My blog…not me. (Although it seems funny that I am bringing my blog back from the dead to talk about dyeing…)
I have been conspicuously absent from the blogosphere these days. Summer always takes the good right out of me, and even robs me of my fibre arts karma. My wheel has been covered for months and my knitting comes in fits and starts. I spend far more time surfing Ravelry and dreaming of what I will make than I do actually making anything. However, when a dear friend says, “We should get together and try our hand at dyeing some yarn”, that’s hard to resist.
So, yesterday my friend Shireen (from over at The Blue Brick) hosted me and our friend/my spinning teacher Leslie (from Leslie Ordal Fibre Arts) for a day of fingerpainting for adults, aka yarn and fibre dyeing. Shireen picked up some undyed yarn and clothing dye; Leslie and I grabbed some bags of undyed fibre from stash and some food colouring and we converged on Shireen’s tidy little downtown condo and, well, pretty much totaled it.
We started out with Kool-Aid and the small sport weight skeins first, to try and get a feel for what we were doing. Not sure if I, as the designated dye blend diva of the day, managed to make them a bit diluted, or if this is the nature of Kool-Aid, but the colours did seem somewhat muted.
We eventually moved into Rit and worsted weight yarn, leaving our precious skeins of fingering weight merino for last, when we felt we had a better handle on what we were doing. I even painted some smaller quantities of fibre to get a grasp on how things might look before trying yarn.
When we did get to the fingering weight, I was still enamoured with the handpainting process; Shireen and Leslie opted for some immersion/kettle dyeing with a natural dye kit Shireen had picked up at a fibre fair a while back.
I had a specific idea in my head for a red/orange/yellow variegated yarn, so I set to work handpainting my skein with autumnal colours, while the ladies prepped pots for their immersion dyes.
The immersion dyes both turned out absolutely beautifully (I may or may not have even threatened to steal Shireen’s navy blue skein), and both will be perfect for lace because while they are variegated, they are both beautifully tonal.
Luckily, there is enough navy dye left for me to do one of my own next time. And we have decreed there will definitely be a next time, that will include expanding our materials list to include acid dyes. I can’t wait!
All photos in this post taken by and courtesy of Shireen Nadir.