Friday, 30 August 2013

First Go At Dyeing Yarn....

Back at the end of June me and a friend visited Woolfest in Cockermouth.

It was our first visit and as we both are avid knitters and my recent hobby of crochet has taken off it was a great day out and fulfilled all our dreams.

I've wanted to go for a few years now and so with my friend being from that 'neck of the woods' we made a day of it.  We started our journey at 8am from Lancashire and stopped off at Teabay services for a spot of breakfast and a stretch of our legs.  Unfortunately the weather was not kind to us that day and the rain joined us on the journey - all the way there!!!  We shopped till we dropped and only landed back in Lancashire about 9pm after we stopped off for something to eat on the way home.

The rain didn't dampen our spirits though.  When we arrived the event was already in swing with many many people arriving.  When we entered we were absolutely amazed by all the colours and kinds of yarns around and all the visitors from all over the world, not to mention the lovely animals in pens and in the auction mart, where we went to a talk about the lovely woolly creatures.  There were angora rabbits, alpacas, and lovely sheep aplenty. 

After a quick refreshment break, we were on a mission, armed with lists and the lovely Woolfest programme.

I bought several things including a wooden drop spindle and some roving to have a bash at spinning.  I've always wanted to spin and this seems like a good introduction to it before I go the full hog and buy a spinning wheel.  I also bought several crochet hooks and a granny square book for some inspiration and various other bits and pieces including patterns and yarns.

Amongst my purchases was 100g of some Superwash Merino with some nylon in it but with a yummy gold sparkle running through it and a few packets of Kool Aid from DJ Craft & Design.  Like with the spinning, I've always wanted to have a go at dyeing some yarn just to see what it is like.  And boy did I enjoy myself a couple of weeks ago when I decided to take the plunge and have a go!!!

Here are some pictures I took of the dyeing process.

So I started off with some undyed yarn and a couple of packets of unsweetened Kool Aid in red and orange

I soaked my yarn in a bowl of soapy water for 45 minutes

While that was soaking I then mixed up the Kool Aid in two separate jugs to a lovely colour consistency

I then squeezed as much of the water out of the soaked yarn and lay it in a microwaveable bowl and slowly poured the Kool Aid over it making sure not to mix the colours too much so they went all muddy.  I wanted to have a mixed tone but not all over colour.  Off went the yarn whizzing around the microwave in 1 minute bursts for 3 minutes.  I then waited for it to cool down before rinsing it in lukewarm water.

And then I had a marvellous ta-dah moment when the finished hank was hanging on the line in the sunshine. 
You can just make out the little sparkly flecks of gold with the lush orange and pale red/pink colour.  It is much more sparkly in real life. 

I'm so pleased with the outcome of my first go at yarn dyeing and it's spurred me on to have another go and maybe try other ways of dyeing yarns too.
Not sure what the yarn is going to be made up into yet but it will be something lush which I may keep myself or I may sell on the website.
Hope you've enjoyed reading and looking at this blog post.
I will be back next week with another post, and this time it will be the making of a Zentangle card.
Back soon
Tanya x x

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