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Dyeing is fun

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I posted these photos on Facebook already and shared them in Google Buzz, but the blog post has been in draft forever. so if you’re sick and tired of this, move along to the next blog on your reading list. 🙂

A couple of weeks ago, me, Jackie and Caroline set up a dyeing date. Jackie and I had recently purchased starter kits of Procion MX Dye from DT Crafts in the UK (thanks Ruth for bringing it home to us!). Using tips from the instruction manual and Skein Queen herself, Debbie Orr, we set out to work.

First we used plastic picnic mats to cover Jackie’s counter top, then covered each of our work spaces with cling wrap.


Then we decided on which dyes to use. We settled on blues and greens so we had Brilliant Emerald, Cerulean Blue and Royal Blue. We also had Black out to mute down the sickly green.

We then measured the citric acid and salt needed for the soaking.

When that was sorted we gave our skeins of bare yarn a bath for 45 minutes. Caroline was using Knit Picks Merino sport weight, Jackie was more adventurous with her skein of Malabrigo Sock and I was using a lambswool/cashmere/angora blend which is going to be part of the shop offering.

While the yarn was soaking, we prepared the dye solutions.

They were not kidding about the fumes! As soon as we opened one of the dye powder jars the fumes were on attack mode. So we quickly grabbed towels to protect ourselves and got under way.

Caroline signalling the last five minutes before the yarn is done from its bath.

And then we were dyeing yarn! Caroline wanted lighter sections on her skein so she used the very diluted green.

Jackie was using a big brush to paint the dye on.

Her skein and mine were quite similar since we both wanted highly saturated colours.

I poured dye on my skein as I usually do for maximum saturation. Here is the skein when I was finally happy with it.

Then all 3 skeins went to the sauna! I bought a food steamer which is perfect for batch steaming. Caroline is so chuffed about it, can’t you see?

I brought my dyed, steamed skein home to dry. I’m amazed at how rich the colours are and how colour-fast it is, no bleeding in the rinse water.

And here she is, completely dry. The colours are as rich as they were during dyeing. Now I need to knit with this skein to see how the colours stack up on a garment. Maybe a shawlette, huh?

More dyeing fun to follow.

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