"Real" Dyeing

Months ago I first played around with dyeing my own yarn using Kool Aid. It was just something fun to do: easy, safe, cheap--no worries if it didn't work out. And then after I knit my Forest Canopy in some of the Kool Aid yarn, and it turned out so beautifully, I thought "I might be pretty good at the dyeing business." And I watched as some of my online fibre friends opened their own online businesses dyeing yarn, and thought "why not me? I could do that."

So I pondered ordering a bunch of acid dyes and "bare" yarns from KnitPicks in my next order, whenever I decide I really need more things from them. But then I discovered spinning, and started spending all of my non-knitting time with a spindle in my hand. As you've seen, I dyed some of the handspun yarn and some tops with Kool Aid, too! I seemed unable to progress beyond the vibrant neon colours we give to children (to better stain their digestive tracks, I assume).

Well, after spinning half of the fibre I got in my initial purchase with my spindle, I decided I was hooked on that, so I ordered lots more fibre and finally bought some acid dyes from my "fibre guy." I thought I'd have all summer to spin and knit and dye. Summer came, and somehow not that much fibre work got done.

But today I finally got up the nerve to try it out! I had 4 little envelopes of Cushings Perfection Acid dyes, and 2 types of each of wool and silk. I mixed up some of each colour and soaked my fibre, and then went to town.

I have pictures of the whole process, but we'll stick to finished dye jobs here:

Merino top on the left, cultivated silk on the right. The merino is pretty vivid, but I wasn't as careful as I should have been about dye penetration, so there are some white patches here and there. The silk is almost jewel-tones:

Silk hankies. I started with more noticeable colour changes here, but wasn't very careful with it, and they blended a lot. I'm glad they did, I like it!

BFL in more subtle colour blends. I like this a lot and can't wait to see how it will spin up:

And, trying to join Diane's SSAL #4 in time, I have already started spinning the hankies (they dried fast in the intense sun today!):

So I want to spin these before I do any more dyeing, to see how they turn out. I think I will dye already spun yarn next, there is LOTS left in each little dye packet, and I had to throw out some of the liquid I mixed up today, too, so that will go a long ways! It will be fun to play with some different colour variations--mottled solids, self-striping, etc. But given that the school year will start before I get to any of that, I don't think you can expect to see my etsy shop opening any time soon! ;-)


Kai said…
ohhh, they all look very lovely.. can't wait to see the pinned version..
LittleBerry said…
those a very lovely colours :))))
Anonymous said…
They look fab! especially the hankies (I won't close entries till you're done ;-))

You should be able to keep the dye solutions for as long as you like after they're mixed, unless that particular brand has something funny about it? Just make sure it's safely lidded and labelled!
Anonymous said…
It's all come out beautifully!
belaybunny said…
well done on your dyeing efforts, they're so pretty. I'm looking forward to seeing how they come out when you've spun them.
Anonymous said…
lovely colour combination. Im waiting patiently to see how they spin...they gonna look wonderful. Sadly spinning I need to master :(
Jinann said…
The dying looks fabulous! And darn if it isn't in my favorite colors....which makes it even more lovely!