Friday, June 17, 2011

Yarn Dyeing - So Much Fun!

Base yarns - some grey unknown from the op-shop, approximately 10g. Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Luxury' in cream, leftover from this project, about 30g (I think).

Colours - Wilton food paste colours in red, yellow, blue and green. I made up each of these colours and also orange and purple. I used vinegar as the acid for fixing (I was using lots of bits and pieces I had found when looking up information, but it was a few weeks ago, so I don't remember the specifics - please don't follow my approximations, best to go and research it properly).

To apply the colours, I lay some Gladwrap on the table, and then the wool. I just poured the colour where I wanted it and gently massaged it in.

Once I had applied it all, I wrapped it up in the Gladwrap and popped it into a pan of hot water.

I kept the water just simmering or thereabouts (I wasn't getting too technical this time around). Once all the extra colour that floating around in the Gladwrap turned clear, I took the wool out to cool. On rinsing there was no extra colour loss.

To be quite honest, I was really, really surprised at the depth and vibrancy of the colours that emerged.

I did a swatch with the original grey yarn, as I wasn't sure what ply it was, but I got a bit bored just doing plain stitches, so I did a few yarn overs and knit 2 togethers to see what it would look like. I have come to the conclusion that is about an 8ply.

As I had a little more time left after dyeing those, I decided to do some small samples using a bluey-green 100% wool, also from the op-shop with the same colours, and also put the grey in the yellow, orange & red. I am liking the results.

There will be more yarn dyeing in my future - it was fun and a great way to use yarn that I don't like the original colour of :)



Tracy aka Mad Quilter said...

Lots of fun :)

Mary said...

looks great. It's addictive isn't it.

JulieT said...

Wow well done i
love how it knitted up!

Helen said...

That's funtastic!

Sally said...

Oh WOW! What amazing results. You've really inspired me to give this a go... one day!

Frances said...

This is way cool! Does it only work on wool, or can you use it on blends/acrylics, too?

Liz said...

From my limited reading, Frances, plant fibres and acrylics won't take the food dye, but animal ones will. There is quite a lot of info out there, and people even use packets of Kool Aid to dye wool!
The white thread holding the wool neatly in pictures is a bamboo blend - it didn't take any colour at all!

Tas said...

They look great Liz. Love the knitted sample. I should get off my butt and give it a go!

A n R said...

Those colours are amazing. And so are your talents!! I don't know how you find the time with kids and school.

Frances said...

Thanks for the info, Liz. I work with a woman who has taken up spinning and weaving, and she was very interested by the whole idea. She was interested in spinning flax into linen until she discovered that the humidity is so low her odds of success are close to minimal. Lol!