Adventures in dyeing

Last Saturday morning, my LYS (Starstruck Cat) offered a class in dyeing your own yarn. My friend Mary Ann was leading the class. She is our local expert, who creates A Good Yarn, which I have used for many of my sock projects (she also created this beautiful sock blank I have been working with).

Last fall, I took her sock blank dyeing class and created this beauty (not totally true to color – it is a bit brighter in real life –  and this is when it was still wet):

Fall leaves sock blank

So I was excited to try something different this time, and dye on a regular skein. I’ve been really into tonal yarns lately, so I wanted to do variations on a color. I picked two shades of purple and a blue, so there was enough differentiation, but still subtle.  I chose to divide the yarn in thirds. My initial plan was each third would be one color, in hopes of getting a little bit of self-striping action going on. But at the last moment, I decided to go crazy and use one third to have all three colors in different amounts. I mean, if you can’t get a little crazy when you’re making it yourself, when can you? Here it is while it was still wet, just after I finished applying the dye.

the yarn while still wet with new dye

Here it is wrapped up in cling film ready to go in the microwave:

Yarn wrapped in cling film to put in the microwave

Ater that, it cooled, got a bit of a rest, was rinsed, and then hung out to dry. Here mine is (far right) hanging out with some of the creations from the rest of the class:

Yarn drying

As a note, I was super jealous of the girl using the hot pink. Why hadn’t I thought to do shades of pink?!

We had a test skein for the class that we had all sampled our colors on to see if they were what we wanted. Mary Ann said she would probably use the leftover dyes to finish it off and then process. Wanting to help (and wanting to get my hands on that pink!), I offered to dye it up for her while we were waiting for our yarn to dry.

This is what it ended up as:

The sample skein with all of the colors

Seriously – does that not make you smile? I LOVE how this turned out, even though it’s kind of loud. It is just about the happiest thing ever. It made me smile just revisiting this picture today. It’s all of the colors we used as a group, and I think this is proof we all have good taste. I think it is just YUMMY. And making it made me feel like a kid in a candy store – any color of dye I wanted at my fingertips!

After finishing off the multi-color project, I took my yarn home to let it dry more completely. The colors got a bit more muted as it dried because of the bamboo content in the yarn we used. That was totally fine with me, because it feels lush. Here it is in it’s final glory:

Finished yarn

Dye project is all wrapped up!

I had a super time being able to create my own color scheme. Now, I just have to decide what this beautiful sock weight yarn will be – any ideas?


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