Archive for the ‘Dye’ Category


Welcome to the world!

Don’t you love that.  The moment when your idea becomes physical, You can hold it in your hands, turn it around and admire it because it worked.  Beautifully.

I have been experimenting with dye.

But not “follow the instructions on the packet” kind of dying – I’m much too easily distracted for that, and I really wanted to make a piece that had a subtle variation on the depth of the wool used throughout.  Dip dyed knitting. Sort of.

Step 1:

Go get some Lincraft Luxe yarn.  It’s super chunky and knits up on size 12mm needles.  Yum. and speedy….  and 100% wool which is important for the dying process.  You can safely dye 4 balls with one packet.

Step 2:

While you are there, grab a packet of Dylon hand dye (not the machine kind) in the colour you would like to try (I used jeans blue).

Step 3:

Grab a ball of yarn and wind it around the back of a chair or some other solid item that will not move (kids and men wriggle too much for this).  Keep winding until you have the whole ball unwound and rewound into a decent loop.

Carefully lay your loop on a flat surface, and tie some yarn around the middle (to make a figure 8) several times.  You don’t want the looped yarn slipping around and getting tangled.

Repeat with other balls so you are ready to dye all of them at once.

Step 4:

Put some rubber gloves on (trust me you need them), take a bucket and pour your powdered dye into it – along with some salt & water (quantities on the pack of the packet) and stir until dissolved.

Here’s where it gets tricky (not).

Have a piece of cardboard or a discarded newspaper handy to put your balls on when you are finished while you wait for the next step.

Carfully hold your yarn in one hand by the tied section (the middle) and dip one side in the dye.  Take it out and turn it over and do the other section.  You will have a white section in the middle, which is interesting in itself, but if you would like to make the variation more subtle, put your dipped balls to one side, and add a small quantity of water to your dye to dilute it.  Then immerse your wool totally, pull it out and squeeze it and you will see colour variations. Don’t worry if you end up with some spots in places you don’t really want them – they will get lost in the final knitted piece anyway.

I did 4 balls of wool, and made each one slightly lighter than the next by adding a bit more water to each consecutive immersion.

Step 5:

Fill your laundry sink with cold water, and give your yarn bundles a good rinse.  You may need to wash them several times to remove all the excess dye, but it will not affect the colour of the yarn that much.

Step 6:

Hang on the line to dry, then wind into balls and off you go.

* Note – there will be more details on this, and the final knitted piece in a book due for release in August.


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