinks in the photo above.

All skeined up:
Yarn - Derby 3

I can't wait to knit this up! Too bad I have a million projects on the go...

Next up is a colourway that I started to call "Royal". Only because I was watching and became obsessed with all the news stories about it, the Royal Wedding.

Yarn - Royal 2

This was actually inspired by Andi, who was inspired by a Wollmeise colourway. This time I put the yarn in a water bath and then had squirt the dye on. I originally had a huge chunk of pink in there but as Ursa had said the turquoise will just take over. Which it did. But I kinda like what I got from the turquoise mixing with the pink. This time I made sure the water was clear before rinsing the yarn. I absolutely love the results!

Yarn - Royal

I think next time (if Ursa does another workshop) I should be more prepared in my colour choices so that I'm not just standing there staring at the jars of dye like a deer in the headlights (then again, it was my first time and I really didn't know what to expect). I think a game plan would be most helpful and I would love to try pre-mixing some of the colours for more customized colours. My goal for this summer is to find some second-hand pots and maybe I can try dyeing up a few skeins while the weather is warm enough to open all the windows and doors and I can dry my yarn outside without worrying that it'll rain!


  1. They both look so cool! I love the second colour combo. It is not something I would have thought to do. I would have been the same with deciding on colours. I am super indecisive! I can't wait to see them both knitted up.

  2. Ooh, those are both totally gorgeous! I can definitely see the Wollmeise inspiration. I adore the black/pink combo - very punky-pixieish.

  3. Kat:
    Thank you!! I wish I had dyed another skein the second colour combo, but didn't have the time to do it. Now I'm kicking myself in the butt for not taking notes so that I could re-create this if I wanted to!

    Thanks!! I'm glad someone can see the WM inspiration! I've been loving up on the WM lately but some colourways are just so hard to get! I'm hoping maybe I can dye my own knock-offs until I can score the real deal!


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